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A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah

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4.40  ·  Rating details ·  290 ratings  ·  26 reviews
Buddhist master Achaan Chah spent years meditating in a forest monastery of Thailand. This remarkable book reflects his simple and powerful message as well as the quiet, joyful Buddhist practice of dhudanga, or "everyday mindfulness," with profound insights for the West.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 2004 by Quest Books (first published January 1st 1985)
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4.40  · 
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 ·  290 ratings  ·  26 reviews


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Steve Woods
Jul 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic book, written by a simple man with no pretences and great spiritual understanding of both the human condition and the path of Buddhist practice. This little book is really important to me, I use it often when I get wound up in my shit to find the true essence of what it's all about. It always allows me to le go of taking myself too seriously.
Phillip Moffitt
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Ajahn Chah was one of the great insight meditation teachers of the last century. This book is a collection of short teachings that reflect his emphasis on being mindful in daily life as the way to attain liberation. He describes the essence of vipassana, concentration practice, walking meditation practice, and much more. His teachings are like nuggets that you can quickly consume and then chew on for days.
Gregg Bell
Apr 20, 2015 rated it liked it
There are good things in just about every book like this. There are good things in this book.

But it's not really much of a book. Just a grouping of Achaan Chah's insights on life (okay, a slight pun) via insight meditation.

What can one say? Is it worth reading?

Answer: for nuggets.

You decide:

Nugget #1) To try to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it. Investigate suffering, see its causes, and put an end to them right now, rather than merely dealing with their effects.

Nugget #2)
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Manesha
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Still Forest Pool is an incredibly inspiring book. The simplicity of the monk's words resonated with me everytime I read one of his entries. I would have to say that this book is not meant to be read in one sitting, it is more enjoyable if you read one journal entry every few days.

the message itself is very clear..live mindfully. But understanding what that word means to monks living in a forest is simple. My favourite section was the last one where he has a question answer section.

I highly
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Harry
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
There is a Buddhist temple in the village where I live and the monks very kindly invited the villagers to a meal a few months ago. On leaving we were all presented with this book as a gift. It's a treatise on meditation and the path to mindfulness. It's easily read and contains some really good advise without preaching too much. Because it is split into so many small chapters it is a book that can be dipped into over and over again.
Taka
Mar 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019, buddhism
Simple and refreshing--

I came across Ajahn Chah's teaching indirectly through a co-meditator at my last 10-day Goenka retreat. "Shut up, do nothing, and observe," he said to me on the last day and that particular mindset was exactly right for me at that moment as one of the big takeaways of the retreat was that I'd been trying too hard. "Do nothing"—yes, if I could meditate by doing nothing, what more could I want? And so I immediately bought this book and it was as refreshing as a still forest
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Kanwarpal Singh
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Still forest pool

This is a fantastic book soulful book, written by a simple man with no pretences and great spiritual understanding of both the human condition and the path of Buddhist practice, the message is given by author and the person talked about is calm and very clear.. to live mindfully , this book is easily read and contains some best advices
without preaching too much.
Ajahn chah, was one of the great insight meditation teacher of the last century. This book is a collection of short
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Cyberpayanee
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
A small book of huge help for understanding meditation. Simple words convey profound and practical points. A must read for those interested in spirituality. The editing could have been better. It is not clear whether Acchan Cha is saying or it is a paraphrase of editors. But this doesnt diminish the value.

Melanie
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book. The teachings are simple, yet uncompromising. The emphasis is very much on practise rather than theory and the book is full of useful stories and metaphors designed to guide the reader to reaach the inner peace of non-attachment
Phil Calandra
Jun 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The central theme of "A Still Forest Pool The Insight Meditation of A Chaan Chah" is that attachment is the cause to all human suffering and that the understanding of the impermanent nature of life. The book is divided into a number of discussions on Buddhist teachings of non-attachment and the importance of being mindful in everyday life as the way to "liberation". I would highly recommend this book.
Colten Blair
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: again
“Our suffering has causes for its arising and a place to abide. Let us understand this process. When the heart is still, it is in its normal condition; when the mind moves, thought is constructed. Happiness and sorrow are part of this movement of mind, this thought construction. So also is restlessness, the desire to go here and there. If you do not understand such movement, you will chase after thought constructions and be at their mercy.”
Benjamin Barnes
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful Dharmic Stories and a Wonderfully witty book
James
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Excellent insight from a fantastic teacher. This is not an introduction to Buddhism but rather a collection of talks to inspire and instill wisdom. I am sure to read this again multiple times.
Carol
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent but one never really can finish this book as it stays and starts and the ease of reading brings me back time and again with new insights each time.
Andrew Konitzer
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, I enjoyed the format.
Frank
This little book is a classic for a reason. Short chapters packed with wisdom and advice. A book that will live on my nightstand for a long time.
Aneesh
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: meditation
This isn't a book to be read cover-to-cover, though that's what I did.

Most parts are excellent. I was inspired by the emphasis on practice. The focus, however, is monastic, and it takes some imagination to translate the lessons to lay life.

This is fundamentally a book for practitioners, and I expect that a re-reading after a few more months of practising will yield a new set of insights. It is *not*, however, a meditation manual. (I do not think it is that easily possible to learn how to meditat
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Zuberi zuberi
This is on the top list of my favorite spiritual book.Here is simple wisdom I got from Ven. Achaan Chah;
'The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.'
Sandy
Mar 12, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost a year in the reading and I glad I took the time to digest his words. Toni Bernhard quoted this book in her book, How to be Sick, and both of these authors helped me be at peace while I journeyed through the last year with cancer treatment. Now I rely on these ancient Buddhist teachings to return my mind to the way of nonattachment and compassion. Thank-you Achan Chah, your words are a steady reference for a wandering mind.
Lindsay
Dec 12, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is a series of parables that illustrate Buddhist teachings. A reader should use it to meditate on each parable to identify and absorb the lesson it has to teach. It is NOT a textbook or an introduction to Buddhism. Many of the stories I couldn't easily identify with as they are based on the culture of the monastery.
dihuta
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like it so much.
Katy
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
Very simple, wise, most shortly dharma talks as remembered by Ajahn Chah's students. The insights are inspirational and can be read slowly over time and again and again.
Jenny
May 21, 2014 rated it liked it
I did find some gems of insight in this book. However, this book did not feel as relevant and approachable to me as ones I have read by Thich Nhat Hahn, Pema Chodron, or the Dalai Lama.
Manuel
Feb 21, 2007 added it
Recommends it for: All people interested on meditation
The importance of meditation in all moments of our lives.
Al
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theravada
Part of my Vipassana/Insight Meditation collection. From the famous teacher, Achaan Chah.
Johnny Broccoli
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phil
essential
Edgar
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Oct 17, 2012
Sandra
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Oct 02, 2012
paul graham
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Apr 29, 2017
E Alexander
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Jul 10, 2016
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Ajahn Chah was born in 1918 in a village located in the north-eastern part of Thailand. He became a novice at a young age and recieved higher ordination at the age of twenty. He followed the austere Forest Tradition for years, living in forests and begging for almsfood as he wandered about on mendicant pilgrimage.

He practised meditation under a number of masters, among whom was Ajahn Mun, a highly
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“Just try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever arises in the mind, just watch it and let go of it. Don't even wish to be rid of thoughts. Then the mind will return to its natural state. No discriminating between good and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow. No me and no you, no self at all—just what there is. When you walk there is no need to do anything special. Simply walk and see what is there. No need to cling to isolation or seclusion. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It's very simple. Hold on to nothing. It's as though you are walking down a road. Periodically you will run into obstacles. When you meet defilements, just see them and overcome them by letting them go. Don't think about the obstacles you've already passed; don't worry about those you have not yet seen. Stick to the present. Don't be concerned about the length of the road or the destination. Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, don't cling to it. Eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice is automatic. All things will come and go of themselves.” 12 likes
“We can see the mind as a lotus. Some lotuses are still stuck in the mud, some have climbed above the mud but are still underwater, some have reached the surface, while others are open in the sun, stain-free. Which lotus do you choose to be? If you find yourself below the surface, watch out for the bites of fishes and turtles.” 9 likes
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