About the Abbot
A community of monastic and lay volunteers staffs the Buddhist Meditation Temple. The founder and president of the Buddhist Meditation Temple is Venerable Samak Ngamsaeng, a Thai who has been a monk since the age of twelve and came to the United States in 1998.
Venerable Samak is a young monk, recognized as a meditation instructor who blends life-long meditation practice with an in-depth knowledge of Buddhist teachings and their practical applications. He has studied meditation at Wat Paknam in Bangkok, Thailand and has additionally spent many months practicing meditation at a forest monastery while under the guidance of many senior meditation teachers. This combination of background knowledge and hands-on experience makes Venerable Samak Ngamsaeng ideally suited for presenting these practical Buddhist traditions to the Western world.
Venerable Samak was born in 1965 at the small village of Ena, within the province of Sri Sa Ket. He completed his primary education at Sri Sa Ket Province, Thailand and, at age 12, was ordained as a Buddhist novice at Wat Paknam Phasichareon, Bangkok, Thailand. Venerable Vorrapunyo Mahathera, who is also well-known as Somdej Pramaha Rajmangakalajarn, is his preceptor. He received his basic Buddhist education in Pali at Wat Paknam Phasichareon, completing Pali Level 4. In 1986, at age 21, he was given higher ordination at Wat Paknam Phasichareon, Bangkok.
Venerable Samak completed his higher education at Mahamakut Buddhist University, Bangkok, received a Bachelor’s degree in Buddhist Studies, and received his Master of Arts degree in Comparative Religions at Mahidol University, Bangkok. He has also been trained as the Overseas Buddhist Missionary of Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University, Bangkok.
Venerable Samak came to the United States in 1998 at the invitation of Venerable Dr. Chuen Phengcham of the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center in Warren, Michigan. He served as the assistant abbot of the Midwest Buddhist Meditation Center from 1998 through 2004. In May 2004, upon the invitation of the Buddhist community in Dayton, Ohio, Venerable Samak left the meditation center in Michigan to establish the Buddhist Meditation Temple in Huber Heights, Ohio. He currently serves as president and Chief Abbot of the Buddhist meditation Temple, where he teaches meditation, conducts religious retreats, and oversees other Buddhist ceremonies at the temple.
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