Phramongkolthepmuni - Teaching


Phra Mongkhonthepmuni devoted the rest of his life to teaching and furthering the depth of knowledge of this meditation technique. It is this technique which has come to be known as 'Dhammakaya meditation' (i.e., meditation for attaining the dhammakāya). In 1916, Phramongkolthepmuni was appointed abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, and there he devoted his time to researching the insights of Dhammakāya meditation and refined the technique, to make it more systematic, through experimenting with the ways the meditation could best be applied for the common good. During an exceptionally long ministry of over half-a-century, Phramongkolthepmuni was unflagging in teaching all comers the way to attain dhammakaya, with activities nearly every day of the week. He recognised the need to open up and redevelop the oral tradition of meditation teaching, which was becoming disorganised and rare in Thai Buddhism.

He provided the opportunity, with the technique, for meditators to verify for themselves, in their firsthand experience, the success of the technique. Indeed, Phramongkolthepmuni would challenge others to meditate in order that they might verify for themselves the claims which he made about the technique. It was the response to this need which led to the innovative building at Wat Paknam of the 'meditation workshop'. Phramongkolthepmuni declared that this workshop should be kept in use by meditators for twenty-four hours a day, day and night, and selected from amongst his followers the most gifted of the meditators. Their 'brief' was to devote their lives to meditation research for the common good of society.

Phra Mongkhonthepmuni was also the first Thai preceptor to ordain a westerner as a Buddhist monk. He ordained the Englishman William Purfurst (a.k.a. Richard Randall) with the monastic name 'Kapilavaddho Bhikkhu' at Wat Paknam in 1954 and Kapilavaddho returned to Britain to found the English Sangha Trust in 1956.

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