Samanadipa Forest Buddhist Monastery

Newsletter – March 2023

It has been many months since our last newsletter, and many things have happened in the meantime.

In mid-November, Bhante Sihacitto went to Sasanarakkha Buddhist Sancturary, Malaysia, to study and experience different styles of monastic life. Shortly after we welcomed Bhante Chris Viccagaro, who came to us all the way from Australia for a few months. He was delighted to experience the winter beauty of Samanadipa and was very happy to be part of our community.

Ajahn Nyanamoli took the position of the abbot of Samanadipa, and Ajahn Hiriko – now a layman – took over the administrative part of running the monastery together with a team of close supporters that form our Lay Committee. We also welcomed Anagarika Medhini to stay with us for an indefinite time. She actively contributes to the monastery, with her own space for seclusion on the separate monastery grounds.

More monks are expected to come. For now, we can confirm the arrival of Ajahn Kondayo, a Polish monk who spent nine months at Samanadipa in 2018/19. We look forward to seeing him back sometime later in the Spring! Additionally, Bhante Pavesa from Czechia will be here for the first time. The Sangha is getting larger as the time passes. Also, our rescue dogs are doing well. During the coldest days of winter we found two more puppies abandoned in the forest near the monastery. After successfully rescuing them, one of them has already found a warm and loving home. The other one is still with us at the moment.

We are also happy to announce that we were finally able to purchase Viveka Vihara. This is the land a few kilometres from our Main House that we have been renting for a few years. We are in the process of tidying up the place and doing some basic repairs. We also set up our first yurt, which already serves as a kuti for one of our monks.

Sangha has been quite busy also with the Hillside Hermitage project in Kočevje District. The main work was to tidy the place, set up the fences, and build three wooden platforms for three newly built yurts. We hope that everything will be ready by the end of April. We also hope that the first residents of the New Hillside Hermitage will finally be able to move there. Ajahn Nyanamoli will mostly remain in Goljek (HQ of Samanadipa) with occasional stays at Hillside Hermitage. At the same time, Ajahn Thaniyo will be the primary caretaker of the place with the help of other monks who will spend time between our two places.

We will also apply for Planning Permission on Monday to build the new Main House. We hope we will receive a positive response soon and that we can have a breaking of the ground ceremony. We will inform you as soon as we get to know the date. Support for such a massive project is still greatly appreciated. Please visit our website for more information about the building and how you can help.

Teaching engagements are still very much ongoing. Bhante Sanghamaji teaches via ZOOM, while Ajahn Nyanamoli and Ajahn Thaniyo guide Dhamma practitioners via YouTube channels. Bhante Phasuko will teach at Samanadipa in the spring. At the same time, we hope Hiriko will pick up teaching again in the Slovenian language in a few months if there remains enough interest.

Many changes at Samanadipa, but all for the better. As all things change, dedication to the Dhamma should remain the same, and hopefully, you are joining us in deepening our understanding of the profound teachings of the Buddha.