1. Why is Bhante Sujato leaving Santi Forest Monastery?
It is simply a personal decision. Bhante wishes to pursue his monastic journey more as an adventure, with a sense of freedom and discovery. To do that he needs to let go of being the Abbot and leave Santi. He has worked tirelessly for the development of a viable Bhikkuni community at Santi, and believes that is best served by the Bhikkunis owning the doing of that, without him being there.
2. What do the changes mean for lay people?
For lay people it will remain the same – all welcome and supported in pursuit of dhamma and being part of our wide Buddhist community.
3. What are Bhante’s wishes?
Bhante would like to see Santi as a place where the Dhamma flourishes and feminine spirituality is embodied through the development of a viable Bhikkhuni community.
4. When is Bhante leaving?
He departed from Santi on Friday the 27th of July.
5. Where is Bhante going?
He is spending the rains retreat in seclusion in the forest in regional NSW and has no definite plans past that point.
6. How can I say thanks and goodbye to Bhante?
Bhante suggests that meditating, studying the Dhamma and moving towards enlightenment would be a great thank you.
7. How can I support the monastery during this period of change?
Help with the supplying of dana (food & other offerings) at the monastery, especially during the coming rains retreat (Vassa), email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 02 48836331 to see how best to help with the dana. Take an interest in being an active supporter of the monastery. Remember that lay people are very welcome for day visits during the rains period (third August to end October).
8. Will Bhante be teaching anywhere else?
Bhante has no fixed plans for the future.
9. Who will take over leadership of the monastery?
Ajahn Brahm, Abbot of Bodhinyana monastery in Perth, is the new spiritual director at Santi, from Perth. The management or leadership at Santi will be shared by the resident monastics (Sangha). The Sangha will be assisted by the lay committee of Santi Forest Monastery Incorporated. The current chairperson of the committee is Paddy Murray.
10. Who will be providing Buddhist Teachings at Santi?
The monastics at Santi will be continuing the traditions of providing a variety of teachings from the study of the Suttas to Dhamma talks on the application of the Dhamma in our lives.
11. Will the development of a Bhikkhuni community affect lay people?
Lay people will continue to be welcome at Santi, and the policy of being inclusive and accepting of our multicultural supporters and communities will definitely continue.
12. What will happen during the Rains retreat?
This Vassa or Rains retreat will be held for a three month period between 3rd August and 30th October. Please visit the Santi website for more information.
13. Will annual events continue at Santi?
Annual events like the Jhanathon, Kathina, Renounceathon, etc will continue at Santi.
14. How will I keep up to date with changes at Santi?
Our web/blog will be our main source of explaining what’s happening. We also have a facebook group and a facebook page which we will try and keep up to date.