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June 2006

Remembering Venerable Lokanatha – the first Italian Buddhist monk

Last month was the 40th anniversary of the decease of Ven Lokanatha, the first Italian to be ordained as a Theravadin Buddhist monk. Born in Naples in 1897 as Salvatore Cioffi, at the age of three his family emigrated to the US. After graduating in chemistry his interest in Buddhism was sparked off by an English translation of the Dhammapada – a collection of short sayings of the Buddha in verse form – that he came across in a library. At the age of 27 he left for India, then visited Sri Lanka, where he spent some time furthering his studies, and the following year ordained in Burma. During his 40 years as a monk he wandered all over Southeast Asia, as well as leading large groups of monks on pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy sites in India, and was highly regarded for his Dhamma teaching and strict observance of the discipline. On the 25th of May 1966 he died from a brain tumour in Burma, where he is still widely remembered and revered.

From a cursory search on the internet we were not able to discover much detail about his life. It could be an interesting topic for a student to take on as a research project.


Dhammapada reprint

Ajahn Munindo's version of the Dhammapada, which was published several years ago in Italian translation and has now run out, is about to be reprinted for free distribution. It will take a few months but in the meantime it can be downloaded as a PDF file (4 Mb) from the "insegnamenti" page on our web site. The original English version is available from the web site of Aruna Ratanagiri: www.ratanagiri.org.uk/books.htm 


Libertà Inattesa – a new book in Italian

Ajahn Munindo's second book (Unexpected Freedom) has now been published by Ubaldini in Italian translation and is available in bookshops. Please note that it is not available at the monastery, apart from consultation in the library. The original English version is available from the web site of Aruna Ratanagiri: www.ratanagiri.org.uk/books.htm


Dhamma Talks in Italian

Text: "L'isola oltre la quale non si può andare" by Ajahn Sumedho can be downloaded from the "insegnamenti" page of our website.

Audio: A talk given by Ajahn Chandapalo (in Italian) on the full moon of Vesak can be downloaded as an MP3 file from the "audio" page.


Ways of helping

Apart from offering financial support there are many other ways of helping Santacittarama. In fact, the monastery was founded, and continues to exist, due to the generous hearts and collaborative efforts of many people.

With our anagarika Luca soon to undertake the novice precepts this becomes all the more pertinent as, in effect, we will be losing our resident driver, head gardener and kitchen manager. On occasion people have expressed their availability to help in various ways, but we are not always clear about what exactly is being offered, or else we forget, so we thought it the right moment to organise ourselves better and start a "skills and resources register". So, if you would like to help in some way, and be listed in this register, please let us know what you can do and what you wish to offer, and then we can contact you when help is needed. Of course this will not be binding in any way; we recognise that people's circumstances change and despite their good intentions are not always able to honour them. Apart from driving, gardening and cooking, other skills that are occasionally required are building, carpentry, plumbing, electrics, computer hardware, painting and decorating. There may be others that don't come to mind right now, so please let us know if you have any suggestions.




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