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.
In 1983 four women took the 10 precept ordination at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery with Ajahn Sumedho as their preceptor; read the Forest Sangha Newsletter that commemorates the 25th Anniversary of the Siladhara Order.
With full ordination for women not being available in this lineage, a system of training based on the bhikkhuni, bhikkhu and samaneri vinaya was developed for the growing nuns’ community in England, which came to be known as ‘siladhara training’. In 2009, Ayya Santacitta and Ayya Anandabodhi were invited to the US to establish a training monastery for women and after some time saw that in order to fulfill their intention, a more broadly recognized form of ordination was needed.
In April 2011 they took leave of the Ajahn Chah lineage and the Siladhara Order so as to pursue full bhikkhuni ordination. On October 17, 2011 at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California with Ayya Tathaaloka Theri as preceptor, Ayya Anandabodhi and Ayya Santacitta received full bhikkhuni ordination.
In 2012, Anagarika Maria also took leave of Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries to join the Aloka Vihara community. She received bhikkhuni ordination at Aloka Vihara on November 1, 2014.
In 2016, Samaneri Ahimsa joined our community, with the intention of taking full ordination.
All four nuns currently reside at Aloka Vihara in Placerville, California and are working on their vision of a rural monastery.