Aranya Bodhi Hermitage on the Sonoma Coast 

Aranya Bodhi means Awakening Forest

Among the forest redwoods and high meadows of Northern California's Sonoma Coast, a small community of Buddhist monastic women hermits has taken root. The Pali name of our hermitage is Aranya Bodhi, which means Awakening Forest.  A generous donor offered the use of this land to our co-founder Ven. (Ayya) Tathaaloka Theri several years ago, with the aspiration to make a forest meditation hermitage for Theravada bhikkhunis (fully ordained female monastics) like-minded women and friends.

This aspiration has become a reality through inspired leadership, the friendship of the Bhikkhu Sangha, the commitment of monastic women, and the help of many kind and generous donors.

We welcome your time at our forest hermitage.

The Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha is still in its tender stage. Only a few (but growing number) of the newly-revived Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha have acquired the spiritual power that comes from decades of monastic training, and there are not yet so many practice communities for women seeking to enter monastic life. We aim to offer time for deeply needed inner development through the recluse practice of the Buddha's teachings at our forest hermitage.

How We Live

Our simple daily program is intended to provide some structure, along with time and space for individual practice.  Exact hours vary according to the seasons, with communal practice in our Dhammasala yurt when it's cool or rainy, and outside when fair. Occasional busy days for outside errands or projects are followed by light, silent days. 

In complement to our hermit practice in the Awakening Forest, there is an option to join monthly new moon day-long retreats at our monastery in Penngrove, alms round in Sebastopol twice a month, and lunar quarter visits to our local bhikkhu monastery. 

 Wake up until 7:00 am Personal Meditation
 7.00 - 7.30 amOptional Breakfast
 7.45 - 9:00 am Devotional Chanting, Morning Meeting, & Studying Inspiring Pali Verses (presently Dhammapada)
 9.00 - 11.00 amMindful Work Period
 11.00 am - 1.00 pmAlms Meal Offering Followed by Mindful Clean-up
 1.00 - 5.30 pm
*1.30 or 2-3pm
Personal Meditation and/or Dhamma Study & Self Maintenance Time
*Dhamma reflection & discussion offered by Ven. (Ayya) Tathaloka Theri (when in residence)
 5.30 - 6.30 pmEvening Tea with option for Dhamma Discussion or Practice Interview
 6.30 - 8.00 pmPersonal Meditation & Dhamma Study
 8.00 pm until sleep Personal Meditation Time

Lay visitors and those in the early stages of monastic training are expected to attend all communal activities, with more flexibility for those bhikkhunis who have completed their initial training.

To the extent we are able, periods of fully supported individual retreat are offered to resident bhikkhunis and monastic trainees, as well as aspirants and stewards who have offered a substantial period of service, as well as to respected visiting bhikkhunis who have given much service in their home communities.

It is also possible for a visitor whose primary dedication is cultivating the path of service if s/he is considerate, well established in practice, and able to live peacefully and harmoniously together.


Aranya Bodhi Hermitage is lovingly cared for by Dhammadharini, 
a religious non-profit organization with 501(c)3 Federal and State of California tax-exempt status.