Ajahn brahm has always been rebellious. Whether it was his long hair as a teenager, his giving up of alcohol as a student, or his embrace of Buddhism at the tender age of sixteen, he has never been satisfied with mainstream thinking and received wisdom. This sense of non-conformism is evident throughout his spiritual journey as a monk.
For Ajahn Brahm, kindness is at the core of the spiritual life. Kindness and generosity are threads that run through his entire monastic life, stretching back all the way to his earliest days as a monk.
Many people enter monastic life because of a love of meditation. They seek the solitude and support that monastic life provides for meditators. It is quite paradoxical, then, that the same people, Ajahn Brahm included, often end up running monasteries and being in charge of communities. So how do these natural hermits run a monastery?
What is Nibbana? The most profound truths of life can be hard to understand intellectually. It is often better to approach them through the use of similes and metaphors.
When Ajahn Brahm was still a young monk in Thailand, he enjoyed a period of what is known in Thai as tudong, a lifestyle of wandering on foot in search of places conducive for meditation. Tudong is often undertaken by forest monks to challenge and test themselves after an initial period of training in a monastery.