Bodhinyana Monastery

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Bodhinyana is a Theravada Buddhist monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition located in Serpentine, about 60 minutes' drive south-east of Perth, Australia.[1]


The monastery was built in the 1980s[2][3] and gained interest from Perth media over time.[4]


The abbot is the Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera, usually known as Ajahn Brahm, born Peter Betts in London, United Kingdom on 7 August 1951. In the late 1960s he graduated with a degree in theoretical physics from Cambridge University.[5] After graduation he taught at a high school in Devon, United Kingdom for one year before travelling to Thailand to become a monk and train with the late Venerable Ajahn Chah Bodhinyana Mahathera.[6] Since becoming abbot, he has had experience in speaking with people from other religious traditions.[7]


The monastery is located near the edge of the Darling Scarp in forest, and has been threatened by fire.[8]


Bodhinyana, a branch monastery in the tradition of Ajahn Chah until 2009, was established to provide a training facility for monks and to make possible the traditional reciprocal relationship between monks and laity. Limited numbers of guests are able to stay at the monastery, to practise meditation and to generally assist. Food is provided by alms-givers and there is no monetary charge.

Bhikkhuni controversy[edit]

On 22 October 2009 Brahm facilitated an ordination ceremony for bhikkhunis where four female Buddhists, Venerable Ajahn Vayama, and Venerables Nirodha, Seri and Hasapanna, were ordained into the Western Theravada bhikkhuni sangha. The question of ordaining female monks is controversial in Buddhism, where sexism is increasingly highlighted in traditional practices. The ordination ceremony took place at Ajahn Brahm's Bodhinyana Monastery at Serpentine (near Perth, WA), Australia. For his actions of 22 October 2009, on 1 November 2009, at a meeting of senior members of the Thai monastic sangha, held at Wat Pah Pong, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, Brahm was removed from the Ajahn Chah Forest Sangha lineage and is no longer associated with the main monastery in Thailand, Wat Pah Pong, nor with any of the other Western Forest Sangha branch monasteries of the Ajahn Chah tradition.[9][10][11][12][13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Buddhist Society of Western Australia - BSWA Information". Archived from the original on 17 January 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2007.
  2. ^ ABuddhist Society of Western Australia.(1983) A Buddhist monastery in Western Australia. Perth [W.A.] : Buddhist Society of Western Australia, 1983. Programme of the Society's 'International Dinner 1983', and descriptions of proposed Buddhist monastery at Serpentine.
  3. ^ Bodhinyana Monastery - monk Ajahn Jagaro speaks of the recently built monastery at Serpentine and the Buddhist religion The West Australian, 22 October 1985, p.5
  4. ^ Pendrill, Lisa.(1989) Article on life at Perth's Buddhist monastery at Serpentine] Sunday times, 7 May 1989, p. 3a-g Sunday Living
  5. ^ Talk which includes some biographical detail Archived 28 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Radio interview that gives Ajahn Brahms background". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 7 April 2007.
  7. ^ Religions are different streams leading to a single sea. The Times (London, England), 1 August 2009, p.88 - Byline: John Shepherd Credo I once invited the abbot of the Bodhinyana Buddhist monastery in Perth to preach at a Eucharist in St George's Cathedral. During Communion representatives of....
  8. ^ [1] Wed 15 May 2002 New AWARE program launched to help communities reduce emergency risks
  9. ^ "news". Archived from the original on 12 January 2010. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
  10. ^ ASIA: WA Buddhist temple banned after ordination of female monks. AAP News, 21 December 2009 Financial Times Ltd., 21 December 2009
  11. ^ "WA Buddhists expelled over women". The West Australian. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  12. ^ "Monastery rebuked over ordination of women". The West Australian. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
  13. ^ "WA monastery faces expulsion". WAtoday. 21 December 2009. Retrieved 15 May 2013.

Further reading[edit]

  • MacDonald, Kim (1998) The cockney monk.Feature article on Buddhist monk Brahmavanso (once Peter Betts) and Bodhinyana Monastery in Serpentine. Sunday times (Perth, W.A.), 1 February 1998, Sunday Section, p. 2

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 32°24′54″S 116°0′28″E / 32.41500°S 116.00778°E / -32.41500; 116.00778