It was established in 1975 by Ven. Ajahn Chah (1918-1992) as a branch monastery, close to his own traditional forest monastery, Wat Nong Pah Pong, in Ubon Rachathani province. An American disciple, Ven. Ajahn Sumedho, was invited to lead the community as the first abbot. The monastery aims at providing English-speaking people the opportunity to train and practise the simple and peaceful lifestyle that the Buddha taught his monks in the forests over 2500 years ago.
The training at Wat Pah Nanachat aims to follow the Dhamma-Vinaya, the teachings and code of monastic discipline as laid down by the Buddha, respecting both the letter and the spirit. Adaptation to this form usually is experienced as something not very easy, but our monastic community sees it as one of its tasks to give newcomers the opportunity to commit themselves to this monastic path. Life in Wat Pah Nanachat encourages development of simplicity, renunciation and quietude. It is the deliberate choice of renunciation that creates a community spirit where people of diverse backgrounds, personalities and temperaments can co-operate in the effort to practice and realize the Buddha’s path to liberation.
In 1975 Ajahn Chah established Wat Pah Nanachat (The International Forest Monastery) in order to give young men from foreign countries, who do not know Thai language and culture, the possibility of becoming a well trained Theravadin Buddhist forest monk. English serves as the primary language of communication and instruction here. Our monastic community consists of monks, novices and postulants from a wide range of nationalities. We are situated in a small forest in the Northeast of Thailand about fifteen kilometers from the fast growing city of Ubon Rachathani. If you are interested in taking up monastic life in a traditional forest monastery you are welcome to come to Wat Pah Nanachat for a time of experiencing and testing yourself within the monastic lifestyle and stay as a visitor in our monastery. When both you and the community feels it is appropriate, your initial visit may be extended.
If you would like to visit and stay at Wat Pah Nanachat, please write a letter (suggesting possible dates) to:
The Guest Monk Wat Pah Nanachat Bahn Bung Wai Warin Chamrab Ubon Rachathani 34310 THAILAND