As travelers on the path of wisdom, we read Dharma texts in order to guide our practice and integrate the teachings into our everyday lives. The biographies of eminent monastics bring to life the teachings and principles in these texts. Ajahn Mun’s biography is one of the best examples of this.
First, Ajahn Mun’s life is full of adventures: he encountered enlightened masters, tigers, and even a spiritual partner from past lives upon his realization of Arahantship. Each of these stories exemplifies Dharma principles through his incredible vigor in applying the teachings in every moment.
Second, Ajahn Maha Boowa, one of his main disciples who carried on his legacy and teachings, wrote a “spiritual biography” in order to give inspiration and advice to others who wish to follow in Ajahn Mun’s footsteps. Ajahn Maha Boowa combines spirited storytelling with his own deep understanding of the Dharma--making the biography accessible yet profound. A lot of care went into this biography with well-written footnotes and an extensive glossary for the dedicated reader.
Third, we are introduced to an entirely different way of seeing the world-- where the spiritual landscape that we encounter in the Tripitaka, the Buddhist Canon, comes to life. Ajahn Mun teaches not only humans, but animals (who call humans “ogres”), devas (who come to him requesting instructions), and other spiritual beings (you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out!).
Finally, and perhaps most important, the stories and encounters in Ajahn Mun’s life include his motivations, reactions, and thought processes. We see not only the external aspects of his practice, but the inner workings of his mind as well.
Ajahn Mun’s life is an embodiment of the Dharma; he influenced not only Thai Buddhism, but Buddhism in the West as well. One of his students, Ajahn Chah, went on to teach Westerners such as Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Amaro, and Jack Kornfield who have played pivotal roles in bringing Thai Forest tradition and meditation to the West. The book is available for free from Abhayagiri Monastery (link).