Buddhadasa's "system" of thought, if we may call it that, is not conceived as a scheme to explain all that is worth explaining. Rather, it reflects his continuous effort to interpret the dhamma and make it relevant to particular times, places, persons and events. It begins with such basic questions as "Who am I?", "How can I live a meaningful life?" and "What is true freedom?".
Ajahn Buddhadasa (1906-1993) was one of the most influential and wise Buddhist monks of the 20th century. Ajahn Buddhadasa shows us a viable and direct path to understanding the true nature of things and to deep happiness and peace.
At the time of Gautama Buddha, he recommended that his disciples go into the forest and sit under a tree to seek the ultimate truth. This is exactly what Buddhadasa wanted to do. With the help of his brother and some monk friends, he found a temple in the jungle that had been abandoned for 80 years, called Wat Trapangjik. Here he had a small hut built and moved in in May 1932. He named this temple "Suan Mokkhabalarama" (short: Suan Mokkh), which means "Garden of Liberation".
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa (1906–1993) was a prominent Thai Buddhist monk and a renowned scholar of Theravada Buddhism. He was born in southern Thailand and ordained as a monk at a young age. Buddhadasa's life was dedicated to the study, practice, and propagation of Buddhist teachings, particularly focusing on the original teachings found in the Pali Canon.
Buddhadasa was known for his innovative and progressive interpretation of Buddhism, emphasizing the core principles of mindfulness, meditation, and non-attachment. He advocated for a return to the fundamental teachings of the Buddha, stripped of cultural and ritualistic additions.
Throughout his life, Buddhadasa sought to bridge the gap between traditional Buddhist teachings and contemporary life, making the Dhamma (Buddhist teachings) accessible to people from all walks of life. He founded Wat Suan Mokkh in Chaiya, Thailand, as a center for meditation and Dhamma practice, attracting both Thai and international practitioners.
Buddhadasa's teachings emphasized the importance of inner transformation, ethical conduct, and social responsibility. He was an advocate for environmental conservation and the integration of Buddhist principles into daily life to cultivate compassion and mindfulness.
Despite his unorthodox views, Buddhadasa's teachings gained respect and recognition both within Thailand and internationally. He wrote extensively on various aspects of Buddhism, covering topics such as meditation, dependent origination, and the Four Noble Truths. His works have been translated into numerous languages and continue to inspire practitioners and scholars worldwide.
Bhikkhu Buddhadasa's life was marked by his dedication to reviving the essence of the Buddha's teachings and applying them to contemporary challenges. His emphasis on simplicity, direct experience, and ethical living has left a lasting impact on the practice and understanding of Buddhism.