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Lions Roar : July 2016
PHRASAROJAGGADHAMMO MEET A TEACHER Thanissaro Bhikkhu I GREW UP ON A POTATO FARM on the North Fork of Long Island. When my father had to sell the farm, he got a job with the government and we moved around a lot, finally set- tling in Virginia. My first real encounter with the Dhamma was a meditation course I took at Oberlin, taught by a Thai monk and a Zen monk. I preferred the Zen monk, but after graduation I received a fellowship to teach English at Chieng Mai University in Thailand. I looked around for a meditation teacher and finally met Ajaan Fuang, who impressed me much more than I had expected. He expanded my conception of what human beings can do and be. I ended up ordaining to continue studying with him, and stayed with him until his death ten years later. After another five years in Thailand, I returned to the States to help Ajaan Suwat set up Metta Forest Monastery in northern San Diego County. Now, in addition to being abbot here, I spend my time teaching and writing, and camping when I can find the opportunity. I’m a real fan of Zion National Park and the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. ♦ LION’S ROAR | JULY 2016 36 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE