The Way It Is

By: Ajahn Sumedho

Ajahn Sumedho, a key teacher of Jack Kornfield and other key mindfulness teachers, is a prominent figure in the Buddhist Thai Forest Tradition. As the first western monk under Ajahn Chah, his teachings are very direct, practical, simple, and down to earth. In his talks and guided meditations, he stresses the quality of immediate intuitive awareness and the integration of this kind of awareness into daily life.

He tends to avoid intellectual abstractions of the Buddhist teachings and focuses almost exclusively on their practical applications, that is, developing wisdom and compassion in daily life. His most consistent advice can be paraphrased as to see things the way that they actually are rather than the way that we want or don’t want them to be (“Right now, it’s like this…”).

He is known for his engaging and witty communication style, in which he challenges his listeners to practice and see for themselves. Students have noted that he engages his hearers with an infectious sense of humor, suffused with much loving kindness, often weaving amusing anecdotes from his experiences as a monk into his talks on meditation practice and how to experience life.

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