Ajahn Lee

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Ajahn Lee (1907–1961), commonly known as Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo, was a meditation teacher in the Thai Forest Tradition.


  • To cut off concepts means to let our mental fabrications disband, to let our trains of thought disband. We sit in meditation, making the body and mind quiet. When the body is still, the mind stays with the stillness. When the heart is at peace, the mind stays with the peace. Concentration develops. The mind comes up to the forefront. Mental fabrications disappear, but the mind is still there. Goodness is still there. In nibbāna, nothing disappears anywhere or gets annihilated, except for unawareness.
    • Inner Strength (1956), as translated from the Thai by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
  • People aware of their own birth and death in this way are said not to be lacking. Not lacking in what? Not lacking in birth. They’re acquainted with the births they’ve experienced through many lives and states of being in the past—so many that they’re weary of it all, to the point where they don’t want to take birth again. As for people who don’t know, who don’t have this awareness, they feel that they’re lacking. They want to take birth again and so they keep on creating birth over and over again. As for those who do have awareness, they’ve had enough. They’re smart enough. They won’t give rise to any more births or states of being. Whatever is good, they keep within themselves, like putting a ripe mango seed in a showcase to look at, or peeling off its hard outer shell and then putting it in a storeroom. No one will be able to plant it again, and we can take it out for a look whenever we want.
    • Inner Strength (1956), as translated from the Thai by Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
  • Nothing can help us unless we rely on ourselves. Only when we realize this will we be on the right track. The Buddha attained all of the truths he taught before he put them into words. ... He was like the scientists who experiment and get results before writing textbooks. ... If we cling merely to the concepts of the Dhamma, simply memorizing them, we're no more than consumers. Only if we make ourselves into producers, so that others can consume, will we be acting properly.
    • Words of Ajaan Lee (2011)

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