One evening in Northeast Thailand…
Night is falling swiftly. The forest reverberates with the undulating buzz of countless crickets and the eerie rising wail of tropical cicadas. A few stars poke dimly through the treetops. Amid the gathering darkness there is a pool of warm light, thrown from a pair of kerosene lanterns illuminating the open area below a hut raised up on stilts. Beneath their glow, a couple of dozen people are gathered around a small, solidly-built monk who is seated cross-legged on a wicker bench. The air is filled with a vibrant peace. Venerable Ajahn Chah is teaching.
In some ways the group gathered here is a motley crew. Close beside Ajahn Chah (or Luang Por, Venerable Father, as he is affectionately known to his students) is a cluster of bhikkhus (monks) and novices; most of them are Thai or Lao, but there are a few pale-skinned figures among them – a Canadian, two Americans, a young Australian and an Englishman. In front of the Ajahn sits a well-groomed middle-aged couple, he in a stiff suit and she coiffed and gold-bedecked – he’s a member of parliament from a distant province, they’re taking[…]
Excerpt From: Ajahn Amaro. “An Introduction to the Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah.” iBooks.