Ajahn Sumedho (1934-)
Main Organisation: Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

Ajahn Sumedho is abbot of Amaravati Buddhist Centre and seniormost Western disciple of the late Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah. Amaravati is affiliated with the Forest Sangha: a world-wide community following Chah’s Thai Forest tradition. See Sumedho has worked closely with lay organisations, notably the English Sangha Trust and with his disciples to set up a British Theravadin monastic order. This order now numbers 60 monks and nuns over several monasteries.

Lineage: Ajahn Mun/Ajahn Chah/Ajahn Sumedho

Biography: Born Robert Jackman, Seattle, Washington 1934. Studied Chinese and history at university. Spent 4 years as a navy medic during the Korean war. During this time contacted the Buddhist Society of Japan. After the war completed a BA in Far Eastern studies. Worked for a year as a red cross social worker. In 1963 completed a masters degree in South Asian studies. From 1964 to 1966 taught English in Sabali, Borneo for the Peace Corps. In June 1966 ordained as a samanera at Wat Sri Saket, Nong Khai province. Fully ordained May 1967. 1967-77 sought out and meditated under Ajahn Chah, the famous Thai meditation master at Wat Pa Pong. 1973 undertook a tudong pilgrimage to India. 1975 established the forest monastery Wat Pah Nanachat, the international forest monastery, in Ubon province, Thailand. 1977 visited England with Ajahn Chah. Seeing an interest in Buddhism there, Chah decided Sumedho should stay in England to set up an English order. The English Sangha Trust invited Ajahn Sumedho to run their Hampstead vihara. In 1979 the Trust sold the vihara and bought Chithurst House [now Wat Pa Cittaviveka] in West Sussex. Cittaviveka grew, especially after a sima [boundary] was established in 1981 and Ajahn Sumedho was given ordination authority. It now includes a nuns’ vihara. Since then, monasteries have opened in Northumberland, Devon, California, New Zealand, Switzerland and Italy. In August 1984 Amaravati Buddhist centre opened in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. Ajahn Sumedho now resides there as abbot.

Comment: Ajahn Sumedho is the senior Western disciple of Ajahn Chah, the revered Thai meditation master. A famous monk, he is known for the humour and accessibility of his teachings. He is a founding figure of the Thai Forest monastic order in Britain and other countries.

Particular teachings: Thai Forest tradition of Ajahn Chah.

Main Temple:

Amaravati Buddhist Monastery
Great Gaddesden
Hemel Hempstead
Herts HP1 3BZ England
Tel: 01422 842455
Fax: 01442 843721
Web site:

Harnham Buddhist Monastery
Harnham, Belsay
Northumberland NE20 0HF
Hartridge Buddhist Monastery
Upottery, Honiton
Devon EX14 9QE.
Tel: 01661 881612
Fax: 01661 881019
Web site:

Chithurst Buddhist Monastery
Chithurst, Petersfield
Hampshire GU31 5EU
Tel: 01730 814986
Fax: 01730 817334
Web site:

Via Delle Prata 22 Lacalita,
“Le Brulla” 02030 Frasso Sabino (Rieti) Italy
Tel/Fax: 765 87 21 86
Web site:

Buddhistisches Kloster
Am Waldrand
CH 3718 Kandersteg
Web site: [swiss language]
Tel: +41 (0)33 – 675 21 00
Fax: +41 (0)33 – 675 22 41

North America
Abhayagiri Monstery
16201 Tomki Road
Redwood Valley
CA95470 USA
Web site:

Bodhinyana Monastery
216 Kingsbury Drive, Serpentine, WA 6125
Tel: (08) 9525 2420, Fax: 9525 3420
Tradition: Theravada
Abbot: Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso
Web site:

Dhammaloka Centre (Perth)
18 – 20 Nanson Way, Nollamara 6161WA
Tel: (61-8) 9345 1711, Fax: (61-8) 9344 4220
Web site:

Dhammasara (Perth)
387 Reen Road, Gidgegannup 6083 WA.
Web site:
Bodhikusuma Buddhist and Meditation Centre
L2, 203-209 Thomas Road
Sydney NSW 2000
Ph: 02 9211 1188
Web site:

Bodhisaddha Forest Monastery
295 Wilton Road
Wilton NSW 2571
M: 0481 811 877

Dharmmagiri Forest Hermitage
10 Ben Varden Avenue Kholo,
Brisbane, 4306
Ph: 07 3201 2041
Web site:

 New Zealand
Bodhinyanarama Forest Monastery
17 Rakau Grove, Stokes Valley, Wellington
Tel: (04) 563 7193, Fax: (04) 563 5125
Web site: 

Wat Pah Nanachat
Bahn Bung Wai
Amper Warin
Ubon 34310

Please visit our affiliated web site at for more information
Teachers: Ajahn Pasanno & Ajahn Amaro (abbots)
Main temple: Abhyaghiri California

Books / Publications:

PublicationsAmaravati Publications have many books which have been sponsored for free distribution. To obtain them please read the information below carefully.Requests for books to be sent within the UK Books can be obtained by post – please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to “Books”, c/o Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. The weight and minimum size of envelope for each book is given as a guide for your requests. You may send one envelope with extra stamps for requests of more than one book.

Requests for books to be sent overseas An easy way to cover international postage charges is by sending us International Response Coupons, which are supplied at most post offices around the world. Air Mail Book Post WorldwideThe minimum is 3 coupons which covers up to 100g. Above 100g each coupon covers a further 60g.As bank charges for handling cheques can be quite high it is worth bearing in mind that cheques worth less than £5 sterling often cost more to process than their value. If you are sending money from abroad, it is best to arrange to cover all charges in your own country; ask at your bank how this is done. Any cheques or money orders should be made payable to The English Sangha Trust.

Supporting the Publication of Dhamma Any contributions given will help us to make the teachings freely available. For information about sponsoring all or part of a particular work for free distribution, please write to: Amaravati Publications, c/o Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. A full list of books available for free distribution is listed below.The books are listed by title, author, size of envelope required and weight.Buddha Back to Front, Ven. Kusalo (A5, 60g)Gratitude to Parents, Ajahn Sumedho (A5, 46g)

Phra Ajahn Mun, Biography (A5, 270g) Path to Peace, Ajahn Chah (A5, 95g) The Four Noble Truths, Ajahn Sumedho (A5, 150g)Opening the Door to the Deathless, commemorative booklet for Amaravati Temple Opening July 4th 1999 (210 x 222mm, 203g) The Pilgrim KAMANITA, Karl Gjellerup (153 x 228mm, 790g)A life of Inner Quality, Ven. Acariya M.B. Nanasampano (A5, 181g) Bodhinyana, Ven. Ajahn Chah (A5, 170g)

Other Books that are available commercially are listed below. Please ask at a bookshop or write to the publisher.A Taste of Freedom, by Ajahn Chah, is also published by the Buddhist Publication Society, PO Box 61, 54 Sangharaja Mawatha, Kandy, Sri Lanka. (ISBN 955-24-0033-3) A Still Forest Pool: The Insight Meditation of Achaan Chah, by Jack Kornfield and Paul Breiter, is a Quest Book published by the Theosophical Publishing House. (ISBN 0-8356-0597-3)Teachings of a Buddhist Monk, by Ajahn Sumedho, is published by Buddhist Publishing Group, Sharpham North, Ashprington, Totnes, Devon, TQ9 7UT. (ISBN 0-946672-23-7)

The Mind and the Way: Buddhist Reflections of Life, by Ajahn Sumedho, is published by Rider Books, Random House, 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SW1V 2SA (ISBN 0712672850) Please write to us if you wish to be included on the mailing list for the Forest Sangha Newsletter, published quarterly, (A4, 60g)Rainbow (for children), published annually, (A4, 70g)Many of the books listed here, as well as cassette tapes of Dhamma talks, are available from: Abhayagiri Monastery 16201 Tomki Road, Redwood Valley, CA 95470 USA.

Amaravati cassette tapes of Dhamma talks are also available.

For a catalogue and information please write to:

Amaravati Cassettes
Ty’r Ysgol Maenan
Llanrwst, Gwynedd
North Wales LL26 0YD

Many books published by:
Amaravati Publications
Amaravati Buddhist Centre
Great Gaddesden
Hemel Hempstead
HP1 3B2 England