Venerable Ajahn Anan Akiñcano was born in the provincial town of Saraburi, Central Thailand, on the 31st of March, 1954, with the name of Anan Chan-in. From an early age he would regularly accompany his parents to the local temple to chant and pay respects to the monks, and he recalls experiencing feelings of great ease and joy whenever looking at images of the Buddha. During his school days he was known to be well-mannered and keen in his studies, and after graduation was hired as an accountant at Siam Cement Company. Though a diligent employee, he found himself increasingly drawn to Buddhist practice and began living at a nearby monastery during his hours away from work.
For the next year, working as an accountant and strictly observing the eight precepts of a lay practitioner, he was able to increase his meditation efforts and his confidence in the Buddha's teachings. After offering food to the monks each morning, he would travel to work and then return to the monastery in the evening to practice mediation. One day he had an experience of profound insight into the nature of all phenomena, followed by three days and three nights of a happiness unlike anything he had felt before. This experience removed any remaining doubts about committing his life to the Buddha's teachings, and soon afterwards he decided to enter the monastic order.
On July 3rd, 1975, he took full ordination under his preceptor and teacher, the Venerable Ajahn Chah. He was given the Pali name Akiñcano, meaning "one without worries," and spent the next four years diligently practising meditation and developing care and attentiveness around the more routine aspects of monastic life. During this period he acted as Ajahn Chah's personal attendant, which provided him with the opportunity to develop a close connection with his teacher. Though his meditation was up and down during these early years as a monk, in his fourth year it reached a point where it did not decline again.
After the intensive training period with Ajahn Chah, he was allowed the opportunity to seek out more secluded places to further his efforts in meditation. Living in remote forests and charnel grounds, he met with various hardships both outside and within. Still, he committed himself to this way of life for several years, growing in endurance, contending with serious bouts of malaria which took him close to death on many occasions. In 1984 he was offered a section of uninhabited land on which to build a forest monastery. Accompanied by two other monks and a novice, the group settled in the dense forest of Rayong province at what is now known as Wat Marp Jan, "Monastery of the Moonlit Mountain."
Nearly 25 years later, Ajahn Anan's reputation as a meditation master has grown, along with the number of monks coming to practice under him and seek his guidance. The monastery and the surrounding area have developed considerably since the time of his arrival, reflecting both Ajahn Anan's presence and his contribution to the region. Today, he attends to his many duties as abbot and teacher, sharing his time between monks and lay guests and looking after a growing number of branch monasteries.