Our project is to buy a plot of land in a rural area to build a monastery for monks’ residence and retreat center for lay practitioners. In the monastery there will be a meditation hall, huts for monks’ dwellings, huts or dormitory for the use of the laity that come for meditation retreats, kitchen, office, and other structures. Important features for the location of the monastery are the contact with nature, the tranquility and security of the place, and the ease of access.
Why a monastery
Theravada Buddhism has been present in Brazil for many years in the form of various lay groups that promote the study of the scriptures, the practice of meditation and regularly organize retreats for more intense practice. As a natural consequence of this work, more and more people began to take an interest in the Buddha’s teachings – seeking to further deepen their knowledge, some chose to renounce secular life and take monastic ordination. There are currently seven Brazilian monks, mostly residing in Thailand and all studying and practicing following the ways of the Thai Forest Tradition.
Given the growing number of people interested in deepening their personal practice, added to the existence of a small nucleus of Brazilian monks, and also to open the possibility that in the future people may take the monastic way without having to live abroad, the desire to create a Theravada monastery in Brazil became ever stronger. There are many benefits this will generate:
- Create the possibility for existing Brazilian monks, if they so wish, to be able to return to Brazil and thus to continue their personal development, in addition to being close to their families and giving opportunities for lay practitioners to have access to them and learn from their teachings and companion.
- In a future moment, open the possibility so that Brazilians can take monastic ordination and carry out their training right here, without having to travel to other countries. This is important because currently only people who speak English and are able to afford the cost of such traveling have this opportunity. With the existence of a monastery in Brazil, the chance to take a monastic path would be open to a larger group of people.
- With monks residing in the country, they could regularly go to existing meditation centers in various regions of the country to convey the Buddha’s teachings and lead meditation retreats – activities that currently require bringing people from abroad, which generates high costs and there is always the language barrier between the teacher and the students. With monks living in the country, teachings of quality can be offered for free or at a very low costs to everyone. Smaller groups, who would never have the resources to afford a visit from a qualified Dhamma teacher, will be able to do so.
- Using modern communication resources, monks can transmit teachings online from the monastery itself, giving opportunity for even those living in cities where there is no Buddhist group to hear the Dhamma.
- The monastery will also be an intensive practice center for the lay community, giving the opportunity for all those who wish to spend a period of personal retreat in an appropriate environment with access to good teachers and community of practitioners. Initially there will be residence only of male monastics, but lay practitioners of both genders will be able to stay for personal retreats.
- All monastery services and monks’ work will be offered free of charge, leaving those who benefit to decide if and how much they want to donate to help ensure the existence of the place.
The monastery is being built with the intention of being an official member of the “Forest Sangha”, a group of Western monasteries created and maintained by monks disciples of the famous Thai master, Ajahn Chah. This means that the monks will follow the mode of practice and conduct of Wat Pah Pong which specifies, among other things, that monks should live a life dedicated to seclusion and meditation practice, should live frugally, relinquishing all possession and use of money, living only of voluntary donations.
Some famous masters of our lineage are Ajahn Chah, Ajahn Liem, Ajahn Sumedho, Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Piak, Ajahn Anan, Ajahn Dtun, Ajahn Amaro, Ajahn Jayasaro, among many others. Some well-known monasteries of our Sangha are: Wat Pah Pong, Wat Marp Jan, Wat Boonyawad, Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, Sumedharama Mosteiro Budista, among others.
Who is involved
The person leading the whole project is Ajahn Mudito. He is from São Paulo, born in 1977, was ordained sāmanera (novice) in 2003 and bhikkhu (monk) in 2004 at Wat Pah Pong, having Ajahn Liem as upajjhāya (preceptor). He lived for two years in Wat Pah Nanachat and moved to Wat Pah Cittabhavana to live with his teacher, Ajahn Piak. More information about him can be found at http://muditobhikkhu.weebly.com/info.html.
As far as the lay community is concerned, the project is headed by the Sociedade Budista do Brasil, in Rio de Janeiro. Also with the support of Casa de Dharma, in São Paulo, of the group Dhamma Ghara, in São Lourenço and of Sociedade Vipassana de Brasília.
Sociedade Budista do Brasil is a non-profit religious legal entity whose president is Ajahn Mudito. The entire project will be carried out having the legal structure of the Sociedade Budista as a foundation, always trying to be as transparent as possible regarding collecting and using financial resources.
How to help
In order for this project to become reality, we need the help of everyone. Interested people can donate financial resources or work, but for the initial stages of land purchase and basic infrastructure construction, what is really needed are financial resources. Once land is purchased, basic infrastructure such as electricity and running water are installed, then we’ll be able to also use the help of those who want to volunteer and participate in building and reforestation work, as well as help in various activities related to the administration and daily functioning of a monastery.
Those who wish to help financially can do so through this Brazilian bank account:
Bank Itaú, Branch 0093, Account 06279-2
Nominal to “Sociedede Budista do Brazil”
For donations from outside the country: Swift Code ITAUBRSP
Donations by credit card
If you prefer another method to donate, please get in touch with us by email email@example.com
Follow the progress of our project and be informed of the latest news:
Learn more about Ajahn Mudito:
Get to know Sociedade Budista do Brasil and follow its activities:
Learn more about the Forest Sangha:
Ajahn Chah’s Biography
Ajahn Liem’s Biography