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Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: teachings on impermanence and the end of suffering

Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away: teachings on impermanence and the end of suffering
Ajahn Chah, Paul Breiter
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Ajahn Chah (1919–1992) was admired for the way he demystified the Buddhist teachings, presenting them in a remarkably simple and down-to-earth style for people of any background. He was a major influence and spiritual mentor for a generation of American Buddhist teachers, including Jon Kabat-Zinn, Sharon Salzberg, and Jack Kornfield.

Previous books by Ajahn Chah have consisted of collections of short teachings on a wide variety of subjects. This new book focuses on the theme of impermanence, offering powerful remedies for overcoming our deep-seated fear of change, including guidance on letting go of attachments, living in the present, and taking up the practice of meditation. Everything Arises, Everything Falls Away also contains stories and anecdotes about this beloved master's life and his interactions with students, from his youth as a struggling monk to his last years when American students were coming to study with him in significant numbers. These stories help to convey Ajahn Chah's unique spirit and teaching style, allowing readers to know him both through his words and the way in which he lived his life.

"An invaluable collection of this remarkable Thai forest monk's wisdom teachings: simple, direct, clear, and profound. These fundamental insights on impermanence and uncertainty are delivered with a freshness and creativity that makes them of great relevance for all schools of Buddhism."
—Larry Rosenberg, founder of the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center and author of Breath by Breath
Translator's Preface ix

Part One: Right View
1. Understanding Mind 3
2. Understanding Phenomena 6
3. That's About Right 9
4. Seeing Things Through: Ajahn Chah's Practice 11
5. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas 13
6. Seeing Things as They Really Are 15
7. That's Good Too: Ajahn Chah's View 22
8. The Buddha's Inspiration 24
9. Keep Some Perspective 26
10. The Buddha's Search 27

Part Two: Annica: Impermanence
11. Bringing the Mind under Our Control 33
12. A Lot of Defilements: Ajahn Chah at Play 35
13. It's Not Permanent, It's Not Sure 37
14. A Fish Story 43
15. A Perplexed Meditator Meets the Buddha 49

Part Three: Dukkha: Unsatisfactoriness
16. Understanding Dukkha 55
17. Shaking Up the Students: Ajahn Chah's Methods 64
18. Birth and Becoming 65
19. Evanescence 68
20. Cold Comfort: Ajahn Chah's Monks Face Illness and Death 72
21. The Buddha Didn't Die 74
22. Birth, Death, and Enlightenment: Ajahn Chah and the Bodhi Tree 76

Part Four: Anatta: Not-Self
23. Practice Like the Four Elements 81
24. Ignorance: Ajahn Chah Holds Up a Mirror 85
25. Not Us, Not Ours 86
26. Don't Be a Buddha 92
27. My Tooth, My Pillow, My Coconut 97

Part Five: Points in Meditation
28. Tranquility and Insight 101
29. Sill Water Flows, Flowing Water is Still 104
30. Making It Real 106
31. Serious Students: Ajahn Chah on Intensive Meditation 108
32. Meditation Instructions: Questions and Answers 110
33. What Is It: Ajahn Chah's Meditation 120
34. Don't Get Drunk on Tranquility 121
35. Keep At It 124
36. High Ideals and Daily Frustrations: A Young Monk with Ajahn Chah 126

Part Six: Completing the Path
37. Making an End of Problems 131
38. Seeking a Teacher: Ajahn Chah and a Would-Be Student 141
39. A Wise Crab 142
40. Some Final Advice 144

Translator's Acknowledgments 151
Glossary 153
Resources 159
About the Translator 163