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Dhammakaya pioneers in the UK: featuring Fuengsin Trafford


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A presentation originally given at a Dhammakaya Peace Meeting, which took place at the Quaker Meeting House on 23 March 2017. These slides recount the early days of the Dhammakaya tradition coming to the UK, focusing on Fuengsin Trafford (née Sarayutpitag).
The file download includes presenter notes.

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Dhammakaya pioneers in the UK: featuring Fuengsin Trafford

  1. 1. Featuring Fuengsin Trafford Related by Paul Trafford
  2. 2. “Yet it is just within this fathom-long body, with its perception & intellect, that I declare that there is the world, the origination of the world, the cessation of the world, and the path of practice leading to the cessation of the world.” *Rohitassa Sutta, AN 4.45
  3. 3. Luang Pu Wat Paknam 1916 – 1959 Kapilavaddho Bhikkhu 1954 - ? Khun Yay Chan 1935 - 2000 Ajahn Gaew 195? - 1986Fuengsin 1960? - 1995
  4. 4. * 1955–56 * Vijjavaddho Bhikkhu (George Blake) * Saddhavaddho Bhikkhu (Robert Albison) * Pannyavaddho Bhikkhu (Peter Morgan) [Ordination ceremony: ] * 1958- Terry Magness (Suratano Bikkhu, 1970-201?) * 1963-64 Ananda Bodhi (a.k.a. Leslie Dawson, Namgyal Rinpoche)
  5. 5. *‘Ang’ [1 year old]
  6. 6. “Throughout their married life, Fuengsin’s parents had monks to come to the house for meals every day. ... In fact the welcome became widely known and also attracted monks on thudong — wandering monks, who camped for a while in their garden before moving on without settling anywhere. Sometimes there were as many as 15 to 20 novices and monks, who were free to pop in any time, and they knew that there would be food and shelter for them.” Thursday’s Lotus, p.26
  7. 7. Plan of action: Go often to the market to buy fish — live fish — and free them. Before releasing into river, say to the fish: Now may all this good karma enable me to be free; in future, may I be free like you, may I be let out of the house. I hope one day I will go away and never come back to this house!
  8. 8. “The nun that I studied with was a frail looking lady, small. [She] came from a farming community, without much education. 20 years later a lot of people went to study with her and she founded one of the largest centres in Thailand — the most famous centre in Thailand — and her biography was printed. I spent a lot of time with her, meditating, listening to her teacher’s tapes.” Thursday’s Lotus, p.69
  9. 9. “You have a big Buddha within you!” Ajahn Gaew to Fuengsin Thursday’s Lotus, p.69 Kapilavaddho Bhikkhu
  10. 10. “Before I returned to England, Ajahn made a prediction that in future I was to go and spread the Buddha’s teachings in England; and Ajahn brought me to prostrate myself in front of Luang Phor [Wat Paknam] in order to ask that he give his blessing to help me succeed in this mission… He asked me to pay respect and he lit candles and incense and he said he would like the power of communication and teaching be transferred to me… He said, ‘You go . . . you are ready to teach now. You will have to teach one day.’” Thursday’s Lotus, p.93
  11. 11. “A large white Buddha rupa was placed prominently on a shrine that was beautifully decorated. There were very small Buddha rupas arranged neatly around the side. There were photos of monks, well known in Thailand for their research in Samadhi and Vipassana, including Phra Maha Boowa, Wat Pah Baan Taad, in Udon province, where Mrs Browne had been a disciple of Tan Acharn during a visit to Thailand. I hurried straight over to pay respects to the Buddha with great delight and gladness.” (Fuengsin describing the shrine room, c.1966) Thursday’s Lotus, p.100
  12. 12. ‘This is the transmission to you of my knowledge. It’s all in the book.’
  13. 13. “I wasn’t well. My eye ached and there was a lot of phlegm. It seemed I had a cold and fever. …I quickly got up and went upstairs and meditated for 45 minutes. I perspired a lot. At first it seemed there was no peace, but after 15 minutes things improved and it seemed very good. The mind was cool and calm, one- pointed. The kilesas [defilements] tried to enter, but the mind did not stray from the feelings.” From personal diary Thursday’s Lotus, p.120
  14. 14. . . . Your behaviour is only a reflection of your mind. When you meditate you become single-minded — that doesn’t mean narrow-minded, merely that your mind is opening up and you are more capable of appreciating and understanding things. Fuengsin in County Express interview Thursday’s Lotus, p.164
  15. 15. “Before you teach, give compassion to the whole class and think of them as your own body, as if they are one with you. Visualise them in you and fix here and try to visualise their five aggregates at one spot. The visualisation that we do — each of the aggregates condensed like a crystal — tiny spot like a crystal — and it gets so everybody’s aggregates condensed to one point, here at the centre of the body. ... So they will understand more.”
  16. 16. “From encountering these situations, I was able to see that Ajahn had a very powerful mind and was really able to predict things that will occur in the future. Whenever I went to give a talk, when it came to giving instruction, I tried to spread the honour of Ajahn on a regular basis by making the British and people from other countries understand.” From Fuengsin’s Tribute to Ajahn Gaew at his passing.
  17. 17. Phra Bhavana-Kosolthera Veera Ganuttamo, Luang Na San Tippasanto Taken whilst on a visit abroad
  18. 18. “. . . Dr A. Keightley at King Edwards, Stourbridge wanted me to teach meditation there next [academic] year. He is very pleased with my performance. . . . Next month there will be 17 students to attend the class. There are at least 40 students who are waiting to learn to meditate.”
  19. 19. A Woman child, O Lord of Men, may prove even a better offspring than a man. Verse 16: The Daughter, Samyutta-nikaya 1.3.
  20. 20. Chulalongkorn University Faculty of Arts Alumni (2497- 2501) 50th Anniversary.