Ajahn Brahm is the popular Buddhist teacher to a growing international audience of people keen to learn meditation and develop a deeper spiritual understanding. He is also the founding father of an emergent Australian forest tradition of Buddhist monasticism focused on being true to the original roots of the Buddha’s Teaching of Dhamma and Vinaya. www.bswa.org
Rev. Myo Denis Lahey is the Abbot at Issan-ji (Hartford Street Zen Center) as well as Practice Leader at Valley Streams Zen Sangha in Sacramento, California, and has previously served as head of practice (Tanto) at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center. A Dharma heir of Tenshin Reb Anderson, he serves as Treasurer for the Soto Zen Buddhist Association of North America (SZBA) and is a member of the Association for Soto Zen Buddhism of Japan (ASZB). Raised in an observant Roman Catholic home, Myo was drawn to religion and spirituality at an early age and found Zen Buddhism in his teens. He began sitting in 1969 and practiced with many San Francisco Zen Center practitioners and teachers, including Dainin Katigiri-roshi, Kobun Chino-sensei, Yoshimura-sensei, and Issan Dorsey. Myo studied Sanskrit at UC Berkeley for ten years.
(Amma) Thanasanti Bhikkhuni started meditating in 1979. From that time she consciously committed to awakening and envisioned living her life as a nun. She joined the Ajahn Chah lineage and community of nuns living in England where she received higher ordination in 1991. After 20 years, she returned to the U.S. as an independent nun and founded Awakening Truth, a 501c3 religious non-profit whose mission is to awaken joy, compassion, and peace through pervasive love and awareness. In August 2010, when she had been a nun for 19 years, she was ordained as a Bhikkhuni in the historic first dual Theravada Bhikkhuni ordination to be conducted in North America. Ayya Tathaaloka is her preceptor. She blends rigor with gentle loving encouragement to find your own way – finding a balance between fierce holding of the Dhamma and compassion, tenderness, humor and empowerment. She extends an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence. Currently she is based at the Awakening Truth Learning Center in Santa …
Ajahn Piak is one of Thailand’s most respected teachers of Dhamma and meditation. As a child and young man Luang Por Piak did not have much interest in religion or meditation. It was when he was studying for his Masters in New York that Luang Por Piak began to develop an interest in cultivation of the mind. On the subway, for example, while heading to work, he would find his mind naturally observing and converging on his breath. There he found both pleasure and peace. He also noticed that he was able to wake up in the morning at whatever time he wished simply by mentally determining the time the night before. Even if he’d spent most of the night at a party, he’d still wake up exactly at the predetermined time. These experiences made him curious about how the mind worked and led on to an interest in meditation. After returning to Thailand, Ajahn Piak then received monastic ordination from Ajahn Chah of Wat Nong Pah Pong Monastery on July 3rd, 1976. In 1981, when Ajahn …
Geshe Jampa Kunchog Pryor is an American monk from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. A monk for over 40 years, he has received a Geshe degree, the highest scholastic achievement in the Gelug tradition, and has full knowledge of both English and Tibetan. Gelong Jampa Kunchog is the first American to have spent over twenty years in India, studying at Sera Jey Monastic University the five primary areas of Buddhist philosophy. He is the founder of Scholastic Institute Chokyi Gyaltsen (SICGU) and SICGU DhargeyPublishing, undertaking the study and the translation of Sera Jhe Monastery’s curriculum in the West.
Venerable Chang-Hwa is the Director of Chan Meditation Center. After completing monastic education at Dharma Drum Sangha University in Taiwan and receiving full ordination in 2005, Venerable served as Director of the Department of International Relations and Development in DDM Taiwan. In addition to her current position as Director, Ven. Chang-Hwa also supervises DDM Dharmapala Groups in North America, gives public lectures and leads meditation programs. Venerable Chang-Hwa holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Venerable is fluent in Mandarin, Taiwanese, and English.
Venerable Kottawe Nanda, the resident monk of the Long Island Buddhist Meditation center was born in Sri Lanka in 1966. Ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1977 he received his higher ordination in 1985. Ven. Nanda had his primary education at the Sri Nanananda Vanavasa Buddhist Institute, Waturuwila, Sri Lanka from 1977 to 1983 under the most Venerable Waturuwila Sri Ñanananda, the Maha Nayake Thero of the Syamopali Vanavasa Nikaya (Forest-dwelling-sect). He earned a Tripitakavedi Degree (Bachelor of Tripitaka) at the Bhikkhu University of Anuradhapura in 1989 and a Master’s degree in Buddhist Philosophy from the University of Kelaniya in 1991. A teacher of Buddha Dhamma, he is well versed in meditation techniques and practices.
Ven Canda began meditating in 1996 in the Goenka tradition. She spent the next 7 years meditating and giving voluntary service on numerous retreats throughout India, Nepal and Europe. In 2006, after graduating in Ayurvedic medicine, she ordained with Sayadaw U Pannyajota at Thephyu Tawya monastery, Burma and trained there for the next four years. In 2010 she contacted the teachings of Ajahn Brahm, which compelled her to leave Burma. She has been living in Australia since 2012 where she joined the nuns community of Dhammasara monastery, Perth. Ven Canda took Bhikkhuni ordination in 2014, and has recently been asked by her teacher Ajahn Brahm to establish a monastery for nuns in the UK. Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project was subsequently developed for this purpose (www.anukampaproject.org).
Inspired by the Buddhist idea of inner freedom and happiness, Rev. Doyeon Park started her monastic training in 1998. She graduated from Dept. of Won Buddhism, Won Kwang University, Iksan, Korea and earned M.A. of Won Buddhist Studies from Won Institute of Graduate Studies, Glenside, Pennsylvania, USA. She received full ordination in 2007. She has served as minister of the Manhattan Won Buddhist temple since 2008, and is the Buddhist Religious Life Adviser at Columbia University and the Buddhist chaplain at New York University.
Ven. ‘Tahn’ Pamutto was born in New Jersey in 1983 and grew up in the Midwest. After High School, a tour of military service culminated in a realization of the precious opportunity in human life and a sincere wish to cultivate a life of peace and compassion. He arrived at Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, in the forest tradition of Ajahn Chah, in 2008 and took full ordination in 2010. He has trained in forest monasteries around North America. In 2015, Tahn Pamutto left the monastery and began a period of solo wandering among the forests and rural communities of New England