Ajahn Chah Quotes (123) Spiritual Sayings


About the Author: Chah Subhaddo alternatively Achaan Chah, occasionally with honorific titles Luang Por and Phra) or in honorific name "Phra Bodhiñāṇathera" Chao Khun Bodhinyana Thera; 17 June 1918 – 16 January 1992[3]) was an influential teacher of the Buddhadhamma and a founder of two major monasteries in the Thai Forest Tradition.. See website for more info - http://www.watnongpahpong.org/aboutajahnchah.php





“Do everything with a mind that lets go. Don’t accept praise or gain or anything else. If you let go a little you a 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. ”
Ajahn Chah


“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.”
Ajahn Chah


Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.
Ajahn Chah


“But when I know that the glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.”
Ajahn Chah


“The heart is the only book worth reading.”
Ajahn Chah


“If it isn't good, let it die. If it doesn't die, make it good.”
Ajahn Chah


“If you have time to be mindful, you have time to meditate.”
Ajahn Chah


“These days people don't search for the Truth. People study simply in order to find knowledge necessary to make a living, raise families and look after themselves, that's all. To them, being smart is more important than being wise!”
Ajahn Chah


“If we see everything as uncertain, then their I value fades away.”
Ajahn Chah


“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.”
Ajahn Chah, No Ajahn Chah: Reflections


“Mindfulness is life. Whenever we don’t have mindfulness, when we are heedless, it’s as if we are dead.”
Ajahn Chah, On Meditation


“We can see the mind as a lotus. Some lotuses are still stuck in the mud, some have climbed above the mud but are still underwater, some have reached the surface, while others are open in the sun, stain-free. Which lotus do you choose to be? If you find yourself below the surface, watch out for the bites of fishes and turtles.”
Ajahn Chah


“With mindfulness you can see the real owner of things. Do you think this is your world, your body? It is the world's world, the body's body. If you tell it, Don't get old, does the body listen? Does your stomach ask permission to get sick? We only rent this house; why not find out who really owns it?”
Ajahn Chah, A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah


“I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it incredibly.”
Ajahn Chah


“People go through life blindly, ignoring death like revellers at a party feasting on fine foods. They ignore that later they will have to go to the toilet, so they do not bother to find out where there is one. When nature finally calls, they have no idea where to go and are in a mess.”
Ajahn Chah


Anything which is troubling you, anything which is irritating you, THAT is your teacher.
Ajahn Chah


If you let go a little you will have a little happiness. If you let go a lot you will have a lot of happiness. If you let go completely you will be free.
Ajahn Chah


One day some people came to the master and asked: How can you be happy in a world of such impermanence, where you cannot protect your loved ones from harm, illness or death? The master held up a glass and said: Someone gave me this glass; It holds my water admirably and it glistens in the sunlight. I touch it and it rings! One day the wind may blow it off the shelf, or my elbow may knock it from the table. I know this glass is already broken, so I enjoy it - incredibly.
Ajahn Chah


People go through life blindly, ignoring death like revellers at a party feasting on fine foods. They ignore that later they will have to go to the toilet, so they do not bother to find out where there is one. When nature finally calls, they have no idea where to go and are in a mess.
Ajahn Chah


Things are simply the way they are. They don't give us suffering. Like a thorn: Does a sharp thorn give us suffering? No. It's simply a thorn. It doesn't give suffering to anybody. If
we step on it, we suffer immediately.
Why do we suffer? Because we
stepped on it. So the suffering comes from us.
Ajahn Chah


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.
Ajahn Chah


Happiness and suffering do not depend on being poor or rich, they depend on having the right or wrong understanding in our mind.
Ajahn Chah


Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.
Ajahn Chah


If you want a chicken to be a duck, and a duck to be a chicken, you will suffer.
Ajahn Chah


A woman wanted to know how to deal with anger. I asked when anger arose whose anger it was. She said it was hers. Well, if it really was her anger, then she should be able to tell it to go away, shouldnt she? But it really isn't hers to command. Holding on to anger as a personal possession will cause suffering. If anger really belonged to us, it would have to obey us. If it doesn't obey us, that means it's only a deception. Don't fall for it. Whenever the mind is happy or sad, don't fall for it. Its all a deception.
Ajahn Chah


One man watches a river flow by. If he does not wish it to flow, to change ceaselessly in accord with its nature, he will suffer great pain. Another man understands that nature of the river is to change constantly, regardless of his likes and dislikes, and therefore he does not suffer. To know existence as this flow, empty of lasting pleasure, void of self, is to find that which is stable and free of suffering, to find true peace in the world.
Ajahn Chah


To observe and watch one's own mind is something really interesting. The untrained mind will run and follow its old habit patterns. Because it has not been trained and taught, it will get lost in all kinds of stories and issues. Therefore we have to train our mind. The meditation practice in Buddhism is all about training one's own mind.
Ajahn Chah


Read yourself, not books. Truth isn't outside, that's only memory, not wisdom. Memory without wisdom is like an empty thermos bottle - if you don't fill it, it's useless.
Ajahn Chah


There are people who are born and die and never once are aware of their breath going in and out of their body. That's how far away they live from themselves
Ajahn Chah


Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. What you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.
Ajahn Chah


All religions are like different cars all moving in the same direction. People who don't see it have no light in their hearts.
Ajahn Chah


We practice to learn how to let go, not how to increase our holding on to things. Enlightenment appears when you stop wanting anything.
Ajahn Chah


There are two kinds of suffering. There is the suffering you run away from, which follows you everywhere. And there is the suffering you face directly, and so become free.
Ajahn Chah


The mind of one who practises doesn't run away anywhere, it stays right there. Good, evil, happiness and unhappiness, right and wrong arise, and he knows them all. The meditator simply knows them, they don't enter his mind. That is, he has no clinging. He is simply the experiencer.
Ajahn Chah


If your mind is happy then you are happy anywhere you go.
When wisdom awakens within you, you will see Truth wherever you look.
Truth is all there is.
It's like when you learned how to read, you can then read anywhere you go.
Ajahn Chah


Learn to see that it is not things that bother us, that we go out to bother them. See the world as a mirror. It is all a reflection of the mind. When you know this, you can grow in every moment, and every experience reveals truth and brings understanding.
Ajahn Chah


The forest is peaceful, why aren’t you? You hold on to things causing your confusion. Let nature teach you. Hear the bird’s song then let go. If you know nature, you’ll know truth. If you know truth, you’ll know nature.
Ajahn Chah


The ultimate truth is like the flavour of an apple which you can't see with the eye or hear with the ear. The only way to experience it is to put the teachings into practice. Once you taste it, you are no longer in any doubt about its flavour and you do not have to ask anyone else. The problem is solved.
Ajahn Chah


Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.
Ajahn Chah


Whenever we feel that we are definitely right, so much so that we refuse to open up to anything or anybody else, right there we are wrong. It becomes wrong view. When suffering arises, where does it arise from? The cause is wrong view, the fruit of that being suffering. If it was right view it wouldn't cause suffering.
Ajahn Chah


When we sit in meditation and hear a sound, we think, 'Oh, that sound's bothering me.' If we see it like this, we suffer. But if we investigate a little deeper, we see that the sound is simply sound. If we understand like this, then there's nothing more to it. We leave it be. The sound is just sound, why should you go and grab it? You see that actually it was you who went out and disturbed the sound.
Ajahn Chah


The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement.
Ajahn Chah


When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. And when we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy.
Ajahn Chah


Remember you dont meditate to get anything, but to get rid of things. We do it, not with desire, but with letting go. If you want anything, you wont find it.
Ajahn Chah


Letting go a little brings a little peace. Letting go a lot brings a lot of peace. Letting go completely brings complete peace.
Ajahn Chah


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.
Ajahn Chah


We have limited time in our life, therefore we should try to teach ourselves, not to teach others. We should conquer ourselves, rather than conquer others. Whether coming or going, standing, sitting or lying down, our mind should be focused in this way. If we practise like this and develop mindfulness continuously, wisdom arises quickly and this is a fast way of practice.
Ajahn Chah


Regarding this Dhamma, it is not something that we can simply talk about or take another's word for it. We need to develop meditation so that the understanding arises clearly within oneself. It is not the case that merely by listening to another's explanation our defilements will disappear. When we gain some understanding we need to chew on it again so that we see it for ourselves with certainty: paccattam.
Ajahn Chah


You should think about your own death 3 times per day at the very least.
Ajahn Chah


To define Buddhism without a lot of words and phrases, we can simply say, 'Don't cling or hold on to anything. Harmonize with actuality, with things as they are.'
Ajahn Chah


I am like a tree in a forest. Birds come to the tree, they sit on its branches and eat its fruits. To the birds, the fruit may be sweet or sour or whatever. The birds say sweet or they say sour, but from the tree's point of view, this is just the chattering of birds.
Ajahn Chah


In practice, some come to see easily, some with difficulty. But whatever the case, never mind. Difficult or easy, the Buddha said not to be heedless. Just that--don't be heedless. Why? Because life is not certain. Wherever we start to think that things are certain, uncertainty is lurking right there. Heedlessness is just holding things as certain. It is grasping at certainty where there is no certainty and looking for truth in things that are not true. Be careful! They are likely to bite you sometime in the future!
Ajahn Chah


Dharma is in your mind, not in the forest. Don't believe others, just listen to your mind. You don't have to go anywhere else. Wisdom is in yourself, just like a sweet ripe mango is already in a young green one.
Ajahn Chah


A good practice is to ask yourself very sincerely, 'Why was I born?' Ask yourself this question in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night…every day.
Ajahn Chah


If you want to understand suffering you must look into the situation at hand. The teachings say that wherever a problem arises it must be settled right there. Where suffering lies is right where non-suffering will arise, it ceases at the place where it arises. If suffering arises you must contemplate right there, you don't have to run away. You should settle the issue right there. One who runs away from suffering out of fear is the most foolish person of all. He will simply increases his stupidity endlessly.
Ajahn Chah


Do not be in a hurry or try to push your practice. If you become peaceful, then accept it,; if you don’t become peaceful, then accept that also. This is the nature of the mind. We must find our own practice and persevere.
Ajahn Chah


Some people are afraid of generosity. They feel they will be taken advantage of or oppressed. In cultivating generosity, we are only oppressing our greed and attachment. This allows our true nature to come out and become lighter and freer.
Ajahn Chah


If we see suffering then we don't have suffering.
Ajahn Chah


You say that you are too busy to meditate. Do you have time to breathe? Meditation is your breath. Why do you have time to breathe but not to meditate? Breathing is something vital to peoples lives. If you see that Dhamma practice is vital to your life, then you will feel that breathing and practising the Dhamma are equally important.
Ajahn Chah


When sitting in meditation, say, "That's not my business!" with every thought that comes by.
Ajahn Chah


If you see certainty in that which is uncertain, you are bound to suffer
Ajahn Chah


Where does peace arise? Peace arises whenever we let something go.
Ajahn Chah


Mental activity is like a deadly poisonous cobra. If we don't interfere with a cobra, how poisonous it may be, it simply goes its own away.
Ajahn Chah


When the heart truly understands, it lets go of everything.
Ajahn Chah


Of course there are dozens of meditation techniques, but it all comes down to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. Why not give it a try?
Ajahn Chah


Wisdom is in yourself, just like a sweet ripe mango is already in a young green one.
Ajahn Chah


The heart is just the heart; thoughts and feelings are just thoughts and feelings. Let things be just as they are.
Ajahn Chah


When one does not understand death, life can be very confusing.
Ajahn Chah


The Dhamma is revealing itself in every moment, but only when the mind is quiet can we understand what it is saying, for the Dhamma teaches without words.
Ajahn Chah


Only one book is worth reading: the heart.
Ajahn Chah


Look at your own mind. The one who carries things thinks he's got things, but the one who looks on sees only the heaviness. Throw away things, lose them, and find lightness.
Ajahn Chah


We say that to 'give up all evil and to develop the good' is the heart of the Buddha's teaching. If we only make merit but have not stopped doing bad things, then we will never have a day of completion. It is like an overturned bowl which is left outside in the rain. Even if the water is falling right on it, it only touches the outside and not the inside. In this way the bowl will never get full.
Ajahn Chah


The Dhamma has to sink deeply into the mind so that whatever we do, the mind has always goodness within it. All the ways of making merit are aiming at this. Goodness lies in the right view that is established in the mind. Then we don't have to celebrate it or let anybody know about it, simply let the mind have firm confidence in the goodness and keep going like this.
Ajahn Chah


Mindfulness is life. Whenever we don’t have mindfulness, when we are heedless, it’s as if we are dead.
Ajahn Chah


Once you understand non-self, then the burden of life is gone. You'll be at peace with the world. When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness and we can truly be happy. Learn to let go without struggle, simply let go, to be just as you are - no holding on, no attachment, free.
Ajahn Chah


If it shouldn't happen, it wouldn't happen.
Ajahn Chah


Why are we born? We are born so that we will not have to be born again.
Ajahn Chah


To give up doing evil is more important than making merit.
Ajahn Chah


Just know what is happening in your mind - not happy or sad about it, not attached. If you suffer see it, know it, and be empty. It's like a letter - you have to open it before you can know what's in it.
Ajahn Chah


Practicing meditation is just like breathing. While working we breathe, while sleeping we breathe, while sitting down we breathe... Why do we have time to breathe? Because we see the importance of the breath, we can always find time to breathe. In the same way, if we see the importance of meditation practice we will find the time to practice.
Ajahn Chah


Where does rain come from? It comes from all the dirty water that evaporates from the earth, like urine and the water you throw out after washing your feet. Isn't it wonderful how the sky can take that dirty water and change it into pure, clean water? Your mind can do the same with your defilements if you let it.
Ajahn Chah


If you haven't wept deeply, you haven't begun to meditate.
Ajahn Chah


We don't meditate to see heaven, but to end suffering.
Ajahn Chah


Know and watch your heart. It's pure but emotions come to colour it. So let your mind be like a tightly woven net to catch emotions and feelings that come, and investigate them before you react.
Ajahn Chah


If you let go completely you will have complete peace.
Ajahn Chah


These days people don't search for the Truth. People study simply in order to find knowledge necessary to make a living, raise families and look after themselves, that's all. To them, being smart is more important than being wise!
Ajahn Chah


When we conquer ourselves, then everything will be conquered: oneself, others, and all the sense objects as well, coming in by way of the eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body -- it will all get conquered like this.
Ajahn Chah


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.
Ajahn Chah


If we want to really see the Buddha, we should observe his virtuous qualities. Whatever he taught, we should practise it. Only bowing to him is not enough. We need to renounce, give up, stop, so that we may see the Buddha.
Ajahn Chah


The one who recognizes the uncertainty of phenomena is the Dharma within you.
Ajahn Chah


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.
Ajahn Chah


If you listen to the Dhamma teachings but don't practice you're like a ladle in a soup pot. The ladle is in the soup pot every day, but it doesn't know the taste of the soup. You must reflect and meditate.
Ajahn Chah


Time is our present breath.
Ajahn Chah


A madman and an arahant both smile, but the arahant knows why while the madman doesn't.
Ajahn Chah


Don’t be attached to visions or lights in meditation, don’t rise or fall with them. What’s so great about brightness? My flashlight has it. It can’t help us rid ourselves of our suffering.
Ajahn Chah


Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment, the effort to overcome laziness and merit, the effort to make each activity of our day meditation.
Ajahn Chah


With even a little intuitive wisdom we will be able to see clearly the ways of the world. We will come to understand that everything in the world is our teacher.
Ajahn Chah


All that I have said up to now has merely been words.
When people come to see me, I have to say something.
But it is best not to speak about these matters too much.
Better to begin practice without delay.
I am like a good friend inviting you to go somewhere.
Do not hesitate, just get going. You won't regret it.
Ajahn Chah


Know and watch your heart. It's pure but emotions come to colour it.
Ajahn Chah


We protect virtue so that virtue will protect us.
Ajahn Chah


At some point your heart will tell itself what to do.
Ajahn Chah


To practice Dhamma means to observe and examine oneself.
Ajahn Chah


You should know both the universal and the personal, the realm of forms and the freedom to not cling to them. The forms of the world have their place, but in another way, there is nothing there. To be free, we need to respect both of these truths.
Ajahn Chah


Do not be a bodhisattva, do not be an arahant, do not be anything at all. If you are a bodhisattva, you will suffer, if you are an arahant, you will suffer, if you are anything at all, you will suffer.
Ajahn Chah


If you are still following your likes and dislikes, you have not even begun to practise Dhamma.
Ajahn Chah


The mind is intrinsically tranquil. Out of this tranquility, anxiety and confusion are born. If one sees and knows this confusion, then the mind is tranquil once more.
Ajahn Chah


Meditation is like a single log of wood. Insight and investigation are one end of the log; calm and concentration are the other end. If you lift up the whole log, both sides come up at once. Which is concentration and which is insight? Just this mind.
Ajahn Chah


If you haven't cried deeply a number of times, your meditation hasn't really begun.
Ajahn Chah


The Dharma Path is to keep walking forward. But the true Dharma has no going forward, no going backward, and no standing still.
Ajahn Chah 


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Ajahn Chah Quotes - (123) - Awakening Spiritual Quotations
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