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SANTACITTARAMA, "The Garden of the Serene Heart", is a small Buddhist monastery of the ancient Theravada tradition. It was founded in 1990 in order to meet the existing interest among Italian Buddhists as well as the Thai, Sri Lankan and Burmese immigrant communities. The Santacittarama Association - the legal body representing the monastery - is a member of the Italian Buddhist Union and was officially recognized by the state as a religious organization in 1995. The monastery is located  in the Sabina hills, about 50km. from Rome, in the district of Poggio Nativo, Rieti province.


The History of Santacittarama


The resident community follows a tradition inspired by the Thai forest monk Venerable Ajahn Chah (1918-1992), an influential teacher under whom many Westerners, attracted by the clarity, simplicity and accessibilty of his teaching and practice, were ordained as monks in Thailand.


This lineage was brought to the West when Ajahn Sumedho, one of Ven. Ajahn Chah's Western disciples, was invited to set up a monastic order in England. Since his arrival with three other Western monks in 1977, this order has grown to include four monasteries in the U.K. as well as those in Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.A., altogether comprising some 100 monks and nuns. 


Southeast Asian (Theravada) Buddhism has as its keystone the relationship of mutuality between the monastic Sangha, i.e. the ordained community of monks and nuns, and the extended community of lay practitioners. This relationship is characterised by the material dependence of the Sangha, as mendicant renunciants, on acts of generosity (Dana) made by the extended community - in particular, depending for their daily sustenance on direct offerings of food and by the offerings likewise made by the Sangha to the lay community in providing an example, inspiration and support in their spiritual practice, and access to the sanctuary of the monasteries.


The History of Santacittarama


Postal address: Santacittarama, 02030 Poggio Nativo RI, Italy.


Telephone: (+39) 0765 872 528 (Tues-Sun, 08:00-10:30am)


Fax: (+39) 06 233 238 629


Email: [email protected]



Italian version  

www.forestsangha.org is a portal page to the monasteries associated with Ven. Ajahn Chah.


Associate of the Italian Buddhist Union


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