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Bodhinyanarama: History
History Residents Committee Forest Tradition
The Journey of a Thousand Miles

The Old & New

Twenty five years ago the Evening Post did a full page photo essay on the monastery. A recent visit from the same photographer resulted in a new version.
view here
There are a few more images from Phil's visit here


Bodhinyanarama is associated with the many branch monasteries of Venerable Ajahn Chah (1918-1992). In his home province in north-eastern Thailand, Ajahn Chah inspired many westerners by the simplicity of the traditional monastic lifestyle and by his clarity, wisdom, and compassionate humour. In 1977 he was invited to England by the English Sangha Trust to investigate the possibility of establishing a monastic presence in Britain. Finding the reception favorable he left his most senior western disciple, Ajahn Sumedho, and three other monks to establish a monastic community, first in London and later at Chithurst Monastery in West Sussex.
In 1982 Ajahn Sumedho visited New Zealand and was encouraged to send monks to establish a monastery near Wellington. A group of devoted Buddhists formed a charitable association and in 1985 invited two monks from the United Kindom to live in New Zealand. A superb location, a thickly-wooded, easily accessible valley near Wellington was soon purchased. Since then, much energy and commitment by many people have created the beautiful buildings, gardens, and forest walks that comprise the monastery today.

Bodhinyanarama belongs to the network of Ajahn Chah's monasteries in the United Kingdom, Australia, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, United States, France and Malaysia. The monastic community of monks (sangha) is structured according to the vinaya code of conduct, which was established by the Buddha. The sangha depends entirely on the generosity of the laity for its basic needs of food, robes, shelter, and medicines. The sangha lives simply and has few worldly obligations. Monks do not possess independent means of support. They do not handle money, own property, or store food. In return the sangha offers spiritual guidance and reflection to the lay community through verbal teachings and by its living presence. The monks train themselves to be worthy of respect and of the generosity on which they depend. The sangha and the laity thus support, balance, and nourish one another in a way that benefits the whole community.

Projects Past

Various projects around the monastery have been displayed here on the website. As they are completed their news value decreases and they fade into history. Rather than have them completely disappear we have reset the link from this page.

There were two new kutis built in the lay area. This work was started in 2014 and, as much as anything in the world is finished, they reached completion in 2016. View details here

Workshop Basement:
The basement for at least two decades was just a junk dump. The potential for developing it as a kuti and dormitory accommodation developed over time. details here

Workshop Basement:
The basement for at least two decades was just a junk dump. The potential for developing it as a kuti and dormitory accommodation developed over time. details here

Hermitage Kuti:
This has been under review for a few years now and, at vassa 2017 is pretty much finished for now. There are bits of info peppered throughout the website but they need to be collated... in time :)
1st phases? see: yr-manJames.jpg 2013/summer
2nd phase: see yw-hermTrack.jpg 2013/Winter-Spring
yb-track.jpg|2015/summer: After a morning spent raking and graveling the surface of the new hermitage track.
xk-hermitage.jpg|2016 summer: bruce takes measurements
xj-deckHerm.jpg|ditto: Deck improvements
xh-hermitage1.jpg|2016 winter: The new hermitage deck.
xe-pig.jpg|ditto: The Little Pig

The monastery annual general meeting is open to the public. Those present for the 2016 meeting agreed that the minutes for these meeting might be of interest to you. You can read those minutes here