Mission

Dhamma is the greatest treasure.

A person who has Dhamma is never lonely,  but full of strength, knowledge, awareness, and happiness!

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A THERAVADAN BUDDHIST HERMITAGE

Sunnataram California Meditation Monastery


A Federal Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Corporation
Federal Tax Identification Number

EIN: 95-4496818


About Us

Theravāda is a branch of Buddhism that uses the Buddha's teaching preserved in the Pāli Canon as its doctrinal core. Theravada Buddhism developed in Sri Lanka and spread to the rest of Southeast Asia. It is the dominant form of religion in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and is practiced by minority groups in Bangladesh, China, Nepal, and Vietnam. In addition, the diaspora of all of these groups as well as converts around the world practice Theravāda Buddhism. Contemporary expressions include Buddhist modernism, the Vipassana movement and the Thai Forest Tradition.


The Buddha — the "Awakened One" — called the religion he founded Dhamma-vinaya — "the doctrine and discipline." To provide a social structure supportive of the practice of Dhamma-vinaya (or Dhamma for short [Sanskrit: Dharma]), and to preserve these teachings for posterity, the Buddha established the order of bhikkhus (monks) and bhikkhunis (nuns) — the Sangha — which continues to this day to pass his teachings on to subsequent generations of laypeople and monastics.

As the Dhamma continued its spread across India after the Buddha's passing, differing interpretations of the original teachings arose, which led to schisms within the Sangha and the emergence of as many as eighteen distinct sects of Buddhism. What we call Theravada today is the sole survivor of those early non-Mahayana schools. To avoid the pejorative tone implied by the terms Hinayana and Mahayana, it is common today to use more neutral language to distinguish between these two main branches of Buddhism. Because Theravada historically dominated southern Asia, it is sometimes called "Southern" Buddhism, while Mahayana, which migrated northwards from India into China, Tibet, Japan, and Korea, is known as "Northern" Buddhism
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