Newsletter December 2019

We recently enjoyed a visit from Luang Por Pasanno, founder and former abbot of Abhayagiri monastery in California, together with his successor, Ajahn Karunadhammo. A Dhamma talk he gave during his stay should soon be available on our website, in English with Italian translation, as an audio file.

The weather here has been unseasonably mild, while there is already deep snow at Santaloka, our mountain hermitage in Valle d’Aosta.  Tan Mahabodhi and Tan Pemasilo are currently having a quiet retreat there, before the latter returns to Cittaviveka monastery in the UK, having completed his fourth year as a bhikkhu with us. Before he leaves we expect to be joined by the young Thai monk, Tan Ice Pabhakaro, who was here for 3 months earlier this year. We have finally been able to obtain a year-long renewable visa for him. Ajahn Chandapalo will be away from the 15th to the 20th of December, to visit Hartridge monastery in Devon, where he will leave samanera Silanando for duration of the winter retreat.

Our new website is now live. It has practically the same content as the old website, but with a design that is more functional for hand-held devices. It can be accessed at, while the old website will continue to be maintained for some time, at the address

Calendars for next year, 2563 in the Buddhist world (starting from the Buddha’s Parinibbana), have arrived from generous supporters in Malaysia. If you don’t have a chance to come and collect a calendar it can be downloaded from the Forest Sangha portal, you can find a link on the News section of our website.

The calendar includes the dates of our new moon and full moon observance days. We follow the Thai calendar, which sometimes differs from the European calendar. Often there is a Dhamma talk in the evening of the fortnightly moon days, after chanting and meditation, which begins at 7:30 pm, and is followed by a meditation vigil which continues until midnight. All are welcome to attend part or all of the evening. It is not possible to offer overnight accommodation unless one has already booked beforehand. Please note that our accommodation is usually reserved long in advance, and that there are no more places before our winter retreat begins on 7th January. The winter retreat is reserved for the resident community and a small group of lay practitioners who are able to stay for the whole, or most, of the retreat.

Events at Santacittarama do not require booking, unless stated otherwise, and are free of charge. However, those wishing to stay  overnight need to book in advance. Unforeseen circumstances may cause changes to this programme, so it is worthwhile checking beforehand on the website, which is regularly updated.

7th DECEMBER:  Beginner’s meditation class
Saturday, 3:30─5:00 pm. In Italian. Please arrive in time!

27th DECEMBER – 6th JANUARY:  Daily silent meditation
Every afternoon there will be a silent meditation at 4 p.m. followed by a tea break at 5 and evening chanting and meditation at 7:30 p.m.

7th JANUARY – 31st March:  Monastic Retreat
A period for the resident community to develop their practice, free of other commitments. Day visitors are still welcome if they wish to share the silence and meditate or to support the retreat by bringing food offerings. Overnight stays will not be possible during this period.
The evening meditation beginning at 7:30 will continue as usual, except for Mondays. During this time there will be no informal meeting over tea at 5 pm and the telephone will be answered only in the mornings between 8:00 and 9:00.