Monday, June 30, 2008

Students of the famous meditation master...Ajaan Mun

While I was in Nongkhai, the Director of a primary school gave me this very old photograph of ten Thai monks.... There is no date anywhere on the photo, but a good guess would have it to be at least 50 to 60 years old.

The photo is of ten young Thai monks, who studied under the famous meditation master, Ajahn Mun. Ajahn Mun became a monk in the late 1800 and was known for his strict and solitary meditation practice. He died in the 1949.

Luang Ta Maha Boowa, the monk in the far right of this close up section of the larger photo, was a student of Ajahn Mun. Luang Ta Maha Boowa is still alive and has a large temple called Wat Pa Bahm Tahd in Udon Thani Province in NE Thailand. Two years ago, I was able to visit Luang Ta Maha Boowa's temple, where on the day of my visit, he spoke to a crowd of several thousand people.

Ajahn Tate, seated on the far left side of this photo, was also a student of Ajahn Mun. Wat Hin Maak Peng, on the banks of the Mekong River in Nongkhai Province is perhaps the most famous temple established by the late, Ajahan Tate. I was fortunate to be able to stay and meditate at Wat Hin Maak Peng for a week, two years ago when I visited Thailand. Following in the Forest Monk tradition, these monks eat only one meal a day, spending the remainder of their time in solitude and meditation.

Ajahn Mun became famous throughout Thailand, Lao and the then Burma for his meditation practice. Many students came to study under Ajahn Mun and learn from him. Other than Luang Ta Maha Boowa and Ajahn Tate, I have not been able to find someone here in Thailand who can identify the remaining eight students in this photo. However, I will continue my research.....

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