The 20th Anniversary Edition of the bestselling classic with a new foreword by Wade Davis.
"Tim’s journeys took him not only to Asia, but into an inner world of spirit and faith. He has lived on the streets of India, pursued the Dharma in Himalayan monasteries, and joined the community of monks at Wat Pah Nanachat in the jungles of Thailand – a commitment detailed with such humour, honesty and grace in What the Buddha Never Taught".
– Wade Davis, author of The Wayfinders, from the new foreword.
There is a place in the jungles of northeastern Thailand where Westerners can live according to the monastic rules laid down over 2,500 years ago by the Buddha. Author and journalist Tim Ward sought enlightenment and spent a season in this unique Buddhist monastery-one of the strictest in Southeast Asia. His affectionate "behind the robes" book about the rigors and foibles of monastic life at Wat Pah Nanchat has become a modern Buddhist classic.
How does a monk handle coming face to face with a cobra coiled behind a toilet door? Can Mr. Chicago - a former real estate tycoon - really find liberation in a 10" X 10" wooden hut? How does a would-be-monk manage to meditate with the incessant clouds of mosquitoes hovering overhead, when the precepts prohibit killing all sentient beings? And how do Tim and the others react when Thai villagers put a Mars Bar in their begging bowls?
By turns humorous, iconoclastic and inspiring, What the Buddha Never Taught was a best seller in Canada, a Book of the month selection in the US, and has been translated into five languages, and used as a university text for classes in Asian and Religious studies.
According to Ward's delightful account of a stay in a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, there are many things that the Buddha never taught. One is the extreme rigor of the Pah Nanachat monastery, involving rising at 3 a.m. for chanting, walking on gravel roads in bare feet and eating only one meal a day. Another, Ward concludes, is that all this self-denial and sacrifice is ultimately hollow. The final lesson is the redemptive power of laughter. Ward, a Canadian journalist, traveled around Asia for six years, eventually winding up at Pah Nanachat, which was built to spread Theravada Buddhism to farangs (or non-Thais). Among the motley crew the author finds at the monastery are an ex-gospel singer from England, a former accountant from China and a former real estate millionaire from Chicago. The head monk is an Australian who used to play jazz guitar in his last life. The book is Ward's affectionate, and often very humorous, account of his sojourn in this place of meditation and renunciation. The volume could have been improved by some sharp editing, but its little redundancies and repetitions help capture the often monotonous life of the monk.