@DSR8, Sorry to hear you lost faith with Thai Forest Tradition. My experience with them is very different.
When I read this thread I realized you all have grasped only the surface of their teachings. Otherwise you would not have this discussion here isn’t it?
Someone here mention Arahath are not smiling ? I wonder what planet they are living to have that kind of strange view. They are human beings too.
As you all know, method and techniques of Thai Forest Tradition has been tested and proven over and over and they all got the same results from Ajahn Mun to present day Ajahns like Ajahn Dtun. Although method is simple and straightforward not easy to follow through. Some one has to have consistent effort until the end. Of course someone have to have some kind of spiritual parami to meet with them and understand what they teach, and put it in to practice without any doubts.
Remember the the story of Lord Buddha, just after awakening on the way he met one Brahmin. When Brahmin asked Lord Buddha who was his teacher. Buddha replied that he awoken by him self and He is the Buddha ( Can’t remember the exact text but it goes along these lines ). Then the Brahmin shook his head and left. So he lost the golden opportunity. In the past these things happened just like present day not much difference.
Yes, Lord Buddha taught many methods to many individuals. Almost all got results. He had the capacity to do so. Hence we got all his teachings. Why Thai Ajahn says all those teaching not working these days. Answer is pretty simple. Why didn’t we born at Buddha’s time and meet with him ? Got the teachings and got the the job done? Because our spiritual parami was not sufficient at that time. So we are here now talking about the past glory. And try to match that. This is the point they emphasize heavily on body, death, asuba contemplations to lessen our attachments to the body first. Because we are really screwed up with this as a result of our huge amount of Kilesa. This is the best method suitable for present day.
Someone here mentioned that Thai masters have not read tipitaka? Well, in Buddha’s time numerous monks and nuns attained arahathship without seen any Thripitaka?Or single pitaka ? Don’t they ?
They studied their body and mind that worked for them in the past then why that shouldn’t work at present as Thai Ajahn says. In Ajahn Dutn’s case, he knew how to practice up to certain level even without a teacher because of his past lives practises.
In my opinion, by reading whole lot you don’t get anywhere because you know all the teachings but don’t know which one suit to your temperament and then don’t know how to apply it
There was a Sri Lankan who compiled a book. Because Thai Ajahn’s don’t talk about suttas. He investigated this and found out their teachings are closely connected to Buddha’s scriptures. You can read by yourself.
You can get it here…
You have to understand the differences between intelligence and the wisdom. Yes people are very intelligent these days but we have no WISDOM compared to our old counterparts. Old days they had very simple minds so easy to work on these natural states of mind. Usually I heard Thai Ajans pointing out these days intelligence is intelligence of Kilesa. This WISDOM is not, understanding the literal meaning of Anichcha Dukka Anatta as you discussed here. The real WIDOM is really seen and experience through your MIND. What they say is, without a real practice you can’t possibly experience it. Just like a simple Sri Lankan village folk talking about how snow falling and the experience in mount Himalayas?? Can you imagine how that thing compare to the realiy?
The problem with us these days we get mixed up with magga and phala. Simple way to say this, imagine we have to walk from Colombo to Kandy. Instead of walking to Kelaniya Bridge, First we sit down and start talking about Kadugannawa and Kandy without giving any interest to Kelaniya bridge and peliyagoda which is our immediate towns. In the end path become too difficult, confused and giving up.
As for the attainment of Thai Ajahns, yes as for my knowledge two of them declare in the public. They even gave real details on how they travel on this path.
If you are interested check these out.
1. Ajahn Mahaboowa
Magga, Phala, and Nibbana
Autobiography of Ajahn Dtun
As for the rest of the Ajahns, if you can tap in to Thai Forest monks inside circle not hard to get information. I heard In Ajahn Dtun’s case recently Luangpor Tui requested him to write his Biography to include in a museum of great Thai Ajahns who lived there since the time of Ajahn Mun. Luangpor Tui was given this responsibility by the current Sangharaja in Thailand. In cases, any of you happen to be in Thailand, worth going there and have a look. It is call Wat Amaro near chonburi and there are about more than 30 great monks with their photos and biographies.
Not sure you notice this, there are many claimed to be Arahants here in Sri Lanka including Ven. Waharaka and Ven. Samanthabadra. But among them and their disciples they disparage each other even some chased away from Nikaya or Sangha. Contrary to this Thai Forest monks they recognize each other’s achievements and whole Thai Sangha unanimously have their high regards for these monks. Don’t you think this is strange here in Sri Lanka.
As for the support for Thai Sangha, don’t worry they only need simple requisites such as food, lodging, clothing, medicine. They are pretty much look after by Thai communities in Thailand and around the world. Since I see how respectful and generous Thais are we can’t even match them. Point is you support them or not doesn’t impact them but only you.
Remember that story of King Pasenadi, He asked Buddha where he should give his gifts? Buddha said “you can give where your faith is” Then he asked Buddha where can he get more merits for his gifts then Buddha said ” That is a different question to get higher merits you have to give to Brahmins who are pure.” So you get what you asked for. Decision is yours. Don’t worry too much of giving but put more efforts to correct your views first.
Someone here also mentions Thai Ajans say when you get JANA that is it you know by your self. Sorry I never heard this, in fact they never give that important to JANA either. They say if you have them use them. If not make your mind peaceful as much you can then investigate. They really emphasize on Sathi, Pannya then Samadhi and contemplation. Even I heard they say the real vipassana is things seen as they are through your mind when Swabawa dhamma manifest.
Check these out..
Is Samadhi same as JHANA practice
About kanika and upachara Samadhi
Differences between mundane understanding and realisation
Differences between Magga and Phala
Lastly don’t forget Buddha’s advice on how to know who is teaching you the real path. Read the Kalama Sutta. When you practice that teaching or method, if you know for your self your attachments lessen and if you know your self greed, anger, delusion getting reduce then follow that path. If this work for you and when you look back you will see you were on the path of Sila Samadhi Pannya.
Good luck DSR8, hope I didn’t confuse you more.