Bodhinyana monastery is nestled amidst the rolling hills of the Darling Range, near the small town of Serpentine, Western Australia. The monastery began its growth in 1983. Named after the great teacher Ajahn Chah, Bodhinyana means the ‘wisdom of enlightenment’. With the generous help and support of our dedicated lay community the monks have built Bodhinyana to establish a home beneath the trees, in harmony with nature.
The monastery is home to around twenty monks, residing in huts scattered over 242 acres. We have a large meditation hall, where members of the public are welcome to spend time enjoying the peace and tranquillity of the atmosphere here. There is also a kitchen & dining hall, and accommodation for anagarikas (white robed, long-term residents) and guests. Bodhinyana provides an ideal environment of solitude and simplicity in which the Sangha and residents can dedicate their practice to the cultivation of virtue, meditation and wisdom.
Venerable Ajahn Brahmavamso (more commonly known as Ajahn Brahm) is the current abbot of Bodhinyana monastery. He is also the spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia and has a role in running many other monasteries and organisations dedicated to helping others to realise for themselves the truth of the teachings of the Buddha.
As monks, we live a simple life. We dedicate our time ethical living, and to cultivating the mind in meditation. This creates happiness and peace from within, so that we can learn to be in harmony with the way things are in nature. The day begins at 4.00 am with meditation. After an optional breakfast, there is a period given to serving the community, before our last meal for the day at 10.30am. The rest of the day is spent in seclusion, practising walking and sitting meditation and studying the Buddha’s teachings. Sometimes, we meet together in the evening to share an informal discussion or listen to a dhamma talk. We also chant together regularly and receive guidance from senior monks in the principles of proper conduct and meditation. Each fortnight, we meet formally to recite the monastic code of discipline, called the pātimokkha, to strengthen our faith and commitment to our training.
The Sangha and the Lay Community
Monks are not allowed to handle or accept money, but we do accept other forms of offering (which we call dāna), such as food and other necessary requisites. The Sangha rely entirely on the generosity of the Buddhist community for necessities. The Buddha saw the relationship between the Sangha and lay community as a mutual opportunity for the beautiful act of giving. The monks give spiritual and moral guidance to the lay community at our Dhammāloka community centre in Nollamara, and also in meditation retreats held at Jhāna Grove meditation centre. In giving requisites to support the monks, the lay community are able to cultivate the joy of selfless giving which is essential to inner well-being and spiritual growth. In this way, both the Sangha and the lay community benefit each other.