In Simple Terms, by Ajahn Chah

 Cover of 'In Simple Terms' by Ajahn Chah

Two extracts from In Simple Terms:


The Buddha is the Dhamma; the Dhamma is the Buddha. The Dhamma the Buddha awakened to is something always there in the world. It hasn’t disappeared. It’s like groundwater. Whoever digs a well down to the level of the groundwater will see water. It’s not the case that that person created or fashioned the water into being. All he’s done is to put his strength into digging the well so that it’s deep enough to reach the water already there.

So if we have any discernment, we’ll realize that we’re not far from the Buddha at all. We’re sitting right in front of him right now. Whenever we understand the Dhamma, we see the Buddha. Those who are intent on practicing the Dhamma continuously—wherever they sit, stand, or walk—are sure to hear the Buddha’s Dhamma at all times.


In the Buddha’s time, there were those who broke through to the highest level of Dhamma while sitting and listening to the Dhamma. They were fast. Like a balloon: The air in the balloon has the force to push itself out. As soon as you prick it just a little bit with a needle, it all comes gushing out at once.

It’s the same here. When you hear Dhamma in line with your propensities, it turns your views upside down, from this to that, and you can break through to the genuine Dhamma.

Ajahn Chah
Year Published: 2013

Download PDF copy of In Simple Terms, by Ajahn Chah

Ajahn Chah was a master at using the apt and unusual simile to explain points of Dhamma. The translations of these similes have been polished as little as possible, for their unpolished nature is precisely what reveals unexpected layers of meaning.

With thanks to Abhayagiri

Also mobi or ePub from

This book is a companion to It’s Like This.

Click here to read more teachings from Ajahn Chah.

Categories: Ajahn Chah, Buddhism, eBooks, Theravada

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4 replies

  1. Thank you very much for this poignant excerpt from the venerable great master. I have studied under a few of his disciple monks and find the great master’s teachings always refreshingly simple yet profound.

  2. Looking foward to reading this book just downloaded.I been meditating for 6 months now and I know it has changed my Outlook on life

  3. Thank you…

  4. I might get this book.. Sounds good :)


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