Aruna Ratanagiri is a Buddhist monastery within the Theravada school, as found in the countries of Southeast Asia, such as Burma, Sri Lanka and Thailand. More specifically it follows a tradition inspired by the Thai forest monk Venerable Ajahn Chah (1918-1992), an influential teacher under whom many Westerners, attracted by the clarity, simplicity and accessibility of his teaching and practice, were ordained as monks in Thailand.
This lineage was brought to the West when Ajahn Sumedho, one of Venerable Ajahn Chah’s Western disciples, was invited by the English Sangha Trust to establish the lineage in England. Since his arrival with three other Western monks in 1977, this Western branch has grown to include, in England, Amaravati, Cittaviveka, Hartridge Monastery and Aruna Ratanagiri as well as monasteries in Switzerland, Italy, New Zealand and the USA. Altogether this community now comprises some sixty monks and nuns. For more information on the international communities of the Ajahn Chah tradition see www.forestsangha.org
Southeast Asian (Theravada) Buddhism has as its keystone the relationship of mutuality between the monastic Sangha (the ordained community of monks and nuns), and the extended community of lay practitioners. This relationship is characterized by the material dependence of the Sangha, as mendicant renunciants, on acts of generosity made by the lay community, in particular the direct offerings of food. For their part, the lay community benefits from the inspiration and spiritual support offered by the Sangha.
Read more about the Thai forest tradition.
Read more about the history of Harnham Monastery: Aruna Ratanagiri