Ajahn Sumedho

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Man spends his life in reasoning on the past, in complaining of the present, in fearing future.
Antoine Rivarol
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Ajahn Sumedho (Robert Jackman) (born in 1934) is a seminal figure in the Thai Forest Tradition and Western Theravada Buddhism. The word "Ajahn" is not a proper name, but a title which means "Teacher" in Thai.


  • Whatever you think you are, that's not what you are.
  • The mind of an enlightened human being is flexible; the mind of an ignorant person is fixed.
  • When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing.
  • The Dhamma has to be found by looking into your own heart and seeing that which is true and that which is not, that which is balanced and that which is not balanced.
  • Only one book is worth reading: the heart.
  • Don’t think that only sitting with the eyes closed is practice. If you do think this way, then quickly change your thinking. Steady practice is keeping mindful in every posture, whether sitting, walking, standing or lying down. When coming out of sitting, don’t think that you’re coming out of meditation, but that you are only changing postures. If you reflect in this way, you will have peace. Wherever you are, you will have this attitude of practice with you constantly. You will have a steady awareness within yourself.
  • When sitting in meditation, say, “That’s not my business!” with every thought that comes by.
  • The heart of the path is quite easy. There’s no need to explain anything at length. Let go of love and hate and let things be. That’s all that I do in my own practice.
  • We practice to learn how to let go, not how to increase our holding on to things. Enlightenment appears when you stop wanting anything.
  • If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace. If you let go completely, you will have complete peace.
  • You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.
  • Try to be mindful and let things take their natural course. Then your mind will become still in any surroundings, like a clear forest pool. All kinds of wonderful, rare animals will come to drink at the pool, and you will clearly see the nature of all things. You will see many strange and wonderful things come and go, but you will be still. This is the happiness of the Buddha.
  • Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a moustache:you won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you

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