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Lisa DeLoach gave me a copy of Food for the Heart: The Collected Teachings of Ajahn Chah at the hostel in Portland. She said she'd finished it and liked to pass things like that on. I have enjoyed it ever since.


People have noticed it and, for example, in Crested Butte, asked me if I knew anything about Jack Kornfield, the person who wrote the foreword. Ajahn Chah was Jack Kornfield's teacher.

That trip to Portland resulted in the most meaningful and valuable treasures for me: new experiences, new friends and ideas to nurture. Bret and Lisa and I took a hike into the nearby trail system and she showed us the great trees there, some very old.

Meanwhile, I had this gift, this book of teachings by Ajahn Chah to read. Even nicer was the fact that it came to me as a gift.

Food for the Heart is a good introduction to Buddhism. I suspect that it's even enjoyable and rewarding for old hands to read. Chah describes the Middle Way (non-extemism) and the Four Noble Truths. The first truth is that there is dukkha, suffering. The second noble truth is that the cause of this dukkha is self-centered craving, or tanha in Pali. The third noble truth is that suffering can end, dukkha-nirodha. The fourth noble truth is the Path, how we get from suffering to the cessation of suffering.

In the introduction of "Food for the Heart", Ajahn Amaro says "The cure is the Eightfold Path, which is, in essence, virtue, concentration, and wisdom.

I'm about halfway through the book, but the nice thing is that it's a collection of essays. Each stands on its own merit. Very pleasant and relaxing reading.

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