Ayya Santussika, in residence at Karuna Buddhist Vihara (Compassion Monastery), spent five years as an anagarika (eight-precept nun), then ordained as a samaneri (ten-precept nun) in 2010 and as a bhikkhuni (311 rules) in 2012 at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles.
Ayya Santussika was born in Illinos in 1954 and grew up on a farm in Indiana. While being a single mother, she received BS and MS degrees in computer science and moved with her two children to the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as a software designer and developer for fifteen years. Her search for deeper meaning and ways to be of service led her to train as an interfaith minister in a four-year seminary program that culminated in an Masters of Divinity degree and a brief period of practice as a minister before ordaining as a Buddhist nun. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Buddhist Global Relief.
A Sri Lankan by birth, Ayya Sudinna was ordained as a samaneri in 1999 by Bhante Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society. She received the higher ordination (Upasampada) in 2002 in Sri Lanka. In lay life, Ayya Sudinna served as a teacher in Government schools and as a lecturer in English at the Government Teachers Training College, Maharagama, and later under the Higher Education Ministry in Sri Lanka. She has an honours degree in English and an M.A. in Buddhist philosophy. She is the author of a children’s story book titled ‘Delightful Tales.’
Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta ordained as a nun in 2001. She discovered Buddhism whilst travelling in Nepal and India at the age of 17 on a search for the meaning of life. Coming back to Australia after a year of study and practice in monasteries, she helped run a Buddhist Centre in Sydney and trained with her teacher Khenpo Ngawang Dhamchoe for five years whilst working as well.
Upon ordaining as a nun at the age of 23 Venerable Yeshe, found like the majority of Western monastics before her that there was very little care or support for Western monastics, people preferring to access Tibetan Lamas who are already trained. She had no where to live and had to beg on traditional alms round to get food, she stayed with various friends and in garden sheds. She engaged in teaching Dharma in HIV hospices, schools, drug and alchohol rehab centres and trained as a yoga teacher.
Coming to India in 2004, Venerable Yeshe studied for two years in a monastery, but felt a need to make Buddhism accessable and socially engaged, whilst still trying to maintain her contemplative way of life. She met Indian Buddhists in 2005 and has been working with them ever since. Her teachers are Sakya Trizen (the second highest Lama in Tibetan Buddhism) and Ven Thich Nhat Hanh, the nobel peace prize poet and peace activist.
Ayya Yeshe Bodhicitta is the author of 'Everyday Enlightenment' published by Harper Collins and is featured in the documentaries 'life beyond the begging bowl' and 'Through the Eastern Gate'. She is also made a Buddhist chanting CD with one of Australia's top world music groups - India Jiva called 'Dakini'.
Abbess of Vajra Dakini Nunnery, Khenmo Konchog Nyima Drolma has trained with the foremost spiritual teachers of our time including H.H. Dalai Lama, H.H. Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche (the head of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage) and Ani Pema Chodron. After her novice ordiantaion by Drikung Kyabgon in 1997, she spent two years in training at Gampo Abbey guided by Ven. Pema Chödrön. In 2002 she took full ordination as a Buddhist nun in Taiwan. In 2004 she was installed as a Khenmo (Abbot) in the Drikung lineage, becoming the first woman and first westerner in her lineage to officially hold this responsibility. Since then she has worked continuously to establish Vajra Dakini Nunnery and teach the Dharma internationally.
Chimey Lhatso is a Swedish-American Buddhist Minister, performing artist, and teacher from the Tibetan Vajrayana tradition. She is a holder of the Karma Kagyu lineage with the incomparable 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, as her main teacher.Prior to life as a nun she was a pioneering wellness educator as the founder of CM – Conscious Movement and a performing artist who became rewarded as a choreographer.
I aspire to offer teachings that are encouraging, that support people to discover how they are an expression of Dhamma. I'm particularly interested in the interplay between stilling and settling the mind, and opening to greater kindness and generosity of heart.
Amma Ṭhanasanti is a California born spiritual teacher dedicated to serving all beings. Since she first encountered the Dharma in 1979, she has been committed to awakening. As a former Buddhist nun of 26 years, she combines the precision and rigor of the Ajahn Chah Forest Tradition, compassion, pure awareness practices and a passion for wholeness. Amma has been teaching intensive meditation retreats in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia since 1995. She invites an openness to pause and inquire into the truth of the present moment, integrating what is liberating at the core of our human condition.