S A N T A C I T T A R A M A B U D D H I S T M O N A S T E R Y
Preceptor AppointmentsIn January of this year Ajahn Amaro and Ajahn Chandapalo were in Thailand together, seeking approval from the Thai sangha as officially-sanctioned Preceptors (upajjhaya), which would authorize them to receive suitable candidates into the bhikkhu training. With Luang Por Sumedho having relinquished this role last year and returned to Thailand, our European monasteries were in need of an officially recognized Preceptor. The European elders agreed to propose both Ajahn Amaro and Ajahn Chandapalo to fulfil this office, thus providing a geographic spread, with Ajahn Amaro based in England and Ajahn Chandapalo in Italy. This was accepted by the elders of the Ajahn Chah group of monasteries in Thailand, and by Somdet Buddhajahn, the acting Supreme Patriarch and the Mahathera Samakorn, the ecclesiastical body which governs the Thai sangha, of which we are a part.
Ajahn Amaro flew to Thailand in June to receive the certificates from Luang Por Liam, abbot of Wat Pah Pong, who had himself travelled to Bangkok with other senior monks to receive them from the secretary of Somdet Buddhajahn at Wat Saket. On July 10th at Chithurst Monastery in the UK, these appointments were acknowledged by the sangha and Ajahn Chandapalo received his certificate in the sima (ordination boundary) where he had been accepted into the bhikkhu sangha twenty nine years previously (see photo) The sangha then proceeded to confer bhikkhus status on five candidates, with Ajahn Amaro as preceptor, and one anagarika was given the 'going forth' as a novice (samanera). For more on this, in English, with photos, see the 'current news' section at www.forestsangha.org.
Mountain Hermitage Santaloka
Luang Por Sumedho has been spending the last month in a mountain hermitage at 2,000 metres above sea level at the end of the Lys Valley, near Monte Rosa. He was joined there by Ajahn Chandapalo and Ajahn Khemasiri (abbot of Dhammapala in Switzerland) on his 77th birthday, when the property was formally offered to the sangha by Boonchan and Maria Vittoria, a local Thai-Italian family. This is a very generous and useful offering and will be a wonderful resource for the sangha as a place of retreat and solitude in beautiful and quiet natural surroundings. We have called it Santaloka, which means "Realm of Peace".
How to nourish practice in lay life
This is the title that we have given to the next Study and Practice Day, to be held on Saturday 27th August. It is a theme that we are often asked about. One practical response to this question may be to establish a network of committed lay Buddhists that can then support each other and share their experiences. In the UK such a group of lay Buddhists associated with Amaravati Monastery has existed for some time, see:www.buddhacommunity.org, and it may be useful to establish something similar in Italy. Someone has already offered to create a website dedicated to this. Saturday 27th August will present an opportunity for people to share ideas and proposals and perhaps move towards establishing something similar in Italy.
A talk in English by Ajahn Jutindharo (Preechar) – "Memories of LP Chah" – given on LP Chah's birthday (17th June) at Amaravati Monastery, can be downloaded from their website:amaravati.org/abmnew/index.php/teachings/audio.
Anagarika Dario returned to lay life in July, while Alberto will go home to Madrid in late August, after a stay here of over six months.