Our spiritual directors, 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.

Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, England, 2007
Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, Great Gaddesden, England, 2007

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.

Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, 2007
Chithurst Buddhist Monastery, Petersfield, UK, 2007

Since coming to the U.S. the Ayyas have developed Aloka Vihara in San Francisco near Ocean Beach, Sunset District, where they resided from 2009 – 2014.

Aloka Vihara, San Francisco, CA, 2010

In 2011 Ayya Santacitta  and Ayya Anandabodhi took leave of the Ajahn Chah lineage and the Siladhara Order and received full Bhikkhuni Ordination with Ayya Tathaaloka Mahatheri as preceptor.

Mid 2014 the San Francisco vihara moved to the Sierra Foothills near Placerville and became Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery. Over the years together with other nuns who have joined and with the support of the Saranaloka Foundation, the 17 acre property was developed into a peaceful sanctuary and received many visitors.

Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery, Placerville, 2020
Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery, Pleasant Valley, CA, 2020

In January 2023 Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery closed at the Placerville location. The Saranaloka Foundation continues to provide the four requisites (food, shelter, clothing and medicine) for our spiritual directors Ayya Anandabodhi and Ayya Santacitta.

Currently Ayya Santacitta is developing the Aloka Earth Room in San Rafael, CA. Ayya Anandabodhi resides at Pārāyana Vihāra in Port Townsend, WA.

~ Anicca vata sankhara
All conditions are transient ~