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Bodhinyanarama: Residents
History Residents Committee Forest Tradition
The Resident Community

Residents

Monastic
Ajahn Kusalo
Ajahn Dta
Venerable Thanavaro
Venerable Kusalacitto
Venerable Phasuko
Lay Stewards
Suan Duncan
Bruce Chatfield
Lindsay Jamieson

Ajahn Kusalo


Ajahn Kusalo is the current Abbot at Bodhinyanarama. Born in 1952 he grew up in Auckland. A chequered pattern of study and work, mostly in the building industry, eventually resulted in qualification as a Quantity Surveyor. However, a general disinterest in worldly gain led to many years of wandering throughout Australasia. Around 1980 he met Ajahn Jagaro in Perth, Australia and joined retreats led by Ajahn Sumedho who visited there for two consecutive years.

Still married, with one son, it was not until 1990 that he was able to join Ajahn Viradhammo in Bodhinyanarama where he took bhikkhu ordination in 1992, remaining there until 1994 when there was an invitation to join Ajahn Sumedho in England. Six years at Amaravati Monastery led to two years in Wales, a precursor to two years of wandering around Europe. Part of this time was a three week trip to Canada that eventually resulted in his living there for eight years, the last five of those being spent establishing Tisarana monastery West of Ottawa.

A short visit to Bodhinyanarama in 2011 resulted in Ajahn moving back in 2012.

Ajahn Dta


Ajahn Dta was born in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand in 1978. After leaving school he worked variously as a motor-cycle mechanic and T.V. repair man. He has always had an interest in monastic life and eventually ordained as a monk in 2002 in his home town.

He has spent the last four years living at Ajahn Chah's monastery, Wat Pah Pong. During that time he also spent a year at Wat Pah Nanachat with Ajahn Kevali.

He came to New Zealand at the end of June and is planning to stay for at least a year. Apart from a couple of brief visits to India and Laos this is his first time living abroad.

Venerable Thanavaro

Venerable Thanavaro was born in Budapest, Hungary, where he studied and practised Buddhism before going to Amaravati for the first time in 2007. He took the anagarika precepts in July 2009 and received samanera ordination on 27 July 2010, with Luang Por Sumedho as preceptor. On 10 July 2011 took full ordination as a bhikkhu, with Ajahn Amaro as his preceptor. He stayed at Amaravati for most of his monastic life but visited Abhayagiri, the Pacific Hermitage and Temple Forest Monastery between December 2014 and July 2016.

Venerable Kusalacitto


Born in Thailand in 1950 and grew up in Laos. Moved to New Zealand in 1985 and took part in the early years of Bodhinyanarama, eventually ordaining here as anagarika in 2011. After a year he travelled to Thailand where he took Bhikkhu ordination in 2012. Returning to Bodhinyanarama at the end of 2013 he has maintained residence until now.

Venerable Phasuko


Phasuko bhikkhu was born in The Netherlands in 1980 growing up and being educated there. He moved to England in 2012 living as a resident at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, receiving upasampada in 2014.

Suan Duncan


Aunty Suan was born in Malaysia and has had a full-on family life with work and three sons. She was raised in a Christian environment but could never 'get the hang of it.' Her cultural interest in Buddhism developed later in life and the coincident connection with Bodhinyanarama and other factors in her lay life about 2010 led to her moving here in 2012. The kitchen, domestics generally and the community overall have benefitted from her steady presence.

Bruce Chatfield


Bruce was born in Kaeo in the far north on the edge of Waitaruke, a Maori Settlement, into a large, poor and dysfunctional family. In his mid-teens he met the dhamma and started developing a career in building, painting, poetry, busking and writing.

He married at 19 and had a daughter but, alas, separation from the loved... things generally fell apart through both death and disappearance. Many years were spent traveling supported by building and art with large murals in Greece, Thailand, Mexico, India and Canada.

Since the late '80s years have been spent in Buddhist centers in Australia and New Zealand. Bruce arrived at Bodhinyanarama in 2013 and has contributed generously to many building projects.

Lindsay Jamieson


Originally from Dunedin Lindsay worked as a lab technician for several years then as a farmer. Aged 28 he went full-time as an artist and sculptor. This worked well until the stock market crash when he supplemented his income by working at meditation centers. He has had a long standing association with the Goenka tradition so this went well. He also did work as a cabinetmaker.

Arriving at Bodhinyanarama after the vassa in 2015 he has been a very able and much appreciated member of the community spending his time between the workshop, the office, the kitchen and the cushion.