The Thai Forest Tradition is a tradition of Buddhist monasticism within Thai Theravada Buddhism. Practitioners inhabit remote wilderness and forest dwellings as spiritual practice training grounds. The Thai Forest Tradition originated in Thailand, primarily among the Lao-speaking community in Isan.
Adherents model their practice and lifestyle on those of the Buddha and his early disciples. They are referred to as ‘forest monks’ because they keep alive the practices of the historical Buddha, who frequently dwelt in forests, both during his spiritual quest and afterwards.
Meditation is a central component in the Thai forest tradition.
Before monasteries were built, the Buddha sent his disciples into the forest to live. After monasteries were built, the Buddha sent his disciples into the forest to practice.
Simple living and contentment by those who practice the Buddha’s teaching.
Living in contentment does not mean the elimination of desire of knowledge and truth, but to live in harmony with all beings and with nature. On that basis, those who understand the Buddha’s teaching will live in harmony with nature, without harming the environment.
They will see, what should be protected for future use by the next generations and other beings.
For thousand years, the Buddhist forest monasteries have manifested a harmonious living with nature, being established in the mountains, in the forests. Tranquil life in the forest helped Buddhist practitioners to improved their inner mind, and at the same time, they also worked for the protection of animals living in the area. With loving and tolerant heart, the Buddhists live with natural vegetation, wild animals in the forest in harmony and for mutual survival.
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