Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Thānissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) is an American Buddhist monk in the kammaṭṭhāna (Thai forest) Tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he traveled to Thailand where he studied meditation with Ajahn Fuang Jotiko, who was himself a disciple of the late Ajahn Lee.

He joined the order of monks in Wat Dhammasathit in 1976, where he remained after the death of his teacher in 1986. In 1991, he traveled to the San Diego County hills of the US, where he helped Ajahn Suwat Suwaco establish Metta Forest Monastery (Wat Mettavanaram). He has been abbot of that monastery since 1993.

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu is perhaps best known for his translations of the Dhammapada and the Sutta Pitaka – more than 1000 suttas – and so the main share for the sutta translations for the website Accesstoinsight, and his translations of ‘Dhamma-talks’ from the Thai forest Ajahns. He has also written several of his own works on the Dhamma and study guides for his Pali translations.

A Burden Off the Mind: A Study Guide
28-12-22
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A Burden Off the Mind: A Study Guide

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

A study guide on the five khandhas (aggregates) emphasizing the importance of bringing the right questions to the teachings on the khandhas. If you use them to…

A Meditator’s Tools: A Study Guide
28-12-22
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A Meditator’s Tools: A Study Guide

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This is a study guide on the ten recollections, a set of meditation themes that highlight the positive role that memory and thought play in training the mind.

Beyond Coping: A Study Guide on Aging, Illness, Death & Separation
28-12-22
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Beyond Coping: A Study Guide on Aging, Illness, Death & Separation

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Passages from the Pāli Canon arranged in five sections: the Buddha as physician; diagnoses of the conditions of aging, etc.; the conditions as motivations for…

Dhammapada: A Translation
28-12-22
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Dhammapada: A Translation

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

An anthology of verses attributed to the Buddha long recognized as one of the masterpieces of early Buddhist literature. This edition has the full Introduction…

Factors for Awakening Part 1: Introduction
23-07-20

Factors for Awakening Part 1: Introduction

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Several years back, I was asked to give a talk on the factors for awakening: mindfulness, analysis of qualities, persistence, rapture, calm, concentration…

Factors for Awakening Part 10: Toward Release
21-01-21

Factors for Awakening Part 10: Toward Release

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Practicing mindfulness means keeping something in mind. Practicing right mindfulness means keeping in mind two activities that we’ll be doing here as we…

Factors for Awakening Part 2: Mindfulness
13-08-20

Factors for Awakening Part 2: Mindfulness

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

When the Buddha lists the factors for awakening, he says that there are some that are appropriate when the mind is sluggish. Those factors are analysis of…

Factors for Awakening Part 3: Analysis of Qualities
03-09-20

Factors for Awakening Part 3: Analysis of Qualities

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

We all come to the practice with doubts and questions. But we don’t get past our doubts by not asking questions. We do it by learning how to ask the right…

Factors for Awakening Part 4: Persistence
23-09-20

Factors for Awakening Part 4: Persistence

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha says that three factors of the path hover around all the other factors. There’s right view, which helps you to know what’s, say…

Factors for Awakening Part 5: Rapture
31-10-20

Factors for Awakening Part 5: Rapture

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Take a few deep, long in-and-out breaths and think of the breath energy filling the body. When we talk of the breath energy being full, it’s not a matter of…

Factors for Awakening Part 6: Calm
05-11-20

Factors for Awakening Part 6: Calm

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

As we meditate, we try to bring the mind to a state of calm. But you notice, if you look at the Buddha’s explanations for the factors for awakening…

Factors for Awakening Part 7: Concentration
10-11-20

Factors for Awakening Part 7: Concentration

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Focus your attention right here. The mind will be creating other “heres” to carry you away from right here. But you don’t have to go with them.

Factors for Awakening Part 8: Equanimity
17-12-20

Factors for Awakening Part 8: Equanimity

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

When the Buddha lists the factors for awakening, equanimity comes at the end of the list, which gives the impression that it’s the highest of the list.

Factors for Awakening Part 9: Skills for Awakening
07-01-21

Factors for Awakening Part 9: Skills for Awakening

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

We often come to the meditation to gain a sense of peace and calm, to find some rest. And it is important that we gain these things from the meditation: We…

Handful of Leaves vol. 1: An Anthology from the Digha Nikaya
28-12-22
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Handful of Leaves vol. 1: An Anthology from the Digha Nikaya

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This volume is the first in a four-volume anthology of suttas (discourses) drawn from the Sutta Piṭaka (discourse basket or repository) of the Pāli Canon.

Handful of Leaves vol. 2: An Anthology from the Majjhima Nikaya
28-12-22
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Handful of Leaves vol. 2: An Anthology from the Majjhima Nikaya

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The Majjhima Nikāya — the Middle Collection — is the second collection in the Sutta Piṭaka. It takes its name from the length of the discourses it contains…

Handful of Leaves vol. 3: An Anthology from the Samyutta Nikaya
28-12-22
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Handful of Leaves vol. 3: An Anthology from the Samyutta Nikaya

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The Saṁyutta Nikāya, a collection of short to medium-length discourses, takes its name from the way the discourses are organized into groups connected…

Handful of Leaves vol. 4: An Anthology from the Anguttara Nikaya
28-12-22
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Handful of Leaves vol. 4: An Anthology from the Anguttara Nikaya

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The Aṅguttara Nikāya, a collection of short to medium-length discourses, takes its name from the way the discourses are grouped by the number of their parts…

Handful of Leaves: An Anthology from the Sutta Pitaka
28-12-22
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Handful of Leaves: An Anthology from the Sutta Pitaka

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This all-in-one book bundles all of the sutta collections: the Dīgha, Majjhima, Saṁyutta, and Aṅguttara Nikāyas, as well as six books from the Khuddaka Nikāya…

In the Eyes of the Wise: The Buddha’s Teachings on Honor & Shame
27-05-21

In the Eyes of the Wise: The Buddha’s Teachings on Honor & Shame

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Several years back, I led a retreat in Santa Fe on the topic of karma. One of the readings was a passage in which the Buddha teaches his seven-year-old son…

Into the Stream: A Study Guide
28-12-22
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Into the Stream: A Study Guide

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

For your practice to lead to Awakening, you must develop reliable standards for judging — which practices lead to stream entry, what indicates a true experience…

Itivuttaka: This was Said by the Buddha
28-12-22
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Itivuttaka: This was Said by the Buddha

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The Itivuttaka is a newly updated translation of a collection of 112 short suttas, each one a prose passage followed by a verse. This collection is shaped less…

Jhana Not by the Numbers
17-10-19

Jhana Not by the Numbers

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

When I first went to study with my teacher, Ajahn Fuang, he handed me a small booklet of meditation instructions and sent me up the hill behind the monastery to…

Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry
30-01-20

Kalama Sutta: The Buddha’s Charter of Free Inquiry

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

I heard thus. Once the Blessed One, while wandering in the Kosala country with a large community of bhikkhus, entered a town of the Kalama people called…

Karma Q&A
28-12-22
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Karma Q&A

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

Kamma and rebirth are often understood to be teachings of fate and helplessness in the face of unknowable influences from the past. Instead of teaching fate…

Khuddakapatha: Short Passages
28-12-22
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Khuddakapatha: Short Passages

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This, the first book in the Khuddaka Nikāya (Collection of Short Discourses), appears to have been designed as a primer for novice monks and nuns.

Mindful of the Body: A Study Guide
28-12-22
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Mindful of the Body: A Study Guide

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This study guide focuses on the primary sutta in the Pāli Canon dealing with the contemplation of the body: The Discourse on Mindfulness Immersed in the Body…

Poems of the Elders: An Anthology from the Theragatha & Therigatha
28-12-22
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Poems of the Elders: An Anthology from the Theragatha & Therigatha

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This is an anthology consisting of 97 poems from the Theragāthā (Poems of the Elder Monks) and 34 from the Therīgāthā (Poems of the Elder Nuns). These texts are…

Recognizing the Dhamma: A Study Guide
28-12-22
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Recognizing the Dhamma: A Study Guide

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The Buddha taught eight principles for recognizing what qualifies as Dhamma and Vinaya, and what does not. They form the standards against which the validity of…

Right Mindfulness: Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path
28-12-22
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Right Mindfulness: Memory & Ardency on the Buddhist Path

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

For the past several decades, a growing flood of books, articles, and teachings has advanced theories about the practice of mindfulness which are highly…

Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life
07-05-17

Samaññaphala Sutta: The Fruits of the Contemplative Life

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This discourse is one of the masterpieces of the Pali canon. At heart, it is a comprehensive portrait of the Buddhist path of training…

Sutta Nipāta: The Discourse Group
28-12-22
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Sutta Nipāta: The Discourse Group

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This is a translation of the entire collection of 72 suttas, which includes some of the longer and more famous poems in the Pāli Canon, such as the Discourse on…

Ten Perfections: A Study Guide
28-12-22
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Ten Perfections: A Study Guide

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

For people in the modern world facing the issue of how to practice the Dhamma in daily life, the ten perfections provide a useful framework for how to do it.

The Arrows of Thinking: Papañca & the Path to End Conflict
13-01-22

The Arrows of Thinking: Papañca & the Path to End Conflict

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

In a striking piece of poetry (Sn 4:15), the Buddha once described the sense of saṁvega — terror or dismay — that inspired him to look for an end to suffering.

The Buddha Smiles: Humor in the Pali Canon
28-12-22
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The Buddha Smiles: Humor in the Pali Canon

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

An analysis of the style and function of humor in the Pāli Canon along with translated passages from the Canon.

The Buddha’s Teachings: An Introduction
28-12-22
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The Buddha’s Teachings: An Introduction

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

A short introduction to the basic concepts and values underlying Buddhist practice, with special attention to clearing up common misinterpretations about what…

The Buddhist Monastic Code I & II
28-12-22
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The Buddhist Monastic Code I & II

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This two-volume set attempts to give an organized, detailed account of the Vinaya training rules and the traditions that have grown up around them.

The Question of Bhikkhuni Ordination
28-12-22
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The Question of Bhikkhuni Ordination

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

A complete collection of Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu’s writings since 2009 on the validity of recent attempts to reinstitute bhikkhunī (nun) ordination.

The Sublime Attitudes: A Study Guide on the Brahmaviharas
28-12-22
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The Sublime Attitudes: A Study Guide on the Brahmaviharas

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

The sublime attitudes (brahmaviharas) are the Buddha’s primary heart teachings—the ones that connect most directly with our desire for true happiness.

The Truth of Rebirth
28-12-22
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The Truth of Rebirth

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

A short treatise explaining that the Buddha did not teach the doctrine of rebirth because he was blindly following the cultural norms of his time. Instead…

The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon
28-12-22
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The Wings to Awakening: An Anthology from the Pali Canon

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

This anthology contains more than 200 new translations of passages from the Buddha's teachings, along with commentary to help the reader understand their…

Udāna: Exclamations
28-12-22
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Udāna: Exclamations

Thānissaro Bhikkhu

A complete translation of the book of the Udāna from the Khuddaka Nikāya collection of the Pāli Canon. The role of the Udāna within the context of the Pāli…