On his final Age Teasing Day (27 May 1992), Tan Ajahn Buddhadasa gave a single talk titled Still Water, Flowing Banks. The custom of celebrating his “birthday” had evolved over many decades. When his health was strong, he gave three talks to the students and Dhamma seekers who traveled to Suan Mokkh to fast and share in Dhamma inquiry. In his last years, the doctors tried to keep him from speaking but invariably failed. His final major stroke occurred just before his 87th final Age Teasing Day (1993), which made the 86th his last.
A major part of the talk worked a theme he often addressed in his last year, Sammata or Rightness. This references the noble eightfold path and its fruits, culminating in supreme unsurpassed emptiness. In this talk, and a follow-up the next day, he framed Sammata with a powerful allegory, “still water, flowing banks.” This is a dynamic allegory, so please listen to the talk to follow the twists and touch the stillnesses.
The recording is not a strict translation of his talk. Rather, Santikaro made careful, detailed notes of the highlights and key insights of the original talk. These are spoken along with background information and some commentary.
I originally presented this theme at a conference at Suan Mokkh Bangkok honoring Tan Ajahn Buddhadasa’s 111th Age Teasing. I had the opportunity to do so again in Eau Claire, WI this past Tuesday. The audio here is from this more extensive presentation.
May waters be stilled rightly and then more deeply, for realizing “all right.”