Thanissaro Bhikkhu

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Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu
Ajaan Goeff Dhamma Talk cropped.jpg
Ajaan Geoff giving a Dhamma Talk
Religion Theravada Buddhism
School Kammatthana
Dharma names

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu

Ajaan Geoff
Nationality American
Born 1949
Senior posting
Based in Metta Forest Monastery
Title Phra Geoffrey DeGraff
Religious career
Teacher Ajaan Fuang, Ajaan Suwat

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu, also known as Ajaan Geoff (born 1949), is an American Theravada Buddhist monk of the Dhammayut Order (Dhammayutika Nikaya), of the Thai forest kammatthana tradition. He is currently the abbot of Metta Forest Monastery in San Diego County. Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu is also a translator of the Pāli Canon and other modern Buddhist works, and is the author of many Dhamma books and articles.[1]

Thai Forest Tradition (Dhutanga Kammatthana)
Thai Squiggle.png

Kammatthana Meditation

Forest Austerities


Ajaan Geoff going on almsround

Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu was born Geoffrey DeGraff in 1949 and was introduced to the Buddha's teaching on the Four Noble Truths as a high schooler, during a plane ride from the Philippines.[1] After graduating in 1971 with a degree in European Intellectual History from Oberlin College, he travelled to Thailand, where he practiced meditation under Ajaan Fuang Jotiko, who'd studied under Ajaan Lee. He was ordained in 1976 at Ajaan Lee's Wat Asokaram, where Ajaan Lee's nephew, Phra Rajvarakhun (Samrong Gunavuddho), served as Preceptor for his ordination. Later, he took residence at Wat Dhammasathit in Thailand, where he continued studying under Ajaan Fuang.[2]

Before Ajaan Fuang's death in 1986, he expressed his wish for Ajaan Geoff to become abbot of Wat Dhammasathit. Some time after his teacher's death, Ajaan Geoff was offered the position of abbot, but with "strings... attached" and no authority since he was a Westerner in a monastery founded by and for Thai monks. Instead of taking that position, he travelled to San Diego County in 1991, upon request of Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, where he helped start Metta Forest Monastery.[1] He became abbot of the monastery in 1993.[2] In 1995, Ajaan Geoff became the first American born, non-Thai bhikkhu to be given the title, authority, and responsibility of Preceptor (Upajjhaya) in the Dhammayut Order. He also serves as Treasurer of that order in the United States.


Thanissaro Bikkhu's publications include:[3]

  • Translations of Ajaan Lee's meditation manuals from the Thai
  • Handful of Leaves, a five-volume anthology of sutta translations
  • The Buddhist Monastic Code, a two-volume reference handbook on the topic of monastic discipline
  • Wings to Awakening, a study of the factors taught by Buddha as being essential for awakening
  • The Mind Like Fire Unbound, an examination of Upadana (clinging) and Nibbana (Nirvana) in terms of contemporary philosophies of fire
  • The Paradox of Becoming, an extensive analysis on the topic of becoming as a causal factor of stress and suffering
  • The Shape of Suffering, a study of dependent co-arising and its relationship to the factors of the noble eightfold path
  • Skill in Questions, a study of how the Buddha's fourfold strategy in answering questions provides a framework for understanding the strategic purpose of his teachings
  • Noble Strategy, The Karma of Questions, Purity of Heart, and Head & Heart Together, collections of essays on Buddhist practice
  • Meditations (1-5), collections of transcribed Dhamma talks
  • Dhammapada: A Translation, a collection of verses by the Buddha
  • And as co-author, a college-level textbook, Buddhist Religions: A Historical Introduction

Aside from Buddhist Religions, all of the books and articles mentioned above are available for free distribution; many are online. Audio recordings of Dhamma talks are also given freely.

Some teaching locations[edit]



External links[edit]