After Thanissaro

To help me not fall into confusion there has been a lot of great support and advice for my young practice. Especially in discussing possible teachers for me to check out after and along side studying Ven Thanissaro in depth. But I never see a lot of discussion about Ajahn Sona, but I was looking into him a bit and one would think that him being western and inspired by the Thai Forrest tradition he shouldn’t be a far cry from Thanissaro for a beginner to follow like myself. Thoughts?


Ajahn Sona was probably the first monastic I really had any exposure to via youtube some years ago. I went to pratice at my local Thai Dhammayut temple and was turned onto Ajahn Geoff. Funnily enough, my inclination went back to Ajahn Sona. Ask me in a few more years and I may change my mind yet again!

Of course, he’s not as prolific as Ajahn Geoff, so one might consider themselves restricted in that regard. One thing that has always stuck with me from Ajahn Sona is, “It’s not so important what goes in your mouth as what comes out.”

I realize my statements lack any real conclusion or direction, but thought it might prove as a case study of someone who’s given serious attention to both teachers.



I guess I go back to the idea of giving various teachers a try, and see who inspires you. They may be sharing essentially the same teaching, but each will have their own style and idiosyncrasies. There are some teaching monastics who I respect highly, but who I find it challenging to listen to for one reason or another. Personally I find Ajahn Sona easy to listen to – his thoughts seem well-organized, and “aha” moments come along fairly regularly. At the moment I’m listening regularly to the dhamma talks of two monastics, one Sri Lankan and the other Thai Forest, and am in the middle of books written by still two others. And getting a lot out of it all.


He was a friend of mine back in the day at Wat Nanachat. He was intelligent, mature, and also pretty funny, especially when he got together with the English monk Vimalo.


He lives in my neck of the woods. Would like to spend a few days at his monastery up North for a visit. Been thinking of planning a trip for a while. Had a chance to hear him speak. Nice atmosphere with enthusiastic and supportive lay people.


I find Ajahn Sona a great teacher with a good sense of humour and with a gift for making the dhamma accessible. His emphasis seems to be teaching lay people and, to this end, he runs an online Upasika program each year for lay people. He is just as likely to quote from Blake or Shakespeare as he is to quote from the suttas. :slight_smile:

He teaches and emphasises the jhanas and is very much aligned with the standard understanding of the EBTs. I find his style refreshing. For example, he uses the word “love”, something I initially found strange coming from a monk. :heartbeat:


His article on Nimitta was revolutionary when it first came out The Nimitta in Breath Meditation


I’ve been lucky to have stayed at his monastery (Birken Monastery) pre-COVID and done the online retreats he has been running since COVID. He’s a wonderful speaker, very funny.

He has a large number of Dhamma talks online. I found his Metta retreat and his talks about understanding how Right Mindfulness and Right Effort work together particularly helpful in my practice.


I love Ajahn Sona’s sense of humor. He’ll say things with a straight face and then burst out laughing. :joy:


I started writing a comment on this, and well.