One of the most impactful traditions of Buddhism in the modern world is one that isn’t very good at publicity – but is very dedicated to practice. Despite it’s strict adherence to the principles of monastic discipline and the principles of Buddhist ethics, like for instance never selling the teachings, it has gained a huge grass roots following in many Western countries where people are drawn to its plain, simple honesty and dedication to the original principles of set out by the Buddha. I’m referring to the Thai Forest Tradition, and to help us understand the origins and practices of the Thai Forest Tradition I have as our guest, Steven Towler, who, at the age of 19 left his home in the UK to travel to Thailand to ordain as a bhikkhu in 1972. This was a time in which the Thai Forest Tradition was in full bloom, and the first Westerners were travelling to Thailand to practice and even ordain. Steven ordained at Wat Bovornives with Phra Khantipalo, and we on to have many great teachers, including the renowned meditation master Ajahn Thate. He’s still dedicated to the Thai Forest Tradition and practicing to this day, and he has translated several Dhamma books from Thai to English for the benefit of the community. He’s kindly joined us on the Treasure Mountain Podcast to offer his knowledge and insights into this tradition that continues to grow in popularity to this day.
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