Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) (1949 – ) is an American Buddhist monk of the Thai forest kammathana tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he traveled to Thailand, where he studied meditation under Ajaan Fuang Jotiko, himself a student of the late Ajaan Lee. He ordained in 1976 and lived at Wat Dhammasathit, where he remained following his teacher’s death in 1986. In 1991 he traveled to the hills of San Diego County, USA, where he helped Ajaan Suwat Suwaco establish Wat Mettavanaram (Metta Forest Monastery). He was made abbot of the monastery in 1993. His long list of publications includes translations from Thai of Ajaan Lee’s meditation manuals; Handful of Leaves, a four-volume anthology of sutta translations; The Buddhist Monastic Code, a two-volume reference handbook for monks; Wings to Awakening; and (as co-author) the college-level textbook Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction.
Thanissaro Bhikkhu Quotes
- Another example of an analogy drawn from modern science is the term “holographic,” which I have used to describe some formulations of the Buddhist path. When a hologram is made of an object, an image of the entire object — albeit fairly fuzzy — can be made from even small fragments of the hologram. In the same way, some formulations of the path contain a rough version of the entire path complete in each individual step. In my search for an adjective to describe such formulations, “holographic” seemed the best choice.
- Because the Buddha saw how these enlightened qualities of wisdom, compassion, and purity could be developed through the pursuit of happiness, he never told his followers to practice his teachings without expecting any gain in return. He understood that such a demand would create an unhealthy dynamic in the mind. In terms of Western psychology, expecting no gain in return would give license for the super‐ego to run amok. Instead, the Buddha taught that even the principle of renunciation is a trade. You exchange candy for gold, trading lesser pleasures for greater happiness. So he encouraged people to be generous with their time and belongings because of the inner rewards they would receive in return.
- Show your thoughts who’s boss.
- All cultures are tied up in the limited, conditioned side of things, while the Buddha’s Awakening points beyond all cultures. It offers the challenge of the Deathless that his contemporaries found liberating and that we, if we are willing to accept the challenge, may find liberating ourselves.
- In our culture… people who don’t submit to their lust are said to be repressed and have all kinds of warped beasts in the basement. So the part of the mind that thrives when it’s freed from lust doesn’t get a chance. It gets pushed into the corner of the basement. It becomes the repressed part.