The 8th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Currently Brahm is the Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, in Serpentine, Western Australia, the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of Victoria, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of South Australia, Spiritual Patron of the Buddhist Fellowship in Singapore, and Spiritual Patron of the Bodhikusuma Centre in Sydney.
Peter Betts came from a working-class background and went to Latymer Upper School.
After graduating from Cambridge he taught in high school for one year before traveling to Thailand to become a monk and train with the Ajahn Chah Bodhinyana Mahathera. Brahm was ordained in Bangkok at the age of twenty-three by the Abbot of Wat Saket.
Brahm was invited to Perth, Australia by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia to assist Ajahn Jagaro in teaching duties. Initially they both lived in an old house in the suburb of North Perth, but in late 1983 purchased 97 acres (393,000 m²) of rural and forested land in the hills of Serpentine south of Perth.
Initially there were no buildings on the land, and as there were only a few Buddhists in Perth at this time, and little funding, the monks themselves began building to save money. Brahm learnt plumbing and bricklaying and built many of the current buildings himself.
Brahm has also been influential in establishing Dhammasara Nuns' Monastery at Gidgegannup in the hills north-east of Perth to be a wholly independent monastery, which jointly administered by Venerable Nirodha and Venerable Hasapanna.
On 22 October 2009 Brahm facilitated an ordination ceremony for bhikkhunis where four female Buddhists, Venerable Ajahn Vayama, and Venerables Nirodha, Seri and Hasapanna, were ordained into the Western Theravada bhikkhuni sangha.
There is no consensus in the wider tradition that bhikkhuni ordinations could be valid, having last been performed in Theravada communities over 1,000 years ago, though the matter has been under active discussion for some time.
most eloquent I’ve seen – fair, balanced, comes out on the side of “It’s possible, why don’t we ::do this?”
For his actions of 22 October 2009, on 1 November 2009, at a meeting of senior members of the Thai monastic sangha, held at Wat Pah Pong, Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, Brahm was removed from the Ajahn Chah Forest Sangha lineage and is no longer associated with the main monastery in Thailand,
Whilst still a junior monk, Brahm was asked to undertake the compilation of an English-language guide to the Buddhist monastic code - the vinaya - which later became the basis for monastic discipline in many Theravadan monasteries in Western countries.
Currently Brahm is the Abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery, in Serpentine, Western Australia, the Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Spiritual Adviser to the Buddhist Society of Victoria,
- Opening the Door of Your Heart:
Also published as Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung?: Inspiring Stories for Welcoming Life's Difficulties. (2005). Wisdom Publications.
Also published in Indonesia as Si Cacing dan Kotoran Kesayangannya in 3 volumes, vol.1 (2010), vol.2 (2011), vol.3 (2012) ISBN 0-86171-278-1