Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Biography: California Forest Monks (film)

Autobiography of Ajahn Tate by Ven. Ariyesako (trans.), accesstoinsight.org; Fearless Mountain; Abhayagiri; Sayalay, Dhr. Seven, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

(Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, 2016) Fearless Mountain was filmed and produced by Tony and Andrew Anthony about the community at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California. More info: ukiahdailyjournal.com.

The Autobiography of a Thai Forest Monk: The Story of Ajahn Tate
(Foreword) Since the time of the Buddha more than 2,500 years ago, Buddhist ascetics have retreated into the depths of the forests.

They have been climbing mountains and sheltering in caves seeking physical isolation to aid them in their development of meditation and realization of the Dharma, which is the truth of the Buddha's Teaching.

Whether in solitude or in small groups, such monastics live a life of simplicity, austerity, and determined effort and have included some of the greatest meditation masters since the Buddha.

Far from cities and towns, willing to put up with the rigors and hardships of living in the wild for the opportunity to learn from Nature.

They are disinterested in worldly fame or recognition, these forest monastics often remain unknown, their life stories lost among the jungle thickets and mountain tops.

FILM: California monks: Fearless Mountain

The autobiography of one such monk, Ajahn Tate (also Thate), is a record of his own life story. It was published for his 72nd birthday celebration so that it might be of benefit to monastic and layperson followers.
He recounts his own life from his boyhood encounter with forest monastics to his final status as one of the greatest masters of the modern era.

Ajahn Tate passed away in 1994 at the age of 92.... Much of this is directed towards the ordinary rural villagers of Northeast Thailand (Issan), who are Ajahn Tate's own stock.

Although it is the poorest and most underdeveloped region in Thailand, its people are particularly devout Buddhists. And it is from them that most of the Thai meditation masters have arisen.

In later years, this northeast-based Forest Kammatthana (Tudong or Dhutanga, "Sane Ascetic") Tradition started to attract the interest of sophisticated city folk. He describes this trend.
This book is intended as a description of Ajahn Tate's experiences and as a narrative of a personal spiritual quest. It contains advice and reflections on Buddhist meditation and practice. More

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