Ajahn Amaro: "Buddhism and Mindfulness in the West: Where Are They Headed and What Challenges Do They Face?"
Bio: Ajahn Amaro, Abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, England
Born in England in 1956, he received a BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London in 1977. 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. Soon afterwards he returned to England and joined Ajahn Sumedho at the newly established Chithurst Monastery.
In 1983 he made an 830 mile journey on foot to Harnham Monastery in Northumberland and in 1985 he was invited to join the community at the newly opened Amaravati Monastery. He resided for ten years at Amaravati, making trips to California every year during the early 1990s, at the invitation of Ajahn Sumedho’s students who were based there. During that time at Amaravati Ajahn Amaro helped with teaching and administration, serving as vice-abbot for the last two years.
In June 1996 he established Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, California, where he was co-abbot with Ajahn Pasanno until 2010. In July 2010 he was invited to return Amaravati, to be the successor of Ajahn Sumedho as abbot of this large monastic community. He was granted permission to be an upajjhāya (ordination preceptor) in 2011. He has presided over the ordination of 6 nuns and 28 monks since that date.
He has authored or co-authored about 25 books, all for free distribution. In 2015 he was honoured by the King of Thailand with the title Chao Khun Videsabuddhiguna.
He is also a cousin of the late Buddhist scholar and President of the Pali Text Society, I.B. Horner.
T. T. & W. F. Chao Distinguished Practitioner Lectures Series