The Life and Teaching of Chao Khun Mongkol-Thepmuni and The Dhammakaya

This short book is an excellent account of the life and times of a great and compassionate sage and meditator and his teachings of this unique method of meditation.  It is also a captivating introduction of the Vijjā Dhammakāya and how it is applied to gain an insightful understanding of the Sublime Dhamma and Meditation.  The book relates Luang Phor’s tireless and signal service to the Sāsana and to humanity spanning more than four decades.  This is the first English translation of the venerable abbot’s Teachings and times.

 

Vistas - Buddhists Insights into Immortality (previous title, Samma Samadhi I)

This book and the companion title Sammā Samādhi II could be considered as the indispensable handbook of an earnest seeker and meditator, for Vistas lays down not just the Method (as a process) of Meditation but the Dhamma (scriptural) underpinnings of this unique Method.  It describes how Buddhas employ the Dhammakāya Method for their own enlightenment and, why this is their priceless heritage to humanity.  This book, first published in 1960 is, perhaps, the earliest substantive English translation of Luang Phor Sodh’s Teachings of the Vijjā Dhammakāya.

 

Samma Samadhi II - Being the Exposition of Attainments derived from Samatha Vipassana

If Vistas provided the basis for Meditation, then this companion book gives the philosophical and metaphysical reasons therefor and describes the “fruits” or “attainments” to be gained therefrom.  The attainments described cover a very broad range: from the mundane to the supramundane, including an understanding of psychic phenomena to time and space and, perception and knowledge, and to Nibbāna; and all the worlds in between, viz the heavens, hells and other planes of existence.  The Vijjā Dhammakāya enables the attainments to be fully comprehended. This, too, is a very substantive translation of Luang Phor Sodh’s Teachings.

 

Samma Ditthi - A Treatise on Right Understanding

The Noble Eightfold Path has Sammā Diṭṭhi (right understanding) at is head because Buddha knows that in order to strive one must know why, how, and when.  Without Right Understanding of “self” within and the universe outside, the task will be made much harder.  So, an aspirant must know himself, the nature of his “self” and the cause of suffering and the cessation thereof, in order to put an end to all suffering and the endless cycles of birth and death.  The Sublime Dhamma, seen with the aid of Vijjā Dhammakāya, provides all the answers to these questions so that Right Understanding will lead us on the right Path to Nibbāna.

 

Altitude and the Buddhist Experience

This is another wonderful and insightful portrayal of the application of Vijjā Dhammakāya and the Method of Meditation to understanding the Sublime Dhamma.  It takes the satellite view from above if you will, so that things – mundane and supramundane could be seen clearly from such heights, or Altitude.  Without anything to obstruct one’s view, things are seen clearly in their right context and perspective, and without taint or distortion.  A rare insightful account of the phenomenon of the “split selves” is lucidly given, too. This book further augments one’s knowledge and understanding of the universe, within and without. It is another substantive text to be enjoyed.

 

The Long View - An Excursion into Buddhist Perspectives

The Long View challenges orthodoxy on the Doctrine of Dependent Origination and its converse Doctrine of Dissolution and explains the process of purification as also a  crucial integration of ‘split-selves’ in order to attain to Arahantship.  Like Altitude, it discusses the teaching of “Self” and “split selves” as opposed to the popular belief of “Self” being permanent, eternal and unchanging. Further, “anatta” is excellently rendered as amorphous plurality and not merely as “not-self,” “non-self” or the like.

 

In light of the Vijja Dhammakaya, the aeonic travails of the earnest aspirant become a series of graduated steps along a clearly defined Path to Nibbana.  When cast in this fashion - of the Long View - Buddhism is powerfully positive and so full of promise.

 

The Appendices contain an interesting exchange of views between the author and a well-known professor of religion.