Ajahn Chah quotes

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Ajahn Chah (1918-1992) was perhaps the greatest Theravada meditation master of the 20th century.


  • Do everything with a mind that lets go. Don’t accept praise or gain or anything else. If you let go a little you a will have a little peace; if you let go a lot you will have a lot of peace; if you let go completely you will have complete peace.
  • Looking for peace is like looking for a turtle with a mustache: You won't be able to find it. But when your heart is ready, peace will come looking for you.
  • But when I know that the glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.
  • The heart is the only book worth reading.
  • If it isn't good, let it die. If it doesn't die, make it good.
  • You are your own teacher. Looking for teachers can’t solve your own doubts. Investigate yourself to find the truth - inside, not outside. Knowing yourself is most important.
  • If you have time to be mindful, you have time to meditate.
  • These days people don't search for the Truth. People study simply in order to find knowledge necessary to make a living, raise families and look after themselves, that's all. To them, being smart is more important than being wise!
  • Mindfulness is life. Whenever we don’t have mindfulness, when we are heedless, it’s as if we are dead.
  • Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.


  • A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah (Jack Kornfield ed.). Theosophical Publishing House (1985).
  • Being Dharma: The Essence of the Buddha's Teachings. Shambahla Press (2001).
  • Food for the Heart (Ajahn Amaro, ed.). Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2002.
  • Teachings of a Buddhist Monk, Ajahn Sumedho, (Ed. Diana St Ruth — Illustrator Marcelle Hanselaar), Buddhist Publishing Group, 1990/2001.