Synopses & Reviews
In The Buddha in the Jungle,
real-life stories about 19th and early 20th century Buddhist monks in Thailand are ingeniously intermingled with experiences recorded by their Western contemporaries. Stories tell of giant snakes, bandits, boatmen, midwives, and guardian spirits and collectively portray a Buddhist culture in all its imaginative and geographical concreteness. By juxtaposing these eyewitness accounts, Kamala Tiyavanich presents a new and vivid picture of Buddhism as it was lived and of the natural environments in which the Buddha's teachings were practiced.
Kamala Tiyavanich is a Thai Buddhist and the author of Forest Recollections: Wandering Monks in Twentieth-Century Thailand. She lives in Ithaca, New York.
"Reading The Buddha in the Jungle is a wondrous journey to an exotic land, full of magic chants, wise grandmothers, ghosts, elephants, snakes, and compassionate Buddhist monks. This is a book of history, anthropology, and Buddhist teachings, and it is delightfully easy and fun to read." - Wes Nisker, co-editor of Inquiring Mind
"This is one of the most remarkable, honest, and rich accounts of how Theravada Buddhism actually flourished in Thailand. It gives us a new picture of the true breadth and fullness of the tradition in every part of life." - Jack Kornfield, author of A Path with Heart
"This is a wonderful work of scholarship and storytelling. By introducing nearly every tale with comments by one or more western writers, Kamala helps English-reading students of Thailand and Buddhism understand the translated material." - John Badgley, Cornell University
"An absorbing and totally different yet highly readable survey of a little-known period of relitious and social history." - Russell Webb, editor of Buddhist Studies Review, London
"A very interesting and engaging account of living Buddhism in the last centuries and a valuable contribution to the increasing knowledge of the many and varied forms of Buddhist practice." - Venerable Tiradhammo, abbot of Dhammapala Monastery, Switzerland
"Throws an intersting light upon Dharma as it was practiced in Siam, certainly a light that differs in many respects from the state-imposed Buddhism of Bangkok." - Laurence Khantipalo, cofounder of the Bodhi Citta Buddhist Centre, Australia