Juanuary             2008                             2551                      Number     82
The Forest Sangha is a worldwide Buddhist monastic
community in the Thai forest tradition of Ajahn Chah

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Monasteries 2007

Checking-in with some of the monasteries at the end of another year


Santacittarama: The main building


Santacittarama (Italy)


The year 2007 seems to have been a particularly busy one, with lots of coming and going, plus teaching visits to various parts of Italy – Bari, Cagliari, Milan, Padua, Piacenza, Rieti, Verona - and to Slovenia. Guests come from all over Europe, and beyond, and at present there are several young men, Italian as well as Spanish and Slovenian, interested in undertaking a monastic training. After spending a year with us, Ajahn Uttamo left for Bodhinyanarama Monastery in New Zealand, while we were joined by Ajahn Jantee from Wat Pah Pong and Tan Nyanadassano from Amaravati. Ajahn Suvaco and Tan Mahapanyo went to spend the vassa in England, at Aruna Ratanagiri and Hartridge respectively, and have since returned, while Tan Hiriko returned to Ratanagiri after spending the summer months here.  For the winter retreat this leaves us with six bhikkhus, one samanera, one anagarika and several lay residents.

The Kathina ceremony marked the 10th anniversary of our arrival in the Sabina hills, and was the biggest event we’ve so far hosted. We were very pleased to have as special guests Luang Por Sumedho, and Ajahn Jayasaro who came especially all the way from Bangkok accompanied by a contingent of about 20 Thai people. A fund-raising concert had been held in Bangkok, with the participation of well-known musicians and singers, the proceeds being donated towards Santacittarama’s temple project. A very substantial sum was raised for which we express our anumodana. Another major event this year was Songkran, South-East Asia’s new year celebrations in April, which also saw a group of generous supporters coming from Thailand, bringing with them the elderly and delightful Tan Chao Khun Dhammamoli, the head monk of Surin province.

Several meetings have been held to discuss the temple project and, although we still do not have building permission, at least several possible (and legal!) ways of overcoming the bureaucratic obstacles to obtaining this have opened up. In the meantime a contract has been signed to rebuild the men’s guest house, which should be completed next spring.




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