Ajahn Sumedho was abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, UK, until his retirement in 2010, and is the senior-most Western disciple of the late Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah. Amaravati is affiliated with the Forest Sangha: a world-wide community following Ajahn Chah’s Thai Forest tradition. See www.forestsangha.org . Ajahn Sumedho has worked closely with lay organisations, notably the English Sangha Trust and with his disciples to set up a British Theravadin monastic order. This order now numbers 60 monks and nuns over several monasteries.
Ajahn Sumedho urges us to trust in awareness and find out for ourselves what it is to experience genuine liberation from mental anguish and suffering, just as the Buddha himself did two and a half thousand years ago. Buddhism is not about becoming the model of humanity or escaping the natural consequences of our past deeds, but of putting aside all pretence and all ideas in order to simply be where we are. The author therefore encourages us not to take our lives personally, but to look at the reality of this moment free from beliefs, views and opinions. He refers frequently to his own experiences, his own journey along the path, and this he does humorously, guilelessly and sometimes with brutal honesty. Ajahn Sumedho, an American Buddhist monk, practised for ten years in Thailand with the well known monk, Ajahn Chah. He has since spent over thirty years in England and is the founder of the Cittaviveka Forest Monastery in West Sussex and the Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire. His many books include The Mind and the Way, Teachings of a Buddhist Monk, and The Sound of Silence.
I suggest just being an earthworm – letting go of the desire to radiate love throughout the world.
Instead of becoming the world’s expert on Buddhism, just let go, let go, let go.
Meditation is a skilful letting go: gently but with resolution.
Yesterday is a memory. Tomorrow is the unknown. Now is the knowing.
You can chew gum, wash up and listen to the radio at the same time, and still be aware.