The Dhammakāya Movement is a Buddhist movement founded in 1916 by the Thai meditation master Phra Mongkolthepmuni (1885-1959) – the late abbot of Wat Paknam Bhasicharoen, Thonburi. The movement is primarily represented today by its non-profit foundation, the Dhammakaya Foundation, and the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand.
It has many doctrinal elements to distinguish it from conventional Theravāda Buddhism and in some respects resembles schools of Mahāyāna Buddhism. The Dhammakāya school of meditation is marked by its literal interpretation of Buddhist technical terms, (including the term dhammakāya) in their physical meaning, as described by Phra Mongkolthepmuni. Many sermons of Phra Mongkolthepmuni himself can be traced back to some schools of meditation in Southeast Asia preserved only in ancient meditation manuals.
Following the death of Phra Monkolthepmuni, the Foundation’s work was continued by his disciple, Khun Yay Mahā Ratana Upāsikā Chandra Khonnokyoong. In 1970, a temple, called Wat Phra Dhammakaya, was constructed as a home for the movement. Located in Khlong Luang, Pathum Thani Province, the temple was intended to become an international center for the study of meditation.