Monday, June 10, 2013

An Extraordinary Thai Teacher (Ajahn Jumnien)

Nuns, translator, Ajahn Jumnien, monks at Ayodhya Thai (Wisdom Quarterly, 6-10-13)
Mind/heart leads to samsara (WQ)
Tiyavanich has written a thrilling spiritual biography -- a well written and transcendent account of an all-but-lost Thailand and the early lives of Ajahn Jumnien and two other prominent Buddhist master-teachers. 
Filled with lively anecdotes and illustrations, she recounts the early life stories of three Thai masters, each with large followings in North America.
Ajahn Jumnien (born 1936) is a great Buddhist elder (thera) of the ancient Thera-vada ("Teaching of the Elders") tradition, former abbot of Tiger Cave Monastery, Krabi, tropical South Thailand.
As a southern teacher in the forest tradition -- made famous by Ajahn Chah and his Western disciples in the northeastern jungles (Isaan) -- the ajahn or Luang Pho ("venerable father figure") as he is widely known -- is a massively influential in Southeast Asia. Moreover, because of his supernormal powers, he is famous among elites worldwide.

“Uplifting and, at times, magical” - BD (WP)
Thai society has a particular reverence for him, and his tireless teaching bringing ordinary people to supernormal knowledge is a wonder to behold.
He is a preacher with common sense and a heart as wide as the sky. He is known as "Ajahn Happy" to his Western students, turning everyday life experiences into Dharma lessons.

Like other great teachers in the tradition, he is able to discern the needs of his audience. Tiyavanich shows how as a boy he evolved into a remarkable embodiment of the "preacher" ideal.
His accomplishments in wisdom and compassion draw people of all traditions. He is particularly friendly with the Muslims in the south of Thailand and formerly-Buddhist Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh.

Buddhadharma Magazine
Along with the two other teachers featured (Ajahn Buddhadasa and Ajahn Panya), Ajahn Jumnien is effecting attitudinal changes in Dharma practices -- virtue, study, reflection, and intensive cultivation -- restoring Buddhism's social dimension.

He is a bridge builder reuniting laypeople and monastics and championing an open-mindedness toward other religions. In these delightful stories full of local color and customs readers see what it was that led Ajahn Jumnien to become the fearless and influential living Buddhist master he is today.

1 comment:

Alan Flum said...

Lovely Article about Luang Por Jumnien. He is a truly remarkable teacher who teaches the Dhamma deeply and generously shares his person experience as a teaching aid.

For those interested, Ajahn Jumnien will be coming the the U.S. this June 2015. He will teaching in southern California and the Pacific Northwest. For more information you can visit