Thoughts & Experiences ❖ บันทึก ความคิดความรู้สึก
[Foreward By Santikaro Bhikkhu]
Ajarn Buddhadasa, when he died in 1993, left behind many notes. Some where in well organized notebooks concerning his Dhamma and scriptural researches. Others were loosely grouped according to the themes and issues that interested him over the years. Many filled up the pages of the diary planners commonly given as New Year’s gifts in Thailand. Most of these eventually turned up in his talks and writings; they amount to preliminary lecture notes. Some were on scraps of paper, envelopes, calendars, whatever was at hand.
They remind me of his advice that we take a pen on alms round so as to write down any useful reflections that occur. He did so, copying them from skin to paper once he got back to the Wat. This was a life long practice for him, Theravada Buddhism’s most prolific writer of the 20th century.
Here is a brief compilation that also leaves plenty of room for your own Dhamma reflections. Poonsiri Phanumphai, a Thai woman and novice translator living near St. Louis, Missouri, provided the initial translation. (She is already working on longer texts.) I completed the unfinished sections and edited the whole thing, going through it carefully, doing what I can to assure accuracy in conveying Ajarn Buddhadasa’s meaning and readability.
Please remember that the intended audience for most of these observations and comments were Thai. Generally, the implied context is that of Thailand. Nonetheless, most are relevant to other countries and cultures.
We have tried to mimic in print the format with which he wrote the notes. Some comments are rather cryptic. Others appear incomplete. Rather than put words in his mouth, we leave them as is for your own consideration. When it seems helpful. I have provided a few notes and parenthetical aids to understanding for non-Thais.
We hope that his words will inspire you to delve more deeply into your own Dhamma experiences. Remember — wise, systematic reflection is the inner counterpart to the “sound of others,” such as the Buddha’s teaching. Together, they give rise to right understanding, which leads the path of liberation from suffering.