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July 2011



Once again it is the time of year when Buddhist monks the world over take a vow of stability for the three month period that corresponds to the monsoon season in Asia. This year at Santacittarama we will have six bhikkhus and one anagarika in residence. Ajahn Suvaco has already departed for a six month visit to Thailand and is due to return before Christmas, while samanera Kovido has gone to spend at least four or five months in Aruna Ratanagiri monastery near Newcastle. Tan Mahapanyo is due to leave for a three-month self retreat in the countryside of Emilia Romagna and is expected back for the Kathina Ceremony in October.

In the meantime we have been joined by Ajahn Prateep Guttadhammo, a Thai monk who has lived at Wat Pah Nanachat, the international monastery near Ubon, as well as at Abhayagiri monastery in California. He is likely to stay here for up to a year or more. Tan Cittaviro, a German monk ordained in Thailand, arrived recently and is expecting to stay for four or five months.

We will be celebrating Asalha Puja, or Dhamma Day, on Sunday 17th July. This occasion commemorates the Buddha's first discourse, "Setting in motion the wheel of Dhamma", delivered to the five ascetics at the Deer Park of Isipatana (present-day Sarnath), two months after the Awakening. As always, all are warmly invited to attend.

We are delighted to have Luang Por Sumedho here with us for the first weekend of August, and for him to have agreed to give a talk in English (to be translated into Italian) on Saturday 6th and in Thai on Sunday 7th, which coincides with the anniversary of the death of Khun Natcharee Thananan, who was instrumental in the acquisition of this property. Luang Por Sumedho has been spending several months in various places in Europe - Portugal, Croatia and Italy - in this new phase of his life free of responsibilities, and will be returning to Thailand on the 8th. As we reported late last year he has now stepped back from an active teaching and administrative role, so we are exceptionally fortunate to have this opportunity.

Summer is always a busy season at Santacittarama, it being the holiday time for many, and we are expecting numerous guests and daytime visitors. For the rest of July and August our guest accommodation is already virtually completely booked, then on 5th September we begin a month-long silent retreat for the resident community, during which time it will not be possible to stay overnight.

As those who have been to the monastery will realize, the access road has been in need of repair for some time. Over the last few weeks the sangha and guests - and a dedicated number of Thai women - have been busy working under the hot sun, cementing over the worst stretches. Even though the road is now much improved, please don't forget to slow down while approaching the monastery! We also appreciate it when people use the designated parking area. There is no news concerning the possibility of building a large meeting hall, we are still waiting patiently to hear from the regional authorities.

All good wishes for a pleasant and peaceful summer!




Ajahn Chandapalo (British)

Ajahn Jutindharo (Thai/italian)

Ajahn Ottama (Swiss/Czech)

Ajahn Prateep Guttadhammo (Thai)

Ajahn Janthee (Thai)

Tan Cittaviro (German)

Anagarika Dario (Italian)




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