Friday, 12 February 2010

All Change at Amaravati, I Wonder Why?

Thanissara Mary Weinberg recently reported on the Facebook group "Women and the Forest Sangha" that....

"Ajahn Amaro is to take over as preceptor for the EU monastic sangha and is to be abbot of Amaravati from July this year. Ajahn Sumedho is to retire and is to leave Amaravati (for the time being to move to Portugal where a new vihara - monastery is being founded). My recent visit to Rocana Vihara (nun's accommodation and shrine room at Chithurst Buddhist monastery) in the UK highlighted the debilitating and under mining impact of the 5 points on the UK Siladhara, also the extreme difficulty of an open culture of dialogue within the larger community. In the light of this and of recent events, there is much hope that Ajahn Amaro will be able to restore some health and sanity within the community dynamic - Clearly he has his work cut out - let's hope that Ajahn Amaro can receive all the positive and nourishing support he can get!"


  1. This a particularly disheartening post. Whoever you are, do you really understand that the Forest tradition in the UK is funded and backed by the Thai people. Without their contribution there would be no Amaravati or Chithurst, westerners do not fund this tradition and their contribution is very small. Please do not make out that this is a gender and discrimination issue, because it is not. It is a Thai cultural issue and on that point Ajahn Sumedho's hands are tied. Please bother to take the time to find out how all this works and how the forest tradition has established itself in the UK. Laung Por has worked for over thirty years to establish all the monastries in this tradition, including Rocana at great cost to the monks. I have been going to Amaravati for twenty years and have never seen a monastic male or female go without the four requisits, and apparently the Buddha said that is all that is required. Stop trying to split the Sangha with such talk, I for one prefer to support the nuns and am delighted that the California project is thriving, and I miss some of the nuns dearly. Yes things need to change and things will change, but please do your homework first. Fortunatly I am not racist or arragant enough to challenge the Thai culture and insist that they change their ways to accommodate my western views.

  2. Ven. Ajahn Amaro speaking in Dharmasala in March 1993 said, 'Seeing the nuns not receiving the respect given to the monks is very painful. It is like having a spear in your heart.'

  3. If it`s down to who funds the viharas calls the shots -then its time we westerners dug deep into our pockets to see the fairness we all pray for.