10 Apr

Luang Por Sumedho Bio

Luang Por Sumedho_ BK 2009

Luang Por Sumedho (Ajahn Sumedho) was born in Seattle, Washington in 1934. After serving four years in the US Navy as a medic, he completed a BA in Far Eastern Studies and an MA in South Asian Studies. In 1966, he went to Thailand to practise meditation at Wat Mahathat in Bangkok. Not long afterwards he went forth as a novice monk in a remote part of the country, Nong Khai, before receiving full ordination in 1967.

A year of solitary practice followed. Although fruitful, this period showed him the need for a teacher who could guide him more actively. A fortuitous encounter with a visiting monk led him to Ubon province to practise with Luang Por Chah at Wat Pah Pong Monastery. He took Luang Por Chah as his teacher and remained under his close guidance for ten years.

In 1975 Luang Por Sumedho, established Wat Pah Nanachat, the International Forest Monastery not far from Wat Pah Pong where Westerners could train in English. In 1977, he accompanied Luang Por Chah on a visit to England and remained there at Ajahn Chah’s request, residing at the Hampstead Vihara with three other monks. He subsequently founded Cittaviveka Monastery in southern England, and then Amaravati. He was thus the leader in establishing the Forest Sangha tradition in the UK.

Luang Por Sumedho was made an upajjhāya (ordination preceptor) in 1981. Since then he has given upasampadā (bhikkhu ordination) to more than a hundred aspirants of many nationalities. He remained as senior incumbent at Amaravati until November 2010, when he handed over the duties of Abbot to Ajahn Amaro. Luang Por Sumedho is now based in Thailand where his monastic life began in 1966.

(Bio from Amavarati.org)