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Ajahn Karunadhammo

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo was born in North Carolina in 1955. He was trained as a nurse and moved to Seattle in his early twenties where he came in contact with the Theravada tradition. In 1992, he helped out with a monastic visit to the Bay Area and spent two months serving a winter retreat at Amarāvati Monastery in England. Ajahn Karuṇadhammo made the decision to ordain while visiting Thailand in 1995. He asked if he could be part of the prospective California monastery (the then unnamed Abhayagiri) and was part of the original group that arrived at Abhayagiri on June 1, 1996. After training for two years as an Anagārika and Sāmaṇera, he took full Bhikkhu ordination in May, 1998 with Ajahn Pasanno as his preceptor. Since Ajahn Pasanno stepped back from his leadership role in 2018, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo and Ajahn Ñāniko guided the Abhayagiri community as co-abbots for two years. In June 2020, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo stepped back from his administrative duties at Abhayagiri.

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Featured Audio Talk
November 13, 2016 - The Power of Perception: The Colors of Experience

Through the power of mental qualities like intention and attention, we can create any state of mind that we choose to with practice. Without denying the existence of unpleasantness and difficulty, we don't have to let that be our focus. We can consciously create and project out into the world something that's more positive, skillful, and wholesome, based on values like patience, kindness, compassion, and goodness. If we attend to that—if we attune our perceptual process to those qualities, and when they're arising, focus on them and dwell in them—then that becomes the nature of our experience.

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