Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Beloved monk leaves California monastery

Ajahn Amaro leaves Abhayagiri Monastery
Special to the Ukiah Daily Journal
Ajahn Amaro, the founding abbot of California's Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, will be moving to England this month to fill the role as abbot of Amaravati Monastery near London.

Since moving to Redwood Valley in 1996, Amaro has been generous in sharing the teachings of the Buddha with our local community. He has offered many classes, guided meditations, and daylong mini-retreats at the monastery as well as at Yoga Mendocino in town. Larry Restel, an investment adviser from Ukiah, first met Amaro in 1990 in England:

"I've seen him grow up as a monk. He feels like a brother to me," Restel said. "He's always been amazing. When he gives one of his well-known talks, if he has to finish by ten o'clock, he'll be finished at ten. He weaves his stories so intricately, with so many different branches, but when there's only a minute to go he ties up all the knots. The tradition with Theravada Buddhist monastics is that people keep coming and going. So to me it seems natural that he's heading to England."

Amaro, who was born in England and just two years ago gained American citizenship, enjoys talking about the environment. He notes that the weather seems to be reversing between these two countries. "This year, Mendocino County, cold and rainy, experienced what we once thought of as being English weather," Amaro said.

"My sister, a gardener back in England, recently reported that once-green fields are already parched from too much sun, certainly what we in Mendocino County consider to be our weather." Although he is looking forward to seeing the seasons change, Amaro has mixed feelings about leaving Abhayagiri. More>>

Life outside the monastery

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