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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reciting ‘‘Buddho’’, Buddhism in Northeast Thailand

Well over a quarter of a century ago at Ajahn Chah's branch monasteries in England Buddho, for some reason, was not talked about and anapanasati is what was taught. Over the years I picked up a few techniques that have proven useful and have on occasion been relatively satisfied with the way things were. A couple deaths, a bit of this and that and the mind started to wander and since I had heard and read about the recitation of Buddho over the years I decided to give it a try. Here in Isaan it is probably the most employed start to meditation as Ajahn Mun encouraged all his followers to try Buddho and Luangta Maha Boowa certainly carried on that tradition, For me  it is a bit like vegetables or fresh fruit, I just sort of become aware that it is needed and I will start with Buddho and things seen to get in order.
One place I have found the recitation to be especially useful is when driving. Isaan is a place of dead boredom followed by moments of madness when driving the country roads and for me Buddho is a good way to stay centered.
It is just another tool I have found and thought to share with y'all.

The following is from the book "On Meditation" Instructions on meditation from talks by Ajahn Chah



Meditate reciting ‘‘Buddho’’, ‘‘Buddho’’(2) until it penetrates
deep into the heart of your consciousness (citta). The word
‘‘Buddho’’ represents the awareness and wisdom of the
Buddha. In practice, you must depend on this word more than
anything else. The awareness it brings will lead you to
understand the truth about your own mind. It’s a true refuge,
which means that there is both mindfulness and insight
present.
Wild animals can have awareness of a sort. They have
mindfulness as they stalk their prey and prepare to attack.
Even the predator needs firm mindfulness to keep hold of the
captured prey however defiantly it struggles to escape death.
That is one kind of mindfulness. For this reason you must be
able to distinguish between different kinds of mindfulness.
‘‘Buddho’’ is a way to apply the mind. When you consciously
apply the mind to an object, it wakes up. The awareness wakes
it up. Once this knowing has arisen through meditation, you
can see the mind clearly. As long as the mind remains without
the awareness of ‘‘Buddho’’, even if there is ordinary worldly
mindfulness present, it is as if unawakened and without
insight. It will not lead you to what is truly beneficial.
Mindfulness depends on the presence of ‘‘Buddho’’ – the knowing.
It must be a clear knowing, which leads to the mind becoming

(2 The word “Buddho” is often taught as a word to recite mentally in
combination with the breath, by meditation masters of the Thai forest
tradition. One recites the syllable “Bud” on the in-breath and “dho” on the
out-breath)

brighter and more radiant. The illuminating effect that this clear
knowing has on the mind is similar to the brightening of a light in a
darkened room. As long as the room is pitch black, any objects
placed inside remain difficult to distinguish or else completely
obscured from view because of the lack of light. But as you begin
intensifying the brightness of the light inside, it will penetrate
throughout the whole room, enabling you to see more clearly from
moment to moment, thus allowing you to know more and more the
details of any object inside there.