The founding nuns, Ayya Anandabodhi and Ayya Santacitta, lived and trained with the Siladhara Order at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist monasteries in England from 1992 to 2009. These communities were founded by Venerable Ajahn Sumedho, the foremost western disciple of the Venerable Ajahn Chah, a meditation master of the Thai Forest Tradition.
The Siladhara are a 10 precept order of nuns who keep a high standard of training similar to the Bhikkhuni discipline. Read the Forest Sangha Newsletter that commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Siladhara Order.
Since then the Ayyas have developed Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery together with other nuns who have joined over the years and with the support of the Saranaloka Foundation.
In January 2023 Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery closed at the Placerville location. The Saranaloka Foundation and its board members and advisors continue to support its two spiritual directors Ayya Anandabodhi and Ayya Santacitta in all manner as before. Currently Ayya Santacitta is developing the Aloka Earth Room in San Rafael and Ayya Anandabodhi will begin her sabbatical in June of this year.