Ajahn Liem Thitadhammo, a highly respected and revered Buddhist monk in the classical Thai Forest Tradition, is Ajahn Chah’s chosen successor. He was born in Sri Saket Province, in Northeastern Thailand, in 1941 and took full bhikkhu ordination at the age of 20. In 1969 he began training under Ajahn Chah, one of Thailand’s most beloved and renowned monks. Even today Ajahn Chah’s reputation and influence continues to grow and spread throughout the world.
Living at Wat Nong Pah Pong (Ajahn Chah’s monastery) under Ajahn Chah’s direct guidance, Ajahn Liem soon became one of his closest disciples. In 1982 when Ajahn Chah became too ill to carry on with his duties, he entrusted Ajahn Liem with full authority and responsibility to run the monastery. Shortly thereafter, as Ajahn Chah’s illness progressed and he was no longer able to speak, the Sangha of Wat Nong Pah Pong appointed Ajahn Liem to take over the abbotship. He continues to fulfill that duty up to the present day and has maintained the heritage of Ajahn Chah’s Dhamma and characteristic way of monastic training for bhikkhus, nuns and lay disciples.
For the Sangha at Wat Pah Nanachat (Ajahn Chah’s International Forest Monastery for training monks using English as the language of instruction), Ajahn Liem is a dearly respected teacher and guide in the monastic life. He has conducted every monastic ordination ceremony at Wat Nanachat for over a decade and serves there as the ordination preceptor or upajjhaya to all of the newly ordained monks at Nanachat. His Majesty the King of Thailand has twice bestowed honorary monastic titles on Ajahn Liem.