Thursday, March 26, 2020

Ajanh Chamras on learnings from monkhood, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Taoism

Ajahn Chamras interview (19 minutes, 10MB, MP3)

Recently, I got an opportunity to meet Ajanh Chamras at Chestnut Hill Eco Resort near Hat Yai, a beautiful place tucked in the hills in Southern Thailand. He had been associated with the former avatar of the resort called Stream Garden Retreat for close to two decades. We could see his love for the place as he volunteered to show us around. Ajanh Chamras taught psychology at Siam Technology College for several years before becoming a forest monk. After six years in the forest, he became an instructor and facilitator at the Stream Garden Retreat which was a study center based on Jiddu Krishnamurti's teachings. He translated over ten of JK's books into the Thai language. Currently, he is writing a book on the "Taoist approach to health". In this audio interview (19 minutes) Ajanh talks about his learnings from monkhood, Jiddu Krishnamurti and Taoism.

Ajahn Chamras interview (19 minutes, 10MB, MP3)

Highlights from the interview:

  • 00:00 Introduction
  • 01:58 What did it mean to be a forest monk? Made friends with nature, listening to melodious song of the stream, birds, mind became captivated b the surroundings
  • 03:41 Did you have a teacher during this time? Yes, Laung Phor Tien, an awareness meditation teacher, he used movement and taught walking meditation, get alms from a nearby village,
  • 04:30 What could be your key learnings from this period? My senses became awakened - not just at the superficial level but also at a subtle level, felt a sense of cleansing by living in nature especially related to my accumulations in my career, being alone with occasional visitors, sense of the depth of peace
  • 05:45 How did you get interested in J. Krishnamurti? Was reading and then started to translate his works
  • 06:10 What aspect of the teaching did you find so interesting? His teaching is about self-awareness, Long Phor Tien teaching was limited because he is not educated, He discovered it through his own practice, It was very simple, folks language, Long Phor Tien would say, "Feel the feet touching the ground, feel the wind, don't let your mind wander, be in the moment". 
  • 07:35 What did Krishnamurti add to this teaching? Took me on the path of psychological investigation
  • 07:44 Can you give an example of it might mean to do a psychological investigation? You question the nature of thought, nature of mind
  • 08:58 What aspect of the nature of the mind is crucial to look at? the thought enters into everything in our mind and creates something artificial and imitate real life, 
  • 10:25 Where would somebody begin to investigate how thought is fooling us? I would start from Long Phor Tien, To be aware, being watchful to the operation of the mind, A phrase from Long Phor Tien is "don't believe in your thought process." 
  • 11:37 How would I find out that it is actually fooling me? Majority of the thought is not coinciding with the actuality, not go along with the actuality, thought affects our health also
  • 12:23 Can you give an example? I get stressed, get tension, from the tension I get a headache and it prevents me from going to sleep, I see the negative aspect of thought. mind uses us and we become a slave to it, we don't think there is another dimension of life and we think that is all to life.
  • 14:15 How did you get interested in Taoism? Taoism works with nature, let nature work its own way, one aspect of Taoism is health that's why my book is "Taoism: an approach to health".
  • 15:01 What's Taoism approach to health? They talk about food, they talk about looking after the energy in our body, practice of movement which accumulates Chi which works its way through the blockage
  • 17:17 Currently what do you do? I teach this to visitors, sometimes we have health seminar.

If you have any questions to Ajanh Chamras, you can reach out to him at 

Hope you enjoyed the background music of cicadas and especially the rhythmic singing of big frogs. 


  1. Thanks for sharing the interview with Ajanh Chamras. I found it very useful to undersatnd the negative aspect of thought mind uses and how we get affected by it.

    1. Good to hear from you, Pradeep. I am glad you found the interview useful.