Ajahn Mun

A Heart Released

A Heart Released

uch has been written about the life of Phra Ajahn Mun Bhūridatta Thera (1870-1949), the founder of the Thai Forest Tradition, but very little was recorded of his teachings during his lifetime. (Most of his teachings he left in the form of people: the students whose lives were profoundly shaped by the experience of living and practicing meditation under his guidance.) The first piece translated here, A Heart Released (Muttodaya), is a record of passages from his sermons, made during the years 1944-45 by two monks who were staying under his guidance. The second, The Ever-present Truth, is drawn from notes of Ajahn Mun’s sermons taken by two of his students during the last two years of his life, covering a wide range of topics, including some standard accounts of the Buddha’s life. And the third, the poem The Ballad of Liberation from the Khandhas, was found after his death among the few papers he left behind.


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About Ajahn Mun

Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta (1870–1949) was a Thai bhikkhu from Isan region who is credited, along with his mentor, Ajahn Sao Kantasīlo, with establishing the Thai Forest Tradition or "Kammaṭṭhāna tradition" that subsequently spread throughout Thailand and to several countries abroad.

Ordained as a monk in 1893, he spent the remainder of his life wandering through Thailand, Burma, and Laos, dwelling for the most part in the forest, engaged in the practice of meditation. Ajahn Mun's mode of practice was solitary and strict. He followed the vinaya (monastic discipline) faithfully, and also observed many of what are known as the 13 classic dhutanga (ascetic) practices, such as living off alms food, wearing robes made of cast-off rags, dwelling in the forest and eating only one meal a day.

Searching out secluded places in the wilds of Thailand and Laos, he avoided the responsibilities of settled monastic life and spent long hours of the day and night in meditation. In spite of his reclusive nature, he attracted a large following of students willing to put up with the hardships of forest life in order to study with him.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276

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