Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) is an American Buddhist monk of the Kammatthana (Thai Forest) Tradition. After graduating from Oberlin College in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History, he traveled to Thailand, where he studied meditation under Ajaan Fuang Jotiko, himself a student of the late Ajaan Lee. He ordained in 1976 and lived at Wat Dhammasathit, where he remained following his teacher’s death in 1986. In 1991 he traveled to the hills of San Diego County, USA, where he helped Ajaan Suwat Suvaco establish Metta Forest Monastery. He was made abbot of the Monastery in 1993.

~ From his website,

Selected Works (in chronological order)

Reverend Sirs, I would like the reverend bhikkhus and bhikkhunis—as well as the laymen and laywomen—to listen to these passages frequently and to ponder on them.

Ajahn Geoff explains how the monastic institution works by creating an economy of gifts.

I cannot recommend this classic textbook on the history of Buddhism highly enough. Short and readable, yet thorough and precise, this must-read covers the entire history of Buddhism in a couple hundred, lively pages.

Unfortunately idiosyncratic and giving undue weight to certain Thai subcommentaries, this vinaya textbook remains the gold standard for Western, Theravada monks or anyone looking to seriously study the monastic rules.

…when these people meditate they’re awfully grim.

During my first weeks with my teacher, Ajaan Fuang, I began to realize that he had psychic powers.

A fascinating series of open letters between Ajahn Geoff and Bhikkhu Bodhi on the subject of “just war.”

the Buddha himself rarely smiles in the Canon, and when he does, the reasons for his smile are never hilarious. Still, the Canon’s reputation for being devoid of humor is undeserved. It’s there in the Canon, but it often goes unrecognized.


Translations by Ajahn Geoff Ṭhānissaro:

The five benefits of walking meditation.

O, that I might live for the interval that it takes to swallow having chewed up one morsel of food!

… he should put forth extra desire, effort, diligence, endeavor, relentlessness, mindfulness, & alertness for the abandoning of those very same evil, unskillful qualities. Just as when a person whose turban or hair is on fire

… an enemy wishes of an enemy, ‘O, may this person sleep badly!’

… what is confinement, and what is the opening amid confinement that the Buddha spoke of?

Those who have awakened don’t talk of what they’ve awakened to, because it lies above and beyond all words.

You are my children, my sons, born from my mouth, born of the Dhamma…

As for the question of suffering in the future—in this life or the next—don’t overlook your heart that’s suffering right now.

In a practical meditation teaching, the Buddha describes five progressive approaches to arresting unwanted thoughts.

I have taught the Dhamma compared to a raft, for the purpose of crossing over, not for the purpose of holding onto. Understanding the Dhamma as taught compared to a raft, you should let go even of Dhammas, to say nothing of non-Dhammas.

If there is rebirth, then what gets reborn?

A ‘position,’ Vaccha, is something that a Tathāgata has done away with.

… even this view of yours, Aggivessana—‘All is not pleasing to me’—is even that not pleasing to you?

He doesn’t assume consciousness to be the self, or the self as possessing consciousness, or consciousness as in the self, or the self as in consciousness.

The Buddha explains how mindfulness of the body should be cultivated and to what benefits it leads.

The monastic rules for Theravada Bhikkhunis, prepared in a bilingual English-Pali edition for study and recitation.

Open are the doors to the deathless!
Let those with ears show their faith

What if I were to dwell in dependence on this very Dhamma to which I have fully awakened, honoring & respecting it?

Then, dear sirs, he must be an anger-eating yakkha.

Monks! All is aflame!

Insofar as it disintegrates, it is called the ‘world.’

The Buddha taught the meditation on the ugliness of the body, then left to go on retreat. However, many monks, misconstruing the teachings, ended up killing themselves. The Buddha taught breath meditation as a peaceful and pleasant alternative.

This is how a disciple of the noble ones dwells

Coming out from my day’s abiding
on Vulture Peak Mountain…

Subha Bhikkhuni finds a creative solution to sexual harassment.