News and announcements
07-01-23 Monastic retreat until 31st March
07-01-23 List of useful items to offer for kitchen
01-01-23 News for January 2023
05-12-22 Photos of pabbajja ceremony of samaneras Dhammatejo and Ariyacitto
03-12-22 News for December 2022
26-06-22 Video documentary about Santacittarama (in Italian)
21-07-21 Calendar: the Forest Sangha calendar is now available as a smartphone app
24-10-20 Book of photos and the story of the first 30 years of Santacittarama, in Italian, English and Thai languages.
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 are not possible during this period. The meal is at 11am and for 10th-20th January, 6th-17th February and 13th-24th March […]
Santacittarama: The Garden of the Serene Heart
SANTACITTARAMA, “The Garden of the Serene Heart”, is a Buddhist monastery of the ancient Theravada tradition. It was founded in 1990 in order to meet the existing interest among Italian Buddhists as well as the Thai, Sri Lankan and Burmese immigrant communities. The Santacittarama Association – the legal body representing the monastery – is a member of the Italian Buddhist Union and was officially recognized by the state as a religious organization in 1995. The monastery is located in the Sabina hills, about 50km. from Rome, in the district of Poggio Nativo, Rieti province.
The resident community follows a tradition inspired by the Thai forest monk Venerable Ajahn Chah (1918-1992), an influential teacher under whom many Westerners, attracted by the clarity, simplicity and accessibilty of his teaching and practice, were ordained as monks in Thailand.
This lineage was brought to the West when Ajahn Sumedho, one of Ven. Ajahn Chah’s Western disciples, was invited to set up a monastic order in England. Since his arrival with three other Western monks in 1977, this order has grown to include four monasteries in the U.K. as well as those in Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, New Zealand, Canada and the U.S.A., altogether comprising some 150 monks and nuns.
Southeast Asian (Theravada) Buddhism has as its keystone the relationship of mutuality between the monastic Sangha, i.e. the ordained community of monks and nuns, and the extended community of lay practitioners. This relationship is characterised by the material dependence of the Sangha, as mendicant renunciants, on acts of generosity (Dana) made by the extended community – in particular, depending for their daily sustenance on direct offerings of food and by the offerings likewise made by the Sangha to the lay community in providing an example, inspiration and support in their spiritual practice, and access to the sanctuary of the monasteries.