Patrick Ong Pei Wen
This article examines the living tradition of the meditation system inherited from the Venerable Suk Kaithuean at Wat Ratchasittharam. It is believed that Venerable Suk belonged to a lineage of forest monks whose meditation practices were passed down over many centuries from the historical Buddha and his son Rahul. When he was appointed the abbot of Wat Ratchasittharam, the Venerable Suk played an important role in contributing to the establishment of the early Bangkok period. He was the head of meditation instruction during the reign of King Rama I and held the appointment of the Supreme Patriarch under King Rama II. During this period, his method of meditation was promoted throughout the kingdom. Two hundred years later, the meditation system as propagated by the Venerable Suk can hardly be found in the modem Thailand. Today, it is named Matchima meditation and is only taught at Wat Ratchasittharam. My aim is to provide a holistic understanding of this ancient, but living tradition.
This article addresses an understanding of the meditation system in terms of its philosophy, techniques and how it is currently practiced, as well as provides a background understanding of the practitioners. This article also addresses the discourse used by the practitioners that justify their commitment to the practice and how they see it vis-a-vis other contemporary meditation systems in Thailand.
(Published in Rian Thai: International Journal of Thai Studies, Volume 4/2011, Page 155-189)
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