A Monk’s Path to Dhamma

Posted on Posted in Blog

A Natural-born Monk's Path to Dhamma
Cultivating the Garden of Life


Venerable Ajahn Sona at Stanford University
"It turned out, I'm logical . . .
linear, purely-logical activity
should not be the master of the house."

How the Thai Forest Tradition Came to Canada

I am always interested in how individuals find out about Buddhism in general, and the Forest Tradition in particular.

In this video, the Venerable Ajahn Sona, discusses a 38 year sojourn that began with his simple practice of meditation on the breath and culminated in founding (and becoming the abbot of) Birkin Forest Monastery (Sitavana) in the wilds of Canada. Given at Stanford, his talk rather eloquently describes his eventually finding an existential home in the solitude of the forest, ordaining as a Theravādin monk, and making Dhamma available to many whose lives benefit from it.

Here, then, is Venearable Ajahn Sona's talk given to Stanford's Ho Center For Buddhist Studies on October 25, 2016.

3 thoughts on “A Monk’s Path to Dhamma

  1. Nice post. I am studying theravada and have taken the refuges etc…one point of contention though is that in this tradition, lay people are seen as not members of th sangha. That the sangha is only monastics.

    I feel there is too much emphasis on the bhikku/ Ajahn sangha and not enough development for lay people.

    I wish this could be harmonised somehow…

    I heard that lay people can only achieve the initial stages of stream entry too…

    Perhaps Theravada needs lay teachers too to help those in the same position?

    1. As the Dhamma is integrated into Western culture, there will no doubt be changes.

      Although we may experience a disruption of strict ‘lineages,’ we will also, perhaps, discover new freedoms, such as the advent of fully ordained Bhikkhunis (instead of simply Mae Chee renunciates). My own biases support such changes while respecting the rights of others to disagree. I generally refer to the friends with whom I meditate as a lay-sangha, reserving the capitalized Sangha for renunciates.

      Many paths lead to the Dhamma; however, none can tread our path for us.

    2. I understand your concern. In the West, it occurs to me that the reverse is often the case (often the visits of monks to meditation centers are few and fare between).

Leave a Reply