After he had read during his school years books on Buddhism, he considered himself at the age of 17 years as a Buddhist. He grew up in modest circumstances, he received a scholarship for Theoretical Physics at Cambridge University, where he studied in the early 1970s. As a Cambridge graduate, he taught for a year at a high school before he traveled to Thailand to become Bhikkhu ( a theravada Buddhist monk). Ajahn Brahm was ordained at the age of 23 at Wat Saket Monastery in Thailand and then studied nine years at a legendary meditation master, the venerable Ajahn Chah Bodhinyana Mahathera.
Even in his time as a junior monk, he was asked to take over the compilation of an English speaking guide through the Buddhist monastic rules, the Vinaya. Later, his book was the basis for the monastery discipline in many Theravadan monasteries in the Western world.
Arrival in Australia
In 1983, Ajahn Brahm was invited by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, to come to Perth in Western Australia to assist Ajahn there Jagaro in teaching. Initially they both lived in an old house in the suburbs of North Perth, but in 1983 they received 97 acres ( approximately 393 000 m²) agricultural use and the forested land in the hills of Serpentine south of Perth. The country was the Bodhinyana Monastery, named after their teacher, Ajahn Chah, whose religious name was Bodhinyana. Bodhinyana was the first dedicated Buddhist monastery in the southern hemisphere and is now the largest Buddhist monastic community in Australia.
Initially there were no buildings on the property, and there was at that time only a few Buddhists in Perth and thus little financial support, the monks began to build himself to save money. So it was that Ajahn Brahm learned plumbing and bricklaying and built many of the buildings now existing there themselves.
Over the management
1994 left Ajahn Jagaro Western Australia, to pause. A year later he left the order and left Ajahn Brahm thus the responsibility. Despite initial reservations, Ajahn Brahm took on this role with enthusiasm. Soon he was invited to give his humorous and uplifting speeches in other parts of Australia and Southeast Asia. He was a speaker at the International Buddhist Summit in Phnom Penh and in three global Buddhist conference in 2002. He also devotes his time and attention to the sick and dying, as well as the people in prison, the cancer patients and the people who want to learn to meditate. In addition, he also takes care of his own Sangha of bhikkhus in Bodhinyana.
Ajahn Brahm influenced the creation of the Dhammasara Nunnery in Gidgegannup in the hills north-east of Perth. It is a completely independent monastery, where the Sri Lankan trained bhikkhuni Ajahn Sr. Vayama is abbess.
Currently, Ajahn Brahm abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery in Serpentine, Western Australia, 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, Spiritual patron of the Bodhikusuma Centre in Sydney and works with monks and nuns of all Buddhist traditions in order to establish the Australian Sangha Association.
In October 2004, Ajahn Brahm was awarded the John Curtin Medal for his vision, his guidance, and service to the Australian society by Curtin University.
Bhikkhuni Controversy and Sangha exclusion
On 22 October 2009 Ajahn Brahmali four women were in the Australian branch of the Thai Forest Tradition recognition as bhikkhunis. This act led to an international conflict in the Sangha and Ajahn Brahmali was excluded from the Thai Community to a Vinaya procedures. Since then, the subject wedge is not only gender, but also a national perspective in the international sangha.
Ajahn Brahm For Sale
With the marketing campaign, published on a self-initiated website with the same name, Ajahn Brahm called for the auction of his person as a teaching lecturers donation for Bhikkhuni Monastery. Despite brisk warnings and attempts by the Sangha, this avert criticized as populist campaign, this sales campaign was brought to an end and is further underway. This is perceived as divisive and subliminally polemical fundraising method has indeed brought him worldly success in terms of donations and cheering supporters, however, which comprehends as reputable practicing part of the Buddhist community has strongly turned away from him.