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
Ven. Bhikkhu Ananda is the General Secretary of Maha Bodhi Society, Bangalore and its branches. In 1987 he became secretary of Maha Bodhi Society and under the compassionate guidance of Ven. Acharya Buddharakkhita became involved in its many programs, both spiritual and social. He is one of the main teachers at the Mahabodhi Monastic Institute, the largest Theravada monastic school in India. He conducts Sutta, Pali and Abhidhamma classes, gives discourses and leads meditation retreats in India and abroad. http://www.mahabodhi.info
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.