Questions from the City, Answers from the Forest: Simple Lessons You Can Use from a Western Buddhist Monk

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Quest Books, Jun 1, 1999 - Religion - 183 pages
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"Sincere inquiry always sparks our movement towards truth. Deep questions signal the manifestation of the very energy through which we outgrow ourselves." -- from the Introduction.

Born in Chicago, a law school graduate and real estate professional, Ajahn Sumano abandoned his comfortable American lifestyle for the begging bowl and simple cave home of an ordained Buddhist monk in the tradition of the Thai forest meditation masters. In 1994-95, he conducted a series of question and answer evenings at a guest house in Thailand's Kowyai National Park with English-speaking tourists eager to meet a Western Buddhist monk. The heartfelt questions of these "city" people and the clear and penetrating answers Sumano gave from his "forest" perspective form the basis of this remarkable book. Written on a battered, battery-powered laptop in his meditation cave, Sumano's enchanting personal story and his refreshingly down-to-earth blend of American sensibility and Eastern practice will fascinate newcomers to Buddhist ideas as well as experienced practitioners.

 

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Questions from the city, answers from the forest: simple lessons you can use from a Western Buddhist monk

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Sumano, born Jeffrey Phillips, addresses an immense range of questions derived from conversations held over many years on subjects including monasticism, sexuality, the self, and memory. Sumano's ... Read full review

Contents

QUESTIONS FROM THE CITY
12
Managing the Mind
83
BRINGING THE FOREST HOME
124
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About the author (1999)

Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu was part of the original group of monks and yogis to visit England in the mid-70's. He was the first Westerner to be ordained in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. During the seven years he lived and trained in England, he worked to restore the old Victorian estate that has become the Dharma lotus of Theravada Buddhism. From this auspicious beginning more than ten centers in Europe have been established and are flourishing. As a lay individual, Ajahn Sumano Bhikkhu was one of the original benefactors in the purchase and development of Cittavivekn, a cave in northeast Thailand. Since 1998 he has traveled throughout the world leading retreats and spreading his dream of establishing a Spiritual Park outside of Bangkok which would bring together all the world's religions in the spirit of Unity and Peace. This center would teach skillful ways to live in the world and to accept and respect all Beings as brothers and sisters. He has written many books on contemplative practice in the forest tradition. Those available in the U.S. are Questions from the City, Answers from the Forest, and Meeting the Monkey Halfway.

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