Currently there are three monks in residence at OAOR.
Phra Ajahn Vuttichai Chookaew, who prefers to simply be called Phrawoody, has been a monk in the Theravada Thai Forest Tradition since 1995. He is the abbot of OAOR and a senior monk of Ajahn Jamnian, a Thai Buddhist meditation master.
Phrawoody is a native of Thailand and has been in the United States since 1999. Initially, most of his travels were on the West Coast and Texas but soon broadened to include most of the US and experience with Native Americans which fostered a better understanding of Western and Native cultures.
Shortly after ordaining in 1995, Phrawoody went on Tudong. He left Mae Sai in Northern Thailand on foot and walked barefoot for nine days and roughly 400 miles to the Xishuangbanna area in Southern China. When Phrawoody arrived, he was in touch with local people who were working on the restoration of an old Pagoda. China’s government had recently opened culturally to religion, and the people he met embraced the Buddhist culture of generosity and merit and were looking for monks to support. The community’s immense respect and faith in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha were deeply inspiring to Phrawoody. It strengthened his resolve and commitment to developing value as a monastic through practice and to be an inspiration for others.
Phrawoody has been teaching meditation at various locations and settings since 2002. In 2004, he began traveling with Luang Por Jamnian throughout the US, Asia, and Australia as a translator, organizer, and attendant for Ajahn Jamnian.
In 2015, Phrawoody was inspired by his teachers to start OAOR.
Following the tradition of his teacher, Ajahn Jamnian, Phrawoody teaches in an informal style that is filled with humor, joyfulness, and an ease that is contagious.
Phra Amporn Kepthan, has been a Buddhist monk since age 15 when he ordained as a novice. He remained a novice non-stop for 17 years and became fully ordained in 2004. Phraamporn came to the United States in 2013, and he has been a resident of OAOR since it was established.
Phra Seubsack Nortongdang, or Phrasam as he prefers to be called, ordained in 2012. It is common in Thai culture for one to ordain after the death of a parent to dedicate merit. Usually, this is for a short term only. However, once Phrasam found the essence of Dhamma, he chose to continue monastic life and his intention to learn Dhamma and deepen his practice. Recognizing the opportunity to help OAOR and cultivate the perfections by supporting and helping to build community, Phrasam accepted the invitation to join OAOR when it began.