The Body Knows Podcast podcast

EP#007 | Ajahn Sucitto | The Wisdom of the Body: A Buddhist Perspective

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This first episode of The Body Knows Podcast of 2021 is with senior, Western Buddhist monk Ajahn Succito, and we could not be happier to be sharing his deep, compassionate, somatic wisdom as we set forth into the New Year together.

Ajahn Sucitto entered monastic life in 1975 in Thailand, but been based in Britain since 1978. He spent fourteen years training under Ajahn Sumedho, the senior Western disciple of the Thai Forest Buddhist master Luang Por Chah, and so is part of that direct lineage of Theravadan monastic practice. Beginning in 1979 with the founding of Chittaviveka monastery in Chithurst, West Sussex, under the guidance of Ajahn Chah, and later Amaravati in Hertfordshire with Ajahn Sumedo, he is one of those who is instrumental in establishing Theravadan Buddhism in the West. He was also then abbot of Cittaviveka between 1992 & 2014, when he resigned the post, although he continues teaching.

The title of Ajahn denotes an expert spiritual teacher in the Thai language, and for both of us has been just that; directly on silent retreat, practicing mediation and Chi Gong, as well as through talks on the Buddha’s teachings, and in his many written works also.

This first season of the podcast has been all about us speaking with those who have been direct influences, teachers and companions to us and when drawing up our wish list of guests Ajahn was always one we both dearly wanted to interview, such has the impact of his teaching been upon us.

The Thai Forest tradition has a very direct style and approach to practice, the Buddha's teachings and to daily life. There are spiritual traditions that ignore, deny, abuse or try to transcend the body, and we wanted to gain Ajahn's spiritual perspective on the importance of reclaiming our feelings, sensations, and instincts and the value of listening to wisdom the of the body.

Some of the Buddha’s instructions on mindfulness emphasize that we should ‘Directly know the body in the body’, and that ‘Mindfulness of body encompasses all states that give rise to wisdom’. We knew Ajahn would provide clear, loving, joyful, first-hand personal experience upon this, and we were not disappointed by what he had to share.

Ajahn’s books are available for free distribution and are free to download via His talks, essays and reflections are also available on his own site where you can sign up for his newsletter, to get updates about all his teaching engagements, both live and virtual, as well as links to recorded teachings. You can also find him on the Insight Timer app

The interview took place over Zoom between the 2nd and 3rd lockdown in the UK. Marcela was in Devon teaching the final module on The Still Flowing Yoga Teacher training, Mat was at home in West Sussex and Ajahn was at Chitaviveka. The recording of Mat’s voice is not great for some reason, however we have done our best to maximize playback quality. This episode was edited by who deserves the biggest Enriquez Wakeham family shout-out for saving Christmas when our edit crashed and corrupted and left us out of time. His services are highly recommended.

Our listener shout-out this month goes to Jessie Rose. Jessie is life coach, who is also a near death experience survivor. Jessie reached out to us via Instagram to share her story after we posted a reflection upon the ineffable awareness and support the body gives us even when facing death, in response to our last conversation with counseling psychotherapist Mark Craven. You can discover more of Jessie’s story of self healing, harmony, love and alignment for yourself at where she also has a link to her site and services.

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