Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Thanissaro Bhikkhu is a monk in the Thai Forest Tradition. After moving to Thailand and studying under the forest master Ajaan Fuang Jotiko for ten years, he returned to the US and cofounded the Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego County, California, where he serves as abbot. The translator of numerous suttas and classical texts, his most recent book is Four Noble Truths. His books and many of his other teachings and translations can be found online at

Recent Articles

Fun & Games: Psychic Powers in the Wilderness

Buddhist monk and scholar Thanissaro Bhikkhu reflects on encounters with his dharma teacher, who “could obviously read my mind and anticipate future events.”

The Logic of Not-self

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, featured author in the Summer 2023 "Power & The Practitioner" issue of Buddhadharma, explores the Buddha’s teachings on how a sense of self is formed, how we use the five aggregates to define the self, and how to deconstruct the process.

Buddha eyes.

7 Things the Buddha Never Said

Monk Thanissaro Bhikkhu, a trained translator of the Buddha's words, reveals seven fake Buddha quotes he's found. See if you're not surprised.

It Comes Down to Character

We often look at Buddhist practice as a way of cultivating particular qualities; Thanissaro Bhikkhu reminds us, however, that the Buddha also spoke of qualities we must have to take up the practice in the first place.

This Is the Origin, This Is the Cessation

Teachings on the Four Noble Truths from Handful of Leaves, Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s new translations of selected suttas from the Pali Canon.

Mirror in tall grass reflecting the sky.

What is Satipatthana?

Satipatthana as defined by Thanissaro Bhikkhu, an abbot in the Thai Forest Tradition.

Building Your Mental Muscles

Meditators and musclemen don’t seem to have much in common, but Thanissaro Bhikku says meditators can learn a lot from strength training.

Buddha in meditation

Creating a Good Ground for Meditation

Thanissaro Bhikkhu outlines five principles of the ethical, restrained life conducive to meditation practice.

Wisdom Over Justice

Justice is of course a noble goal. But, says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the Buddha emphasized a different approach to the achievement of harmony in the world.

Wisdom Over Justice

Justice is of course a noble goal. But, says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the Buddha emphasized a different approach to the achievement of harmony in the world.

See Things Clear Through

Upasika Kee Nanayon, shows us how to combine concentration and clear-seeing to penetrate the "mass of deceit" that is the mind.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu Therevada Loving Kindness Buddhism Metta Meditation Lion's Roar Shambhala Sun

I Want To Be… Loving

We all want to be loved, yes, but our most heartfelt wish is to love, deeply and universally. If this seems like an unreachable ideal, says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, the place to start—and often the most skillful response—is the simple attitude of goodwill.

Thai monk with hands folded.

Protecting Others by Protecting Goodwill

Thanissaro Bhikkhu explains what the Buddha actually said about metta, the phrase often translated as “lovingkindness."

Thai monk with hands folded.

When Goodwill is Better than Love: The Meaning of “Metta.”

Loving-kindness is a common translation of the Pali word "metta." But what if metta and lovingkindness are not quite the same?

Holding a flower.

The Lessons of Gratitude

From Thanissaro Bhikkhu, abbot of the Metta Forest Monastery, comes a new teaching about what the historical Buddha taught about gratitude.

No Donation Required

“How can I ever repay you for your teaching?” Thanissaro Bhikkhu answers this common question: “By being intent on practicing.”

Theravada Mahayana emptiness Buddhadharma Lion's Roar Thanissaro Bhikkhu Buddhism

The Integrity of Emptiness

The Mahayana view of emptiness, says Thanissaro Bhikkhu, is too abstract and philosophical to be of much help in our everyday lives. Instead he offers a Theravada path of emptiness that starts with taking an honest look at our day-to-day actions and leads ultimately to enlightenment.

The Karma of Happiness

In measuring and prescribing human skills for a good life, lasting happiness requires that we carefully weigh the consequences of our actions.