VENERABLE AJAHN AMARO is abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in Hertfordshire, England. He was born in Kent, England, in 1956. He received a BSc with Honours from London University in psychology & physiology in 1977. In January 1978 he took up residence in a forest meditation monastery in the lineage of Ven. Ajahn Chah in Northeast Thailand. In October 1979 he returned to England to join Ven. Ajahn Sumedho at Chithurst, a newly founded forest monastery in West Sussex. In 1983, he journeyed 830 miles on foot to a branch monastery in Northumberland, where he resided for the next two years. In 1985 he came to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery and helped with teaching and administration for ten years, serving as vice-abbot for the last two years. He started going to the USA in 1990, spending a few months each year teaching there. In 1996 he founded Abhayagiri Monastery, in Mendocino County, California, and led the community there, in a co-abbotship with Ven. Ajahn Pasanno, from 1997 until July of 2010. He then returned to England and, in the autumn of that year, took up the role of abbot at Amaravati, on the retirement of the founding abbot Ven. Ajahn Sumedho. 

The main focus of his life is practising as a forest monk, and teaching and training others in that same tradition. Since 1988 he has taken part in numerous conferences and seminars, including two in Dharamsala and one in California with HH the Dalai Lama and a group of Western Buddhist teachers. In 1994 in London he was also involved in a seminar,

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VENERABLE AJAHN JAYASARO was born on the Isle of Wight, England in 1958. He joined Ajahn Sumedho’s community for the Rains Retreat as an anagarika in 1978. In November of that year he left for Wat Pa Pong in Northeast Thailand where he ordained as a novice in the following year, and as a bhikkhu in 1980 with Venerable Ajahn Chah as his preceptor. From 1997 until 2002 Ajahn Jayasaro was the Abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat. He is now living alone in a hermitage at the foot of the Khao Yai mountains.

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VENERABLE AJAHN PASANNO was born on July 26, 1949 in The Pas, Manitoba, Canada. In 1972 he finished his studies at the University of Winnipeg, Canada, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History. A year later, in 1973, he travelled to Asia through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, to India, Nepal and finally Thailand, where Ajahn Pasanno travelled to a meditation monastery in Chiang Mai. He studied the Tripitaka in English and enrolled in a month of meditation retreat.

In January 4, 1974, at the age of 24, Ajahn Pasanno took ordination at Wat Pleng Vipassana in Bangkok, Thailand with Venerable Phra Khru Ñāṇasirivatana as preceptor. During his first year as a monk he was taken by his teacher to meet Ajahn Chah, with whom he asked to be allowed to stay and train. One of the early residents of Wat Pah Nanachat, Ajahn Pasanno became its abbot in his ninth year. In the year of 1989, Ajahn Pasanno established Poo Jom Gom Monastery in Ubon Rachatani Province, Thailand, as a forest retreat facility for Wat Pah Nanachat. One year later, he also established Dtao Dum Monastery in Kanchanaburi Province as another forest retreat facility Buddhist monks. During his incumbency, Wat Pah Nanachat developed considerably, both in physical size and reputation. Spending 24 years living in Thailand, Ajahn Pasanno became a well-known and highly respected monk and Dhamma teacher.

He moved to California on New Year's Eve of 1997 to share the abbotship of Abhayagiri Monastery, Redwood Valley, California, with Ajahn Amaro. In 2010 Ajahn Amaro accepted an invitation to serve as abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in England. Ajahn Pasanno is now the sole abbot of Abhayagiri.

For further information: https://forestsangha.org/teachings/audio/speakers/ajahn-pasanno

AJAHN SANTIKARO went to Thailand with the Peace Corps in 1980, was ordained as a Theravada monk in 1985, trained at Suan Mokkh under Ajahn Buddhadasa, and became his primary English translator. Santikaro led meditation retreats at Suan Mokkh for many years, and was unofficial abbot of nearby Dawn Kiem. He is a founding member of Think Sangha, a community of socially engaged Buddhist thinker activists that has given special attention to the ethical and spiritual impact of consumerism and other modern developments. 

Santikaro returned to the USA's Midwest in 2001 and retired from formal monastic life in 2004. He continues to teach in the Buddhist tradition with an emphasis on the early Pali sources and the insights of Ajahn Buddhadasa. He is the founder of Liberation Park, a modern American expression of Buddhist practice, study, and social responsibility in rural Wisconsin. There he continues to study, practice, translate the work of his teacher, teach, and imagine the future of Buddha-Dhamma in the West.

For further information: suanmokkh.org & liberationpark.org

 
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Ajahn SumedhoAfter ordaining at the age of 30, VENERABLE LUANG POR SUMEDHO was to be the first western disciple of Luang Por Chah in Wat Nong Pah Pong, Ubon, in North Eastern Thailand. In 1975 Luang Por Chah sent him to a nearby village, Bahn Bung Wai, to establish Wat Pah Nanachat, a monastery that english speaking people could go to in order to study Buddhism and ordain. Two years later, upon the invitation of George Sharp and the English Sangha Trust, Luang Por Chah asked Ajahn Sumedho to go to London. A small but growing community was to spend two years in the Hampstead Vihāra, before moving to West Sussex, to found Chithurst Monastery. Under Ajahn Sumedho's guidance, the community grew steadily. Ajahn Sumedho helped found a number of branch monasteries over the years, both in England and abroad, in countries such as Italy, Switzerland, New-Zealand, U.S.A, Canada,... A few years after living in Chithurst Monastery, he himself moved to establish Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, in Hertfordshire. He lived altogether 34 years in England, travelling regularly back to Thailand to keep in touch with the Sangha there, and all over the world, spreading the Buddha's Teaching.

Having retired from his position as the abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, Luang Por Sumedho has been living for the last six years in Wat Pah Ratanawan, in Central Thailand. He is now 82 years old, and still makes himself available according to his ability for teaching and encouraging people's interest in the Dhamma.

For further information: https://forestsangha.org/teachings/audio/speakers/ajahn-sumedho

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