Ajahn Sundara

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Ajahn Sundara
Born1946 (age 71–72)
LineageForest Tradition of Ajahn Chah
Senior posting
TeacherAjahn Sumedho
Based inAmaravati Buddhist Monastery
Ordination1983 (35 years ago)

Ajahn Sundara (born 1946) is a French-born Buddhist sīladhārā in the tradition established by Ajahn Sumedho.[1]


She studied contemporary dance and worked as a dancer and dance teacher until her early thirties when she had the opportunity to meet Ajahn Sumedho in England and to attend one of his dhamma talks and then a retreat.[2] She was one of the first four women ordained by Ajahn Sumedho in 1979 as an anagārikā (an eight-precept novice) and in 1983 as a ten-precept sīladhārā.[3][4] After living at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery in England, Ajahn Sundara moved in 1984 to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery and was instrumental in founding the nuns' community there.[5] She went to Thailand in the mid-1990s, where she spent more than two years, primarily on retreat at forest monasteries. She has been teaching and leading retreats in Europe and North America for many years.[6] She currently resides at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, whose history and relevance to women in Buddhism she has chronicled in the book chapter "The Theravada Sangha Goes West: The Story of Amaravati".[7]


  • Gates, Barbara; Gates, Wes, eds. (2008), "On Fearlessness and Fear: a conversation with Tenzin Palmo, Ajahn Sundara, Ajahn Jitindriya and Yvonne Rand", 25 Years of Dharma, Drama, and Uncommon Insight (Paperback), Boston: Wisdom Publications, pp. 192–198, ISBN 978-0861715510
  • Sundara, Ajahn; Candasiri, Ajahn (2011), Friends on the Path, ISBN 978-1-870205-24-5
  • Sundara, Ajahn; Candasiri, Ajahn; Metta, Ajahn (2013), The Body, ISBN 978-1-870205-72-6
  • Sundara, Ajahn (2014), Walking the World
  • Sundara, Ajahn (2016), Seeds of Dharma, Amaravati Publications, pp. 1–94, ISBN 978-1-78432-046-1
  • Sundara, Ajahn (2017), Paccuppanna: The Present Moment, Amaravati Publications, pp. 1–78, ISBN 978-1-78432-079-9

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Female Monastic Community". Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  2. ^ "It Can be Very Simple: An interview with Ajahn Sundara". Barre Center for Buddhist Studies. Archived from the original on 14 October 2006. Retrieved 2006-09-16.
  3. ^ "Biography". dhammatalks.org.uk. Archived from the original on 2006-05-05. Retrieved 2006-09-16.
  4. ^ "British Museum Special Event - Following the Buddhist path: insights on the nature of mind". 2018-09-22. Retrieved 2018-09-19.
  5. ^ Angell, Jane (2006). "Women in Brown: a short history of the order of sīladharā, nuns of the English Forest Sangha, Part Two". Buddhist Studies Review. 23 (2). doi:10.1558/bsrv.2006.23.2.221. ISSN 1747-9681. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  6. ^ Sundara, Ajahn (February 4, 2011). "For Intérieure / 10-11". France Culture (Interview). Interviewed by Olivier Germain-Thomas. Paris.
  7. ^ Chodron, Thubten, ed. (1999). "The Theravada Sangha Goes West: The Story of Amaravati". Blossoms of the Dharma: Living as a Buddhist Nun (Paperback). Berkely, California: North Atlantic Books. pp. 61–74.

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