Thai Forest Dhamma

in the tradition of Lungphu Mun Bhuridatto

and his western disciples

Deutsch Francais Thai

Dhamma interviews

« The cart before the horse

What is your opinion of the development of Buddhism in the West?

"(...) I sometimes get the impression that Buddhism in Germany proceeds in a different way from Buddhism in Thailand. In Germany, laypeople seem to have claimed ownership of the Dhamma Vinaya, and seem to think they are authorities on the matter.(...)
Thus, the situation in the West is completely the reverse of the situation in Asia, where monks are the carriers of the Dhamma Vinaya and are authorities on the teachings. In Asia, monks carried the teachings from one country to another during the spread of Buddhism. (...)"

Read this interview or download it »

« Fear is not a useful emotion

The opposite of fearlessness is angst or anxiety. What happens in the citta (heart–mind) when it is afraid?

"It shrinks. An anxious heart is closed and does not allow anything into it. When we meet a dangerous animal, for example, our physical heart contracts because we are afraid of physical pain and especially of death. The same thing happens with threatening situations – we are unable to face them openly. Fear is an emotion that is generated by the kilesas (defilements) to control us. (...)"

Read this interview or download it »
(Interview with Andrea Liebers published in 'Buddhism' in May 2012)

« My Swabian stubbornness helped me with meditation!

It is not every day that one encounters a Buddhist monk who has devoted his life to the destruction of ignorance (avijjā), and who has lived in the Thai jungle with this purpose in mind for more than 15 years, spending between 12 and 16 hours a day in meditation. Meeting such a person encourages us to ask questions about how we are leading our own lives, where we are heading, and what our own relationship with Dhamma really is. It may even lead us to think seriously about enlightenment, and the possibility of ending, once and for all, the cycle of saṃsarā.

People today are accustomed to seeing Buddhist monks from Thailand , Burma, Tibet or some other Asian country, but Ajahn Martin is European and German. Born in Stuttgart in 1957 and growing up in Swabia in southwestern Germany, Martin was a rather quiet and unobtrusive child. He was neither an outstanding student nor did he draw attention to himself by feats or special talents (...)

Read this interview or download it
(Original source in the German magazine Tibet und Buddhismus, volume 101-2, 2012) »

« The State of Buddhism in the West

As an American scholar practicing field research in Thailand's Buddhist temples, I have discussed the state of Buddhism in the West with many meditation teachers, and each encounter has struck me with the unique viewpoints presented. Out of all my interviews with Thai and Western monks and lay teachers, one of the most interesting conversations I have had was with the German monk Ajahn Martin Piyadhammo, who currently lives in Thailand but has practiced Buddhism in Europe for many years. His opinions about Buddhism in the West impressed me as insightful and especially significant to the way Buddhist teaching is disseminated among Western practitioners (...)

Read this interview or download it
(By Brooke Schedneck, originally published in the Prapañca Journal) »