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Ajahn Jumnien Seelasettho Abbot of Wat Tham Seua

Ajahn Jumnien Seelasettho is the abbot and founder of the incredible temple named Wat Tum Sua in Krabi, Thailand just outside of Krabi town toward the mountains. Ajahn Jumnien (Chamnian, Jumnearn) was born in a rural village in Nakhon Si Thammarat province in Southern Thailand.

Ajahn Jumnien’s Early Years

His father apprenticed him to a village folk doctor that was a blind priest and an astrologer. At six years old he began a meditation practice. He was trained in Buddhism, and also as a folk healer. At age 20 he ordained as a Buddhist monk in the Theravada tradition. For a time he wandered as an ascetic monk and then trained in intensive insight meditation with Ajahn Dhammadharo at Wat Tow Kote.

After being a monk for 17 years he moved to a small village in the Surat Thani province called “Ban Na San”. Ban Na San is a very pretty little town located on a river. Their Rambutans (exotic red Thai fruit like large oval-shaped golf balls with green or pink ‘hairs’ coming covering them are excellent in season and they have yearly Rambutan festivals that you should attend if you get the chance sometime while you’re here.

Founding Wat Tham Seua “Tiger Cave Temple” in Krabi

Ajahn Jumnien studied meditation in Ban Na San for a short while then moved to Krabi, Thailand to found “Wat Tum Sua”, Tiger Cave Temple of the South. Ajahn Jumnien founded Wat Tum Sua in 1975. So, he was a monk for 33 years at Wat Tum Sua and 17 years at Nakhon Si Thammarat. I think 2 years in Ban Na San. That’s 52 years as a Thai Theravada monk!

A monk told me recently that Aj. Jumnien’s good friend is Jack Kornfield, who has written many books about the subject of meditation. The monk told me that Ajarn Jumnien and Jack Kornfield stayed at the same temple in Banasan, Surat Thani province, Thailand for some time. Yearly now Ajahn Jumnien goes to California to teach a meditation course with Jack Kornfield. 

Ajahn Jumnien is a world traveler, frequently making visits to California, Chicago, Malaysia, India, Burma, Singapore, Germany, and the UK mostly for the purposes of teaching mediation. He is a most accomplished meditation teacher and world-renowned. 

Ajahn Jumnien’s Wat Tham Seua Temple Today

Wat Tum Sua presently has 30-40 Buddhist monks living on temple grounds including 8 that live in the caves of the foothills area at the north side of the temple.

It is possible to climb 100+ steps and explore the area which resembles Jurassic Park with HUGE palm trees and other plants that aren’t usually seen. There are 1000-year-old trees in this area and some nice caves to explore.

During the rains retreat nearly 100 monks stay for a few months at Wat Tum Sua. There are almost 200  ‘magee’ or Buddhist nuns in white and with shaved heads that have taken vowels at the temple. Ajahn Jumnien intents Wat Tum Sua to be a refuge for women in bad relationships and welcomes anyone that needs a safe haven. 

(Still gathering info for this page. If you have any information about Aj. Jumnien and would like to send it, please send to us using the contact link at the bottom of this page.)

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