Ajahn Sumedho

The Way It Is

The Way It Is

This book contains a collection of teachings of Ajahn Sumedho given to people who are familiar with the conventions of Theravada Buddhism and have some experience of meditation. Most of the chapters are edited from talks given during retreats for lay people or for Ajahn Sumedho’s monastic (ordained) disciples, so they require some careful attention and are best read in sequence.


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About Ajahn Sumedho

Ajahn Sumedho (born Robert Karr Jackman, July 27, 1934) is one of the senior Western representatives of the Thai forest tradition of Theravada Buddhism. He was abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, UK, from its consecration in 1984 until his retirement in 2010.

A bhikkhu since 1967, Ajahn Sumedho is considered a seminal figure in the transmission of the Buddha's teachings to the West. Ajahn Sumedho is a prominent figure in the Thai Forest Tradition. His teachings are very direct, practical, simple, and down to earth. In his talks and sermons he stresses the quality of immediate intuitive awareness and the integration of this kind of awareness into daily life.

Like most teachers in the Forest Tradition, Ajahn Sumedho tends to avoid intellectual abstractions of the Buddhist teachings and focuses almost exclusively on their practical applications, that is, developing awareness and wisdom in daily life. His most consistent advice can be paraphrased as to see things the way that they actually are rather than the way that we want or don't want them to be ("Right now, it's like this…").

He is known for his engaging and witty communication style, in which he challenges his listeners to practice and see for themselves. Students have noted that he engages his hearers with an infectious sense of humor, suffused with much loving kindness, often weaving amusing anecdotes from his experiences as a monk into his talks on meditation practice and how to experience life ("Everything belongs").

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276

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