History of How the Kalyāṇa-Mitta Meditation Center Came to Be
Temple Forest Monastery in New Hampshire has an annual three month Winter Retreat during
January, February and March. During the Winter Retreat the Community stops working and engages
in focused meditation and study; lay supporters come to live at the monastery at this time to take on
the responsibilities of running the monastery. Ajahn Kumāro Bhikkhu was residing at Temple Forest
Monastery during the 2022 Winter Retreat and Elisha Buhler was part of the lay support team.
Every Saturday a senior monk would meet with the lay support team for tea and again on
another day with any interested members of the lay support team to speak on Dhamma and answer
questions; this was to provide encouragement to the lay support team and to express appreciation
that the Community has for their support. Ajahn Kumāro met every Thursday with interested
members of the lay support team and occasionally on Saturday for tea. Elisha’s interest in the
Dhamma caused her to ask questions for clarification and frequently met with Ajahn Kumāro after the
group dispersed for further discussions.
During one meeting between Ajahn Kumāro and Elisha, Elisha spoke of her friend Daniel who
lived near Asheville and was thinking about monastic training. Ajahn had never been to Asheville or
North Carolina but heard exciting things about Asheville; that the residents were friendly and many
had spiritual interests, the weather was mild and there is much sunshine. In another conversation,
Elisha mentioned that she was interested in starting a meditation center; Ajahn said that he would be
interested in helping with the center; and simultaneously Ajahn and Elisha both agreed that Asheville
might be a suitable place to start a meditation center. After agreeing in principle to give it a try to start
a meditation center in Asheville, Elisha took the bull by the horns and proceeded to make the project
Daniel came to Temple Forest Monastery after the Winter Retreat in April, stayed at the
monastery for two weeks and then took Ajahn Kumāro to Asheville. Ajahn and Daniel arrived in
Asheville on May 1, 2022.