my name is Martijn Kreuger. I'm a Dutch theravada buddhist. A few weeks ago i discovered your youtube-videos and i like them alot. Your teaching in a clear "theravada-foreststyle". It was a pleasant surprise to hear you talking about buddhist cosmology because you don't hear that very often in Western buddhism. I like meditating on the qualities of the devas. Many western buddhists (at least in Holland and Germany) don't really know the pali-suttas either. For me the suttas are the main source of knowledge.
Just like you i started out in mahayana and i even lived in one of zenmaster Thich Nhat Hanh's centres for a period of 8 months. But reading the pali-suttas made me switch to the Foresttradition of Ajahn Chah.
Next januari i move to the Swiss forestmonastery Dhammapala and after the winterretreat i hope to be a anagarika.
I want to thank you for the youtubevideos and keep on doing the good work! Perhaps you can make a video about meditating on the kasinas?
May you be well and greetings from Holland,
Even what you call the "same old Buddhist teaching" is still discovery and work to do for me and I am so grateful that you spent all this time teaching me and many other meditators... Including more meditation and wisdom in my life and following this path arrived because of your "informal home meetings"... well nothing is permanent and let's see what's coming...
Hello Mister Ruhe,
First of all i want to thank you for inspire me through your youtube videos on my path to Buddhism.
i dont want to grow youre ego to much jajaja -- just kidding. but there are many out there, for me you are the real deal on knowledge on this beautiful path.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us.
Hi there Brian, fan here of your youtube channel and work in the buddhist community 🙂
Many years ago I stumbled upon one of your videos and it started the process that moved me from Soto Zen to Theravada.
Since then I've loved the tradition and have been getting things in order to receive ordination.
Just watched one of your lectures on YouTube. It was one of the most helpful lectures I've watched. I feel like you explained the Buddhist schools in a way that I needed. Thank you.
I just wanted to thank you for your work and your message. For the last few years I've been with Mahayana traditions such as Dzogchen and Zen. After listening for your lectures on yourtube I started reading the Pali suttas and literature on Theravada and it was a STRIKING discovery for me how clear and profound the original Buddha teaching is. While being with Mahayana I have been confused all the time - something strongly resonated with me (which turned out to be the traces of the original Buddha teaching as I can see now) and other things just didn't make sense to me and were quite confusing (which turned out to be those Mahayana inventions). Now everything makes perfect sense, such a relief!
Thank you - thank you many times!
I just finished reading Bhikkhu Sujato and Bhikkhu Brahmali's "Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts." Your video is an excellent complement to the History they discuss. You carry me beyond the thesis along the path to the current day status and how we got here. I'm very grateful for your discussion of the Bodhisattva vow. I have never appreciated the deviation of the practice from Pali Suttas. I'll rest in my new-found confusion of contradictions. I believe a new path is waiting for me when I awake from my rest. THANK YOU!
After the retreat weekend in December my meditations have become deeper and more vast which has been a wonderful journey so thank you!
Hope you are well,
I have found your youtube videos very helpful.
I've been interested in Buddhism, and first made contact with a pureland center that is local to the Chicago area.
As a beginner, I found it very confusing to figure out how these teachings came about. In particular what bothered me was that it seemed to require faith in Amitabha Buddha. I struggled for about 30 years with issues of faith in Christianity before concluding the bold claims made are false. I was not eager to trade one faith based religion for another, yet I found some peace in Buddhism that I could not find elsewhere, and so I continued to read and search.
Your videos helped to explain and clarify issues of Mayayana vs. Theravada. I now find myself searching for a local Therevada site.
I've shared your website to most of my family and fiancee's family. We would all like to know what the Buddha really taught. Unfortunately when I first learned about Buddhism in high school, all we had shown to us was the Mahayana parade. I first heard of Theravada last year and only just recently began looking into it seriously just, as a result I found your website.
I had read a while ago (when I was actually exploring about Buddhist scriptures) that the Mahayanists stated that Buddha taught the original teachings only to turn round and basically say as we British do "by the way I was having you on, I'll give you the real teaching now, lol." That struck me as nonsensical, I questioned why would anyone, let alone the enlightened Buddha have wasted so much effort to teach all those years a teaching which he would make obsolete by bringing in what is now Mahayana and the false lotus sutra etc. Now thanks to you I have the historical info to know that Mahayana isn't from Buddha.
Just one other thing I'd like to point out that is upsetting. As you are well aware Buddha taught not to cling to the desire to go to one of the higher realms, but to escape the realms of birth and death completely, then here we have the Mahayanists talking of pure lands where people can go. This is teaching people to perpetuate the cycle of birth and death, rather than attaining Nibbana. What a false trap!
I would just like to thank you for pointing me towards a meaningful life. I cannot say more than this. All other words would be inadequate to describe what being able to read your writing has done for me. So I'll say it once more, "Thank you for pointing me towards a meaningful life"! Your teachings are a blessing, and I want to follow the Buddhist path as laid down in the Pali Scriptures.
I wish you all the very best today and all the days that follow.
P.S: Soon I will be able to read your book "Freeing The Buddha" I ordered it today.
I have been reading the wonderful e-mails about our retreat and am finally taking the time to respond myself!
I too thoroughly enjoyed the retreat; the accommodations, the food, the silence, the Sangha and your wonderful teachings...I had forgotten how knowledgeable your are about Buddhism and I so enjoyed the stories to illustrate the Dharma, your skill in making the Dharma relevant to daily living and your wonderful sense of humour....!!
I'm already looking on your web site to see if you have posted any information about your next retreat!
I arrived at the retreat feeling a little shattered .....worrying.....
I learnt a lot from Brian and your questions...
On Monday I started off the day meditating , walking and Qi Gong exercises,
I was operating from a completely peaceful place and my ego kept checking
are you sure you're not worrying... NO...
All of it ......the mantras, silence, the walking, the comfortable rooms
enabling down time and privacy...the light shining through the stained glass
windows in the abbey, the mystical fog, and the trails...and the respectful
way that we treated ourselves and each other...
And the delicious conversation with Ryf and James travelling to and from the
I'm so grateful.