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,
The Good Heart, that HH the Dalai Lama led where he was giving commentaries on the Christian gospels. He has taken part in two of the large Mind & Life seminars with HH the Dalai Lama, the first at MIT, in 2003; at the second, The Science and Clinical Applications of Meditation, in Washington DC, 2005, he was invited to give the opening presentation: [http://www.mindandlife.org/dialogues/past-conferences/ml13/]. He was also invited to give the opening plenary talk at the First International Conference on Mindfulness, Rome, Italy, in May 2013.
In February 2012 he was one of the two people chosen to represent the Buddhists of Great Britain to greet HM Queen Elizabeth at the opening event celebrating her Diamond Jubilee. In March of the same year he represented the Theravada tradition in a Christian-Buddhist dialogue with Archbishop Rowan Williams and other Buddhist teachers.
For further information: https://forestsangha.org/teachings/audio/speakers/ajahn-amaro