Things as They Are

A Collection of Talks on the
Training of the Mind

Venerable Acariya
Maha Boowa Nanasampanno

Translated from the Thai
Thanissaro Bhikkhu

Copyright 1988 Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa Nanasampanno

First Edition 1988
Revised 1994
Revised 1996

This electronic edition is offered
For Free Distribution Only
by arrangement with the translator.

This text is a gift of Dhamma.   You may print this file for your personal use, and you may make and distribute unaltered copies of this file, provided that you charge no fees of any kind for its distribution.   Otherwise, all rights reserved.

For more information, contact:
The Abbot
Metta Forest Monastery
P.O. Box 1409
Valley Center, CA   92082

This book is a free gift of Dhamma and may not be offered for sale, for as the Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa has said, 'Dhamma has a value beyond all wealth and should not be sold like goods in a market place.'

Reproduction of this book in whole or in part, by any means, for sale or material gain, is prohibited.   Permission to reprint in whole or in part for free distribution as a gift of Dhamma, however, is hereby granted, and no further permission need be obtained.

Inquiries may be addressed to Wat Pa Baan Taad, c/o Songserm Service, 89 Posri Road, Udorn Thani 41000 Thailand.

'Just as if there were a pool of water in a mountain glen -- clear, limpid, and unsullied -- where a man with good eyes standing on the bank could see shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also shoals of fish swimming about and resting, and it would occur to him,  "This pool of water is clear, limpid, and unsullied.   Here are these shells, gravel, and pebbles, and also these shoals of fish swimming about and resting;" so too, the monk discerns as it actually is, that  "This is stress...   This is the origin of stress...   This is the stopping of stress...   This is the way leading to the stopping of stress...   These are mental effluents...   This is the origin of mental effluents...   This is the stopping of mental effluents...   This is the way leading to the stopping of mental effluents."   His heart, thus knowing, thus seeing, is released from the effluent of sensuality, released from the effluent of becoming, released from the effluent of unawareness.   With release, there is the knowledge, "Released."    He discerns that, "Birth is no more, the holy life is fulfilled, the task done.   There is nothing further for this world."

'This, great king, is a reward of the contemplative life, visible here and now, more excellent than the previous ones and more sublime.   And as for another visible reward of the contemplative life, higher and more sublime than this, there is none.'

-- Samannaphala Sutta
  Digha Nikaya


  1. Introduction
  2. From Ignorance to Emptiness
  3. The Tracks of the Ox
  4. The Path of Strength
  5. The Savor of the Dhamma
  6. The Middleness of the Middle Way
  7. The Simile of the Horse
  8. Principles in the Practice, Principles in the Heart
  9. The Four Frames of Reference
  10. The Work of a Contemplative
  11. The Fangs of Unawareness
  12. The Outer Space of the Mind
  13. To Be an Inner Millionaire
  14. Every Grain of Sand
  15. Glossary


These talks -- except for the first -- were originally given extemporaneously to the monks at Venerable Acariya Maha Boowa's monastery, Wat Pa Baan Taad, in Udorn Thani Province, Thailand.   As might be expected, they deal in part with issues particular to the life of Buddist monks, but they also contain much that is of more general interest.   Since the monks who had assembled to listen to these talks were at different stages in their practice, each talk deals with a number of issues on a wide variety of levels.   Thus there should be something of use in these pages for every reader interested in the training of the mind.

The title of this collection is taken from a Pali term that, directly or indirectly, forms the theme of a number of the talks:   yatha-bhuta-nana-dassana -- knowledge and vision of things as they are.   My hope is that these talks will aid and encourage the reader in his or her own efforts to taste the liberation that comes with the reality to which this term refers.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu
January, 1988

NOTE: In these talks, as in Thai usage in general, the words 'heart' and 'mind' are used interchangebly.

If anything in this translation is inaccurate or misleading, I ask forgiveness of the author and reader for having unwittingly stood in their way.   As for whatever may be accurate, I hope the reader will make the best use of it, translating it a few steps further, into the heart, so as to attain the truth to which it points.

-- The translator

Tree Line

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