Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, originally from New York City, has been a Buddhist monk since 1972. He was the editor for the Buddhist Publication Society in Sri Lanka, from 1984 until 2002. He has edited Ven. Nanamoli’s translation of the Majjhima Nikaya (Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha), translated the Samyutta Nikaya (Connected Discourses of the Buddha), and compiled an anthology from the Pali Canon (In the Buddha’s Words). He now resides at Chuang Yen Monastery and teaches there and at Bodhi Monastery in Lafayette, New Jersey.
Venerable Chang-Zhai is a Buddhist nun of the Mahayana Chan tradition (Taiwanese Zen). She entered the Dharma Drum Sangha University (DDSU) in 2008, mainly studying under the Chan Practice program. In 2010, Venerable received full ordination. In 2012, after completing a 4-year monastic education at DDSUniversity in Taiwan, she returned to the U.S. and has served as a member of the Chan Meditation Center in New York until now. Venerable speaks both Mandarin and English. www.chancenter.org
Rev. Kaizen Robert Gunn, Ph.D., is Director of Zen at United Church, an affiliate sitting group of the Village Zendo of New York City. He began studying Zen Buddhism over sixteen years ago under Roshi John Daido Loori, and has been studying with Roshi Enkyo O’Hara for the past six years. His middle name, “Kaizen” is the dharma name given by Roshi Enkyo, and means “unfolding Zen.” He has been active in Buddhist/Christian dialogue through the Society for Buddhist/Christian Studies. Most recently he gave a paper at the Second Kyoto Conference on Buddhism and Psychotherapy in Japan, on “Two Arrows Meeting in Mid-Air: Self and No Self in Buddhism and Psychotherapy.” He is the author of Journeys into Emptiness: Dogen, Merton and Jung and the Quest for Transformation. Paulist Press: 2000. He is a psychotherapist with a private practice of psychotherapy in Manhattan, and is a lecturer in Psychiatry and Religion at Union Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and is currently pastor of the United Church of …
Bhikkhu Jayasāra (“Bhante J”) is an American born Buddhist monastic who currently resides at Bhavana Society of West Virginia. He was born in 1978 and raised Catholic. He came to Buddhism in his late 20s and officially took refuge and precepts to become a practicing Buddhist lay disciple on Vesak in 2008. In 2011 he took the Eight Lifetime Precepts with Bhante Gunaratana and was given the name Jayantha. By this point the practice had instilled in him a desire to become a monastic. Bhante J began to regularly attend retreats and weekend visits to Bhavana and learned all he could about the monastic life. He began living at Bhavana Society in September 2014, became an Anagarika (postulant) in March 2015, became a Sāmaṇera (novice monk) in October of 2015, and a Bhikkhu (fully ordained monk) in October 2016.
Reverend Konin Cardenas began the practice of Zen in 1987, and was ordained into the Soto Zen tradition by Sekkei Harada Roshi in 2007. She has lived and practiced at Hosshinji in Japan, at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, and at San Francisco Zen Center’s City Center. Rev. Konin is a Dharma Heir in the Shunryu Suzuki lineage, having received dharma transmission from Rev. Shosan Victoria Austin. Currently she is the Guiding Teacher at Empty Hand Zen Center in New Rochelle, New York; she is also Guiding Teacher for Ekan Zen Study Center. Rev. Konin is a professionally trained inter-faith chaplain, having worked in both hospital and hospice settings. She earned an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley and worked in finance for many years. She is a long-time practitioner of yoga, a student of calligraphy and shakyo, and the mother of a 25-year-old daughter.
Ajahn Punnadhammo has been studying and practicing Buddhism since 1979 and was ordained in Thailand in the forest tradition of Ajahn Chah (novice ordination Feb. 1991, higher ordination Feb. 1992). Between 1990 and 1995 he was based at Wat Pah Nanachat, Thailand. Punnadhammo is a Canadian, born Michael Dominskyj in Toronto in 1955. He began studying the Dhamma under Kema Ananda, the founder and first teacher at the Arrow River Center.
Australian by birth, Brother Phap Hai or Dharma Ocean, was ordained as a monk in 1997 and a Dharma teacher in January 2003 by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is the abbott at Deer Park Monastery in Southern California and is an active Dharma teacher who leads retreats, days of mindfulness and talks throughout the western United States, Australia, South America and Asia. He is the author of the book, Nothing To It: Ten Ways to Be at Home with Yourself, published by Parallax Press in Fall 2015. Brother Phap Hai has been the co-chair of the Thich Nhat Hanh Foundation since 2011 and feels very moved to have the opportunity to be in contact with so many friends with such depth of practice and generosity. Quote by Thich Nhat Hanh that inspires him: “There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way.”
Bhante Rahula was born in California in 1948. After finishing high school, he spent 3 years in the military; following his time in the army, he spent several years as a wandering hippie, traveling through Europe and Asia. He first encountered Buddhism in Nepal, where he took a month-long meditation course. Subsequently, he studied Yoga in India, and became ordained as a Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka in 1975. He spent a further 11 years studying Dhamma and practicing solitary meditation in Sri Lanka before moving to West Virginia in 1986 to become the vice-abbot of Bhāvanā Society. Since 2010 he has been traveling around the globe on an indefinite teaching tour. He is the author of several books, including his autobiographies “One Night’s Shelter” and “Traversing the Great Himalayas,” and a number of books on meditation and Dhamma. such as “The Way to Peace and Happiness” and “Breaking Through the Self Delusion.”
Bhante Saddhasara joined the Mahamevnwa Meditation Monastery in Sri Lanka in 2005, became a novice in 2006 under Ven. Kiribatgoda Gnanananda Thero, and after two years of study and practice, attained High Ordination in 2009. After three more years of study, he had begun to develop a deep understanding of insight and tranquility techniques. In 2012 he was asked to begin and to organize a meditation center in Tampa, Florida to provide training to all those who wished to learn. The center was to be non-denominational; anyone of any religion could come and study the practices. Bhante Saddhasara also offered a Recovery Program for those suffering from addiction; an introductory mindfulness program for children; a prison program; and, throughout Florida and throughout the U.S.A, he also gave lectures and provided mindfulness and meditation teaching, as well as private counseling to adults and to youths of all ages. Bhante Saddhasara speaks fluent English and very much enjoys the back and forth of his conversations with Americans.
Ayya Sudhamma Bhikkhuni is abbess of Charlotte Buddhist Vihara. The first American woman ordained in Sri Lanka, Ayya Sudhamma has been recognized at the United Nations in Bangkok as an “Outstanding Woman in Buddhism.” Born in Charlotte, NC, in 1963, Ayya Sudhamma graduated from New York University’s School of Law and subsequently practiced law in San Francisco. In 1999, Ayya Sudhamma became a sāmaṇerī or female Buddhist novice at the Bhavana Society under the tutelage of Henepola Gunaratana. In early 2003, she traveled to South Asia, where she became the first American-born woman to gain bhikkhuni ordination in the Theravada school in Sri Lanka. In July 2003, she returned to the United States at the invitation of the Carolina Buddhist Vihara in Greenville, South Carolina, as a resident and teacher. In 2013, after spending a year at Santi Forest Monastery she returned to her birth town of Charlotte, North Carolina for the founding of the Charlotte Buddhist Vihara, where she resides as Abbess and Bhikkhuni.