On Sunday the 10th of July 2011 at Cittaviveka Forest Monastery the ordination of five new bhikkhus and one samanera took place, thirty years and one week since Luang Por Sumedho had conducted the first ordination (upasampada) on the old croquet lawn of what was then Chithurst House. This time the five new bhikkhus were ordained by Ajahn Amaro. This event was also significant in that it was the first ordination to be performed by Ajahn Amaro. Immediately prior to conducting these ordinations, Ajahn Amaro and Ajahn Chandapalo had had their appointment as preceptors (upajjhaya) acknowledged and celebrated by a sangha of twenty-two bhikkhus who had gathered together from our various communities around Europe.
A few days earlier Ajahn Amaro had flown to Thailand especially to receive the certificates of formal appointment from Luang Por Liem, head of the Wat Pah Pong sangha. Two weeks prior to this, Luang Por Liem himself had travelled from NE Thailand down to Bangkok, with senior members of Wat Pah Pong, to receive the certificates of appointment that had been authorized by the Acting Supreme Patriarch, Somdet Buddhajahn from Wat Saket. The Somdet of Wat Saket has over the years been very supportive of the Western disciples of Luang Por Chah. Like a loving grandfather he has regularly received us at his monastery, having taken it upon himself since the passing of Luang Por Chah, to be of assistance to our communities in whatever way he could.
Back in England in 2011 the community of Bhikkhus, Samaneras and Siladhara gladly offered their respect and gratitude to our new preceptors (upajjhayas). The five young men were of course happy to be received into the bhikkhu sangha and begin their 'Higher Training'. Bhikkhu Appamatto was re-ordained as Bhikkhu Analayo, Samanera Bodhinando is now Bhikkhu Bodhinando, Samanera Thaniyo is now Bhikkhu Thaniyo, Samanera Santamano is now Bhikkhu Santamano and Samanera Thanavaro is now Bhikkhu Thanavaro. Also Anagarika Wei Sen received the 'Going Forth' (pabbajja) and is now Samanera Narindo.
About one-hundred and fifty lay friends were present in the sunshine of a glorious English summer's day enjoying the sense of goodness that the gathering generated. Ajahn Amaro's commentary over the sound system meant that visiting family and friends of those 'going forth' were able to share in the process of the ordinations. At the closing of the ceremonies (over three hours long) Ajahn Amaro took the opportunity to give a few final words of appreciation for all the effort that had contributed to a truly blessed day.
'I would like to express my gratitude to Ajahn Sucitto and Ajahn Munindo for all the help they have given in the preparation of this event also for their friendship, moral and spiritual support in my taking up this role. In particular I also wish to express my great gratitude to Luang Por Liem. Without his proactive manner and his spiritual strength and friendship, without his compassion and kindness, this day would not have happened in the way that it has. I thus want to publicly mention my appreciation for his contribution towards our lives here together and for what he has offered towards the next stage of spiritual training of those who have been ordained today.'