Venerable Ajahn Kalyano
Venerable Ajahn Kalyano was born in the UK and became interested in Buddhism at high school and had the good fortune to see the documentaries “The Mindful Way” and “The Buddha Comes to Sussex” about the life and teachings of Venerable Ajahn Chah. He began practicing meditation on a regular basis during his time at university and this led to his decision to travel to Thailand in 1983 and seek out a meditation teacher. Having been advised to visit Venerable Ajahn Chah in Ubon, Venerable Ajahn Kalyano stayed and practiced at Wat Pa Nanachat as an ‘anagarika’ or a white robed trainee monk and received Samanera ordination at the end of 1984.
Venerable Ajahn Kalyano entered the Bhikkhu Sangha at Wat Nong Pa Pong in 1985 and continued his training at Wat Nong Pa Pong, Wat Pa Nanachat and associated monasteries. He regularly spent long periods of time at Wat Nong Pa Pong helping to nurse Venerable Ajahn Chah through his extended period of illness. Venerable Ajahn Kalyano also continued to translate Dhamma teachings from Venerable Ajahn Chah and other forest Ajahns, and this work continued when he began training under Venerable Ajahn Anan in 1991.
Venerable Ajahn Kalyano also spent much of his early years as a monk staying out in the forests of Thailand practicing in the tradition of a wandering “dhutanga” monk. During this period he lived in a very simple and ascetic way and devoted himself to developing and deepening his understanding of the Buddhist path.
In April 2001, after a piece of forest land had been offered to the Sangha of Venerable Ajahn Chah, Venerable Ajahn Kalyano was invited to travel to Australia and continue his practice in East Warburton. Since the beginning of Buddha Bodhivana Monastery, Venerable Ajahn Kalyano has been the resident teacher of the growing numbers of Sangha and laity residing at the monastery. In 2008 he was given the title of Upajjhaya or Preceptor by the Supreme Sangha Council of Thailand, which allowed him to perform the Upasampada or Admission Ceremony for new monks at the monastery.
Venerable Ajahn Kalyano continues to practice and teach at the monastery and is also regularly invited to offer teachings about the Buddhist path, both in Australia and overseas. In August 2016, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand chose Venerable Ajahn Kalyano to receive the honorary title of Chao Khun Sophon Pavanavithet in recognition for his contribution in spreading the teachings of the Buddha, and the title was formally conferred on him in a ceremony at the Grand Palace in Bangkok on 5 December 2016 by the new King, His Majesty King Vajiralongkorn.