Modern Thai Buddhism and Buddhadasa Bhikkhu by Tomomi Ito

I am about halfway through reading this book, that I am sure many English speaking Thai Buddhists have already read or are reading now as well. I had rad bits and pieces of the talks and books of Buddhadas, but never an academic look at his teaching. I am still after more than 90 pages not quite sure of the point of the book. Early on we learn on page 32 we learn he was disappointed with the vinaya offenses of Bangkok monks, while studying there while a 3 pansaa bhikkhu in 1928. He felt like disrobing because he was about to start behaving like the other monks.
This did not surprise me as the more I read about Buddhism in Thailand the more I learn that it and much of the Bhikkhu Sangha have been corrupt for a very long time.
She demonstrates her lack of knowledge about Forest Buddhism and Buddhism in general with statements….

such as that vegetarianism is a Dhutanga practice and the dominant form of meditation is Vipassana. There is more, but at the end of the day I do not find it a  good value purchase and think people would be better served to read the teachings of Buddhadasa such as his Handbook for Mankind and writing on Anapanasati than spending  Baht 1,155, nearly $US 40..
Here is the outside back cover blurb

The Buddhist monk Buddhasa Bhikkhu ( 1906-1993) injected fresh life into Thai Buddhism by exploring and teaching little known transcendent aspects of the religion.
His investigations excited hoth monks and lay people. and  gave rise to vigorous discussion in shops, temple yards and  newly founded Buddhist associations. While these discussions  included serious exchanges on doctrine and practice. they  also included jokes and light humor, criticisms of weak  evidence for various positions, and rumors that Buddhadasa  was a communist sympathizer.
Some of this material was captured in Buddhist journals and in numerous “pocket books” aimed at a general audience.
Departing from the classical method of studying Buddhism through philology. Tomomi lto’s account of Buddhadésa Bhikkhu
draws on this popular literature and on detailed interviews with a very broad spectrum of the people involved in these
exchanges.
The result is a lively intellectual and social history of  contemporary Thai Buddhism built around the life of an  exceptional monk who captured the interest of Buddhists pursuing spiritual depth in the context of the ideological conflicts of the Cold War.

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