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AJAHN MUNINDO

Question: What single thing most impressed you about Luang Por Chah with examples according to your experiences.

Answer: Somebody once asked Luang Por Chah, "How come out of all the monks in Thailand you stand out as different?" Luang Por replied, "I was willing to be daring. Others wouldn't dare do as I did". I didn't personally hear this exchange, it was reported to me but it had a profound effect on my own attitude to practice. It signalled where the priority lay. Luang Por Chah wasn't worried about being popular or famous or rich, or having lots of disciples. If he felt that something was right and should be done, he would do it. Sometimes that took daring. He had to dare to confront his fears and resistance. He had to dare to not be intimidated by the things that normally limited others.

During the time I was with him, the thing that continually inspired me was Luang Por's attitude towards other people. He was totally agile. My recollection of how he handled situations stays with me and serves as a valuable support in dealing with all that we have to face here in the West. I used to observe him and noticed how he was able to adjust to each and every situation without any resistance. He would just flow. Whether it was important dignitaries coming to visit to talk business, or a simple villager who was concerned about a sick water buffalo, or rich supports from Bangkok, he always had the same beautiful ability to 'go with it'. Sometimes he would be surrounded by a large gathering of monks hanging on his every word and at other time he might just be sitting on his own with one or two young monks chewing beetle nut and drinking coca cola. He was always able to adjust without any resistance. There were none of the tell-tale signs of clinging that produce stress in the individual and generate an artificial atmosphere.

This teaching-example identified for me how much resistance I still had and that this resistance was the source of the problems. Sometimes we think our difficulties are caused by external circumstances but usually the biggest cause is our inner habits of clinging. Luang Por didn't show signs of any resistance and to have had the good fortune to have witnessed that was a blessing indeed.


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