Dhamma Pioneers is the history of a pioneering organisation that played a key role in the spread of Buddhism in Australia.

Wat Buddha Dhamma was founded in 1978 by two outstanding teachers, Phra Khantipalo (Laurence Mills) and Ayya Khema (Ilse Ledermann) who envisaged 'a place for westerners' to learn Buddhist doctrine and practice.

Secluded in the Dharug wilderness north of Sydney, 'The Wat' was a cultural experiment that combined monastic tradition, an alternative spiritual community and a course-giving meditation centre, held together through the mutual support of its teachers and lay community.

Told through the voices of those participating at the time, the book discusses the changes undergone by the Wat over a thirty year period, including attempts to keep the original ideal afloat by restructure of the organisation.

The book focuses on a polarisation of religious and secular values that led to conflict over purpose and direction, resulting in a final handover of the property to monks in the Thai forest monastery tradition in 2008.



Dhamma Pioneers is 330pp with 45 photographs.  Publication: October 2021.
Recommended retail price: $39 plus $9 postage


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