Please any recommended theravada buddhist organisations in Europe?

Europe continent includes the entire EU, UK, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, etc.
Doesn’t matter if headed by monastic (ideal of course) or lay Buddhist.
Doesn’t matter if it’s a Buddhist temple, ordination training ground, meditation center, learning group, charity group, online only, etc. The more the better.
Ideally from first hand experience not hearsay if possible.
Ideally guided by Theravada or Early Buddhism Teachings.
Please no new age-y, yoga, chakra, ultimate truth is infinite consciousness, etc.
Not a cult with harmful and dangerous leadership, ideology and practices.
Not some government linked propaganda machine.
Not scandal ridden like abusing guru-student relationship, financial mismanagement, etc.

Looking to find a circle of kalyāṇa mittas (spiritual friendship) to develop dāna (generosity), sīla (morality), paññā (wisdom) and samādhi (meditation).
But I’m new and unfamiliar to Buddhism in Europe. Don’t want to mix or join some cult-like, dodgy or scandalous organisations.
This is why I need help since you guys (lay or monastic) are more experienced (or have insider information) on which are really good or bad organisations.

Appreciate your recommendations. Thanks everyone in advance!

Thanks @Danny @paul1 @keller @sujato @Ric @sabbamitta etc for your recommendations! :smiley:
This is not the first time I seen this question, so I’m also trying to ask on behalf of anybody looking for good Buddhist community in Europe.
As some either unaware it actually exists near them or could lose their faith because bad first encounter with bad “Buddhists.”
New and old communities and organisations may come and go anytime.
Please help to update this thread when that happens if the community is willing, which will be beneficial to Buddhists in Europe.


You could visit a monastery in the Ajahn Chah lineage in Europe. There are quite a few around Europe. I have visited ones in the UK, Norway and Portugal and all were great places in their own way.
Here you can check them out:


The EBU is an umbrella organization and not exclusively Theravada, but has opportunities for engaged Buddhism:


Samanadipa Forest Buddhist Monastery


Our friend Ayya Vimala with Samita:


Venerable Canda in the UK


Which language(s) do you speak? Europe is many different countries, and each country has of course centers and activities in their own language.

For Germany, find a list of Theravada monasteries, groups, etc. here.

P.S. I have changed the link to go directly to the groups page.


Thanks @sabbamitta ! I prefer English if possible but language shouldn’t be a barrier to spiritual teachers and friends. Especially the case when we already have very few dedicated Buddhists.

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I see that…
Norway (Lokuttara Vihara),
Germany (Muttodaya Waldkloster Forest Monastery, Metta Vihara and Anenja Vihara),
Slovenia (Samanadipa Forest Hermitage)
…is not listed on the official website.

Is it because not up to date or for some other reasons?

The groups and centers on that German list should be mostly up-to-date, though some might be not. For example Metta Vihara is still listed under monasteries, but is not a monastery any more.

I think that’s the reason why I came to do translation work … :grin:

Muttodaya and Anenja Vihara are still active as monasteries; very active, actually. Anenja Vihara is going to have a triple Bhikkhuni ordination on July 2! :meditation: :meditation: :meditation:


Okay, noted.

Yay! Thanks :pray:

Hooray :tada: :confetti_ball:


The monasteries on the Forest Sangha website are fully affiliated with Wat Nong Pah Pong, Ajahn Chah’s mother monastery in NE Thailand. So the ones you mention are not fully affiliated. I think the monastery in Norway is an associated monastery but not an official branch monastery (yet). You can read more about this on the ‘about’ page.

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Ajahn Nittho is also in Norway under the Buddhist society of Norway, with Ajahn Brahm as spiritual advisor. Ajahn Nittho speaks perfect English. I sat a weekend retreat with him a few years ago at Jhana Grove in Western Australia when he was still training with Ajahn Brahm.


Some examples that come to mind in Ireland (all Theravada) would be:

  • (retreat centre in the SW of Ireland in County Clare, run by volunteers; based on what was a farm with several buildings including a meditation hall; the mortgage on the site was fully paid off in recent years; has an association with Amaravati Monastery in the UK, monastics usually come to stay during the rains retreats)
  • (up the West of Ireland towards Galway, run by Nick Scott who has written some books with various UK Theravada monks ).
  • (Dublin-based Theravada group)

Though, they tend not to be too narrowly Theravada, e.g., there’s a Chan Mahayana nun, Sr. Jinho, who has regularly given retreats with all of the above in recent years.


Interesting didn’t know Ajahn Chah lineage made a distinction between fully affiliated branch monastery and associated monastery.

Wasn’t aware that there was a monastery (by Ajahn Nittho) affiliated with Ajahn Brahm in Norway. Thanks for pointing that out!

Thanks for the suggestions! Not too narrowly Theravada is actually fine as long as the core teaching and practice is Theravada.

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I believe that since calling yourself an Ajahn Chah branch monastery confers quite a bit of status, there was originally a very elaborate process to be official. Also it informs the consumer the devotee what they will be buying experiencing when they go there. For example monk life at Birken (back when they were ordaining people) was somewhat different than that at official monasteries. So kind of a brand management sort of thing.

BTW, @circle, you can easily reply to sever people in a single post. Just highlight what you want to reply to and click the quote button that pops up. It will add it to your draft post. Or if you don’t want to include a quote you can just type their user name with the @ symbol. Both messages will inform the person that you are responding to them.


Haha… yes, it reminds me of similar practices of commercial entities. But I can understand why they have to do this, because of the amount and weight of trust and reputation over Ajahn Chah.

I’m sorry, as I’m quite new to this. Yes, I was wondering if only the ‘Reply’ button would inform the person I intend to reply to. Now I know quote button and @ symbol also does the same. Thank you for the tips!