Ajahn Jayasaro (Shaun Michael Chiverton) was born on the Isle of Wight, England in 1958. In 1978 he became a disciple of Ajahn Chah, one of Thailand’s most renowned Buddhist monks and meditation masters, at Wat Pah Pong forest monastery in Northeast Thailand. He took full ordination, with Ajahn Chah as his preceptor, in 1980.
After his initial five-year monastic training, Ajahn Jayasaro went on an extended solitary retreat before taking on teaching and administrative duties. Over the next several years he alternated between periods of retreat and service to his monastic lineage. During this time he was entrusted by the elders of his order with writing the official biography of his teacher, Ajahn Chah. In 1997 he assumed the position of abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat, the international monastery of Ajahn Chah’s lineage, where he remained until the end of 2002.
Since early 2003 Ajahn Jayasaro has been living in a hermitage at the foot of Khao Yai Mountain National Park. The Dhamma teachings and meditation retreats he gives at regular intervals at a nearby retreat centre offer inspiration to both lay Buddhists and monastics. He is also a key figure in the movement to integrate Buddhist developmental principles into the Thai education system. Many of his Dhamma talks are broadcast on radio, television and digital media.
Ajahn Jayasaro has written many books on Buddhist themes in the Thai language, a number of which have been translated into other languages, including Chinese, French, Italian and Portuguese. His latest English works, 'without and within' is a general introduction to the Theravada Buddhist tradition. And the recently published ‘Stillness Flowing,’ is an important biographical work that details the life and teachings of Ajahn Chah which took over two decades in the making. In 2011, Ajahn Jayasaro was granted an honorary doctorate in Buddhist pedagogy by Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University. In 2019 he received a monastic title of Phra Rajabajaramanit and in 2020 Phra Thepphacharayanamuni from His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua. He was also granted Thai citizenship by royal decree in 2020, at which time Somdet Phra Buddhaghosacariya (P. A. Payutto) kindly gave him a Thai family name of ‘Potanuwat.’ In 2021 he was honored with a monastic title of Phra Dhammaphacharayanamuni.
Thai Forest Tradition is the branch of Theravada Buddhism in Thailand, which most strictly holds the original monastic rules of discipline laid down by the Buddha. The Forest Tradition also most strongly emphasizes meditative practice and the realization of enlightenment as the focus of monastic life. Forest monasteries are primarily oriented around practicing the Buddha's path of contemplative insight, including living a life of discipline, renunciation and meditation in order to fully realize the inner truth and peace taught by the Buddha.
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About Panyaprateep Foundation
Panyaprateep Foundation, as a non-profit organization, has been set up by the founders, administrators, teachers, and friends of the Thawsi School community since early 2008. It is officially registered by the Ministry of Interior with Registration Number of Kor Thor 1405 since 1st April 2008. Panyaprateep Foundation will be tasked to help with fund-raising activities and has helped set up Panyaprateep Boarding School since the academic year starting in May 2009.
Objectives of Panyaprateep Foundation
1. To support the development of Buddhist education based on the Buddhist principle of the Three Fold Training of conduct, emotional intelligence, and wisdom (sīla samādhi and paññā).
2. To propagate Buddhist wisdom and developmental principles through the organization of retreat programs, training workshops, and through the dissemination of Dhamma media such as books and digital media.
3. To create an understanding of humanity’s relationship to the natural world, to promote eco-friendly learning activities, and renewable energy for sustainable development, and a way of life based on His Majesty the King’s Philosophy of Sufficiency Economy.
Organizational Structure of Panyaprateep Foundation
The Chief Spiritual Advisor of the Foundation is Venerable Ajahn Jayasaro, a monk disciple of Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest Tradition, and a leading figure in the Buddhist education movement. The Foundation is also honoured to have Assoc. Prof. Prida Tasanapradit, M.D. as Chairman of the Executive Committee. Furthermore, the Foundation has sought and received the kind blessing and pledges of support from a number of distinguished experts in diverse fields to help as advisors.