John Cianciosi was born in Italy and educated in Australia. In 1972, he was ordained a Buddhist monk in Thailand and trained under one of that country’s most gifted and influential meditation masters, the late Venerable Ajahn Chah. At his ordination, his preceptor gave him the name Jagaro, which means "one who is awakened." In keeping with Thai tradition, he was later called Ajahn Jagaro.
While living in remote jungle monasteries, he led a disciplined, celibate life devoted to the practice of mental cultivation. This unique experience fostered his profound appreciation for the meditative path. Later, he was appointed abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat, the International Forest Monastery established to provide training for the growing number of Ajahn Chah’s Western disciples.
In 1982, he was asked to establish a Buddhist monastery in Perth, Western Australia. For the next 14 years, he was instrumental in successfully establishing Bodhinyana Monastery and Dhammaloka Buddhist Centre. As abbot and spiritual director of the Buddhist Society of Western Australia, Cianciosi was responsible for the training of monks and teaching in the lay community.
Under his Buddhist name, Ajahn Jagaro, Cianciosi published a book entitled True Freedom (Bangkok, Buddhadharma Foundation, 1994).
In 1995 he left the monastic life and moved to the Chicago, Illinois area, where he continues to share his insights and wisdom as a lecturer at the College of DuPage. His gift for presenting profound teachings in a clear, pragmatic style has inspired a great number of people, not only in Australia, but internationally. His teachings come directly from the heart, having been nurtured by a life devoted to the study and practice of meditation.