- Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery
Abhayagiri, or Fearless Mountain in the
canonicallanguage of Pali, is a Theravadin Buddhist monasteryof the Thai Forest Traditionin Redwood Valley, California.
About 13 miles north of Ukiah, the monastery has its origins in the 1980s when the UK-based
Ajahn Sumedho, foremost western disciple of the Thai meditationmaster Ajahn Chah, started getting requests to teach in California. Visits by either himself or one of his senior monks or nuns resulted in the Sanghapala Foundationbeing set up in 1988. The monastery's 120 acres were given to the foundation by the devotees of Chan Master Hsuan Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhasin Talmage, before he died in 1995.
At the time of writing there were a dozen renunciates in permanent residence: two abbots, two anagarikas or postulants, two
samaneras or novices and six fully-ordained bhikkhus. Male residents live in small huts nestled in the forest. Female residents live in a house which was separately donated to the monastery. Guest teachers come from the forests of Thailandas well as England.
The daily schedule, in keeping with tradition, is rigorous. Most residents, monastics and lay visitors and alike, rise well before sunrise. Morning
puja, as it's known, is at 5am and lasts an hour-and-a-half. This is followed by a half-hour work period, and a spartan breakfast of oatmeal. There are then three hours of physical labor, ending with lunch, which has to be consumed before midday. There follows free time for study, meditation and/or walking the extensive network of trails that wind about the mountainside. At about 5pm tea is served, sometimes followed by a Dhammareading and, later, by a further puja. On lunar observance days, which mark the four moon quarters, this lasts until 3am the following morning.
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, UK
Bodhinyana Monastery, Australia
Bodhivana Monastery, Australia
Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, UK
Wat Pah Nanachat, Thailand
* [http://www.abhayagiri.org Abhayagiri official website: offers free audio, books & newsletter]
* [http://www.forestsangha.org/ Forest Sangha website]
* [http://www.bodhimonastery.net/courses/Pali/course_Pali.html On-line Pali Language Course]
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