The Bodhi Mirror Presents

Phra Achaan Cha

      "Simply stick to the present moment," says Phra Achaan Cha. Abbot of forest monasteries in the Lao area of northeast Thailand, he stresses simplicity in monastic living.

      "We drew water from wells to drink, wash, and cook with. We made and mended our clothing. We kept the paths swept," relates Bhikku Sumed-ho, an American disciple of Phra Achaan Cha who lived and studied at Wat Nong Ba Pong for almost 10 years. "We were taught that each person has his own natural pace in cultivation and that as long as we pursue that path with vigor, we need not worry about how long the way is or when we'll reach our destination." Patience, then is a major ingredient for the monks and nuns and the laypeople who study with Phra Achaan Cha. His following has grown so that at present there are more than thirty forest monasteries in the Lao area under his direction. Recently, Phra Achaan Cha established a branch monastery in West Sussex, England.


      Helping the cultivator find a balance in his mind so that he can progress down the path without becoming hindered by one-sided attachments is the guidance that Phra Achaan Cha
provides his students. His simple Dharma messages, based primarily on his own experiences in cultivation, stress the fact that one who practices the Way cannot be selfish, cannot cling, and must watch over his own mind. Meditation as a way of life is what residents of his monasteries have the opportunity to experience.

      A novice from early childhood on, Phra Achaan Cha was fully ordained at age 20. For many years thereafter he travelled the forests adhering to ascetic practices and visiting meditation teachers. 

      He emphasizes strict discipline and constant practice to bring one back to the pure mind ground.