BETWEEN THE FOREST AND THE CITY,
PEACE IS FOUND WITHIN
In order to learn the art of meditation, Venerable Prasit (Peter) Thitichayo left his home life to become a novice monk in the outskirts of Thailand at a young age. Venerable Peter moved to the bustling city of Pathum Thani in order to learn about the Dhammakaya tradition, leaving behind the solitude of the forest monk tradition of his home town. In this Q&A, we explore Venerable Peter’s background, his experiences, and his meditation advice.
Q: How were you first exposed to meditation?
A: When I was 12 years old, I have seen monks who taught meditation at the temple in my hometown, but I didn’t know how to meditate. My friend told me that if you want to practice more you should become a novice monk. Afterwards, I ordained at a forest temple near my hometown to meditate. I’ve been a monk ever since.
Q: Why do you like the Dhammakaya meditation technique?
A: Three years since becoming a novice monk, I bought a Dhamma cassette tape for learning meditation. I didn’t even know who was the teaching monk, yet I just continued to listen to that tape. When I practiced the meditation technique, I felt that I loved it so much. I found out that it was Venerable Dhammajayo, the abbot of our Dhammakaya Temple in Thailand. Since then, I have meditated using this technique which inspired me to move to Dhammakaya Temple to learn the Dhammakaya meditation technique. I think Dhammakaya meditation technique is the most suitable and most comfortable for my mind. It’s the easiest technique for me
Q: How has your background as a forest monk influenced your training in meditation?
A: For me, I learned meditation with the forest monks in the forest temple. Both monks and the temple surroundings itself were so peaceful and helpful for learning meditation. When I moved to Dhammakaya Temple, it was like moving from the country to the city. I intended to study Pali language and practice meditation at the same time, which lead me to a Dhammakaya center that is near the city of Bangkok. However, when I wanted to meditate for a longer period of time, I would go for a retreat in the forest temple or anywhere that’s surrounded by nature.
Q: What kind of meditation advice do you have?
A: So I would like to share a technique that I believe anyone can do by themselves. You just close your eyes and place your mind at the point that you feel comfortable, which can be anywhere you want in your body. That’s the simplest way to meditate.