What the Buddha Never Taught -- Tim Ward's best-selling "Behind the Robes" account of life in one of the strictest monasteries in Southeast Asia is now back in print in a new 20th anniversary "reincarnation" edition.  Published in seven countries and five languages, What the Buddha Never Taught was a bestseller in Canada and a book-of-the-month selection in the US. It has also been used as a classroom "Buddhism 101" text in several Canadian and US universities. The new edition is available throughout Canada. Colleges in the US can order bulk copies through timici@aol.com.


To purchase the new edition on Amazon.ca: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/images/0887626203/ref=dp_image_z_0?ie=UTF8&n=916520&s=books

To listen to a podcast interview of Tim on Future Primative, speaking about the Goddess, the Buddha and the Earth for Earthday 2011:

To listen to a 2011 podcast interview on The Secular Buddhist with Tim reflecting on what life in the monastery  meant to him: http://www.thesecularbuddhist.com/episode_049.php

 "If you want to find out what the Buddha never taught you should shave your head and don an ochre robe. The next best thing is to read Ward's enjoyable book." -- Canadian Book Review Annual
"Tim's journeys took him not only to Asia, but into an inner world of spirit and faith. He has lived on the streets of India, pursued the Dharma in Himalayan monasteries, and joined the community of monks at Wat Pah Nanachat in the jungles of Thailand-a commitment detailed with such humour, honesty and grace in What the Buddha Never Taught." -  Wade Davis, author of The Wayfinders, from the new forward
 
"When Tim Ward's cult classic first came out, it instantly established itself as one of the most engaging, fun and clear-headed accounts of the search for transformation that many of us have read. Twenty years on, I'm thrilled that this new work has a new incarnation, whatever the Buddha did or didn't teach!" - Pico Iyer, author of Cuba and the Night

 


 

Life In Pah Nanachat  Monastery        (photos by the author)


The monastic community at Wat Pah Nanachat chants the Pali Suttas at dawn.
Ruk lights a candle for the founder of the monastery, the enlightened monk Ajahn Chah
At daybreak, the monks leave the jungle and walk through rice paddies to the surrounding villages to beg for their food
Tall western monks, like Ruk, seem to tower over native Thai monks on alms round
Women must crouch to offer rice to the monks
Monks sit in line at mealtime, from most senior to most junior, and get served accordingly.
The monks eat only one meal a day - breakfast
The monks shave each other's hair and eyebrows as a symbol of non-attachment to physical appearance
A skeleton stands to the side of the Buddha statues as a reminder of human mortality. Thais usually practice cremation, but suicides cannot be cremated. This skeleton belonged to a woman with cancer who shot herself. The family donated her bones for this purpose, and her daughter, pictured above, comes to the monastery regularly.
A fetus preserved in a box of formaldehyde rests on the Wat altar - another grim reminder of the transcience of life
The author in the phakao robes of a "temporary" monk on the balconey of his hut in the jungle
Tim and his fellow Phakao Jim, with all the accoutrements of the "homeless life" of a forest monk: begging bowl, umbrella, water kettle, and white robes.