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Metta Forest Monastery

Located in an avocado orchard on a hill surrounded by the mountains and chaparral of northern San Diego county, Metta Forest Monastery offers the opportunity for lay people to come and stay for individual retreats of long or short duration. It also offers the opportunity for men to ordain in the Theravada lineage and train in the practices of the Thai Forest Tradition.

BACKGROUND

Metta was founded in 1990 by Phra Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, a student of Phra Ajaan Munn Bhuridatto. The current abbot --Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Geoffrey DeGraff) -- grew up in rural New York and Virginia, and was later ordained as a monk in Thailand in 1976. He trained for ten years under Ajaan Fuang Jotiko, a member of the Forest Tradition, until the latter's death in 1986. After returning to the States to help set up Metta in 1991, he was made abbot of the monastery in 1993 and was formally made a preceptor in 1995.

The Thai Forest Tradition was founded in the late 19th century by Phra Ajaan Sao Kantasilo and Phra Ajaan Munn Bhuridatto. This tradition is known for its strict adherence to the Vinaya (the monastic discipline), its ascetic life style, and its strong emphasis on full-time meditation practice. Although it has developed a large following in Thailand, its direct, uncompromising ethos sets it apart from many of the typical values of Thai society. This fact makes it an ideal tradition to transplant to America, both because that ethos focuses directly on the major issues of life, death, and the liberation of the mind, with a minimum of cultural trappings; and also because it serves as a reminder that we should not be in too great a hurry to Americanize Buddhism, inasmuch as the true practice of Buddhism stands apart from the dominant values of lay society no matter where it is found.

CONTACT

For more information write the monastery at:

Metta Forest Monastery
PO Box 1409
Valley Center, CA 92082

Or call: (619) 813-8461. This is a cellular phone that we normally turn on from 5-6 p.m. PST (6-7 p.m. PDT). At other times, a machine takes messages.


This page is presented by friends of Wat Metta:

a meditation support group