The Monks Community

The Bhikkhu community at Amaravati began from those that came from Cittaviveka Monastery in 1984. Many had spent some time training in Thailand at Wat Nong Pah Pong.

Usually, there are between fifteen and twenty-five Bhikkhus and Sāmaneras in residence, living a contemplative, celibate, mendicant life according to the Vinaya and Dhamma. They provide the living link with the Order founded by the Buddha over two thousand years ago. The community also consists of Anagārikas, or white robed postulants on the Eight Precepts, who after a year or two may be given Sāmanera ordination.

The community is not static as there are close links with the other branch monasteries both in England and abroad; Bhikkhus and Sāmaneras move between the monasteries.

The Amaravati community was founded by Luang Por Sumedho in 1984. In November 2010 he handed over the duties of abbot to Ajahn Amaro, and is now based in Thailand where his monastic life began in 1966.

Luang Por Sumedho — Founding Abbot

Luang Por Sumedho was born in Seattle, Washington in 1934. After serving four years in the US Navy as a medic, he completed a BA in Far Eastern Studies and a MA in South Asian Studies. In 1966, he went to Thailand to practice meditation at Wat Mahathat in Bangkok. Not long afterwards, he went forth as a novice monk in a remote part of the country, Nong Khai, before receiving full ordination in 1967.

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Ajahn Amaro — Abbot

Born in England in 1956, Ven. Amaro Bhikkhu received his BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London. Spiritual searching led him to Thailand, where he went to Wat Pah Nanachat, a Forest Tradition monastery established for Western disciples of Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah, who ordained him as a bhikkhu in 1979. He returned to England and joined Ajahn Sumedho at the newly established Chithurst Monastery. He resided for many years at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, making trips to California every year during the 1990s.

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Ajahn Nyanarato

Ajahn Nyanarato (Shigehito Nakao) was born in 1958, in Nara, Japan. His sincere interest in the meaning of life began when he was being trained as a medical doctor in Kyoto University.

After graduation, he decided to go to India for spiritual pursuit, instead of becoming a doctor. He spent one year there, then moved on to Thailand, where he visited various monasteries, such as Wat Pak Nam, Wat Suan Mokkh, etc.

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Ajahn Gandhasilo

Ajahn Gandhasilo was born in 1959 and raised in Hertfordshire. He first saw a Buddhist monk on Ilkley Moor in 1980 and his first encounter with the Theravada tradition was at Chithurst monastery in 1985. After spending two years as an anagarika Ajahn Gandhasilo received the bhikkhu ordination at Chithurst in 1990. He has witnessed the development of Amaravati monastery and the transformation from the old school buildings into the new Temple that exists today. Over the years Ajahn Gandhasilo has spent virtually all of his monastic life England and has had the good fortune to experience life in all four of the UK monasteries in our tradition.

Ajahn Jayanto

Ajahn Jayanto (Chris Bowen) was born in 1967 in Boston, Massachussetts, USA. In 1988 he left university in order to pursue something more meaningful, and within a year had found his way to Amaravati in order to join the monastic community. After eight years training, mostly in the monasteries at Chithurst and Harnham, he spent another eight years in Buddhist countries in Asia, mostly in Thailand. He returned to Britain in order to live at Amaravati in March, 2006.

Ajahn Ratanavanno

Ajahn Ratanavanno was born in Korat, N.E. Thailand on 10 February 1971.

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Ajahn Dhammanando

Ajahn Dhammanando grew up in Carshalton, Surrey, a fairly typical suburb of South London. He attended Mitcham Grammar school and went on to study English and History at Keele University in Staffordshire at a time when the curriculum there was broad and multi-disciplinary.

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Ajahn Anando

Ajahn Anando was born in Blackheath, south east London on the 6th March 1966. He served as a soldier in the British army for three years mostly living in West Germany. After leaving the military he spent time studying health and fitness at East London University, then established a small fitness company which he ran successfully for several years.

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Ajahn Kalyano

Ajahn Kalyano was born in Hitchin in 1961. He has been a practicing Buddhist since he was 17. He began visiting Amaravati in the 1980’s. As a layman his path of practice and enquiry led him to work in hospitals for nearly twenty years specialising in neurological rehabilitation and learning disabilities as a Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist and T’ai chi teacher. He has a particular interest in exploring the relationship between body and mind. He took full ordination at Chithurst Monastery in 1995 and has since travelled to Italy, Thailand and Australia.

Ajahn Ahimsako

Ajahn Ahimsako (Craig Randolph) was born near San Francisco, California in 1959,  and spent most of his life living abroad and pursuing a career in classical ballet as a dancer, teacher, and educator. While living in England he traveled to Sri Lanka where his interest in Buddhism prompted him to begin visiting the London Buddhist Vihara and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. He began his monastic life in 2002 at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in California, and received the upasampadā (bhikkhu ordination) in 2004 with Luang Por Pasanno as preceptor.

Venerable Akaliko

Bhikkhu Akaliko

Venerable Akaliko (Antonin Krizek) was born in the Czech Republic in 1977. He grew up in a small town about 50 km from Prague. He studied electronics in college after which he specialized in software engineering for economics at university but he did not finish the course. It was a time of parties and hedonism but also a lot of questioning about the meaning and real purpose of life.

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Bhikkhu Santamano

Ven. Santamano was born in Wallasey in 1980. He and his parents moved to India for a few years before returning to England in 1993. His initial interest in Buddhism came through reading the works of D T Suzuki and started going to meditation classes at the Buddhist Society in London. There he learned of Amaravati and started listening to Dhamma Talks on the Internet.

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Bhikkhu Thanavaro

Ven. Thanavaro was born in Budapest, Hungary, where he studied and practised Buddhism before coming to Amaravati for the first time in 2007. He took the anagarika precepts in July 2009 and received the pabbajja (novice ordination) on 27 July, 2010, with Luang Por Sumedho as preceptor. On 10 July, 2011 Ven. Thanavaro received the upasampada (full ordination) as a bhikkhu, with Ajahn Amaro as his preceptor.

Bhikkhu Narindo

Bhikkhu Narindo was born to Chinese-Malaysian parents in the Netherlands in the winter of 1981. In addition to pursuing his studies, he helped with his parent’s restaurant business. In 2005 he completed his studies (LL.M. in Financial Law & M.Sc. in International Business Administration), and started working in international sales and marketing for a Dutch multinational.

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Samanera Kimbilo

Bhikkhu Kimbilo

Originally from Poland, Ven. Kimbilo spent most of his life living in Germany. He spent an extended period of time living at Plum Village in France before coming to Amaravati for the first time in 2010. Ven. Kimbilo was part of the lay support team for the Amaravati Winter Retreat in 2011. He had his Anagārika ‘Going Forth’ on 31 March, 2011, the final day of the Winter Retreat. Ven. Kimbilo received the Sāmanera Pabbajjā (Novice ‘Going Forth’) on 13 May 2012. His Upasampadā, or Full Admission into the Bhikkhu Sangha, was held on 10 August 2013, with Ajahn Amaro as his preceptor.

Samanera Ruciro

Sāmanera Ruciro

Sāmanera Ruciro was born in Croydon, South London in 1978. He studied at university and achieved two degrees, one in Sports Science and the other in Physiotherapy. For eight years Sāmanera Ruciro worked for the National Health Service (NHS) as a Physiotherapist, specializing in the field of neurology during the last three years. He first became interested in Buddhist meditation when he was twenty-five years old as a way of coping with ‘stress’.

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Samanera Dipako

Sāmanera Dīpako

Sāmanera Dīpako was born in Rennes, France, from Chinese-Cambodian parents. At university he studied civil engineering and graduated with a master’s degree. During his annual holidays Anagārika Meng made several trips to South-East Asia. In 2006, while travelling in Thailand, he was fortunate to have met a Thai student who took him to Wat Pah Nanachat (International Forest Monastery). It was there that he developed a great interest in Buddhism, particularly in the tradition of Ajahn Chah. Sāmanera Dīpako spent one year as an anagārika after which he formally requested the Sāmanera Pabbajja (Novice Going Forth) at a ceremony held here on 26 October 2013.

An. Yann

Anagārika Yann

Yann Garenne was born in France in 1978. After obtaining a degree in physics, he moved to England. There, he spent four years and discovered Buddhism and meditation and his interest in meditation grew after that.

The scientific aspect of Theravada Buddhism attracted him and he decided to leave the lay life after spending some time in a Theravada monastery. His ‘Going Forth’ ceremony was held in 2011 at Chithurst. He curently resides at Amaravati.


Anagārika Stuart

Anagārika Stuart was born in Glasgow in 1979. He grew up in York with his Mum and Dad and two sisters. In his late teens he was fortunate to come across Buddhist meditation in the Tibetan tradition, and his interest in practice has slowly grown since then. He worked as a support worker for elderly and disabled people, and for the last five years he has been living mostly in different Buddhist communities including Amaravati, Chithurst and for about three years in Plum Village, France. He is grateful to have the opportunity to continue to practise together with the community and formally went forth as an anagārika in a ceremony held on 12 September 2013.

Anagārika Marcin

Anagārika Marcin

Anagarika Marcin was born in 1985 in Stalowa Wola, in the south-east of Poland. His searches for true happiness brought him to the Buddha’s teachings. At the beginning he didn’t want to meditate until he read a story of a great female meditation master, Dipa Ma, which was the turning point in his life. In 2009 he attended his first ten-day Vipassana Meditation course, taught by SN Goenka. During the time of his increased interest in the Dhamma he discovered the teachings of Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Sumedho and other great Forest Tradition masters. He decided to take on the anagārika precepts at Amaravati, and his ‘Going Forth’ ceremony was held on 17 November 2013.

Anagārika Tobias

Anagārika Tobias

Anagārika Tobias was born in 1982, in Sweden. Always having an interest for the big questions in life, the Buddha’s path seemed to offer a meaningful and most worthwhile way of living. Inspired by the great Thai Forest teachers, he took up practice in the Theravāda tradition. After visiting several monasteries, and training for one year in Thailand, he decided to continue his training in the west. His Anagārika ‘Going Forth’ ceremony was held on 17th of December 2013.

An. Chris

Anagārika Chris

Anagārika Chris was born in 1981 in Norway. His interests lie in the area of virtue, meditation and philosophy. He become aquainted with the Thai Forest Tradition in his teenage years. His Anagārika ‘Going Forth’ ceremony was held at Amaravati on 26 April 2014.