Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Awakening Truth with the Nun Thanasanti

AwakeningTruth.org, Against the Stream, Wisdom Quarterly

Amma, or Ajahn Thanasanti Bhikkhuni, was born in California and first introduced to Buddhism and insight-meditation in 1979 in a class taught by Jack Engler.

From that time on she has consciously committed to awakening by envisioning living her life as a Buddhist nun (bhikkhuni).

After completing a B.A. in Biology from UC Santa Cruz, she worked for a few years as an analytical chemist. Then in 1987 she went on a pilgrimage to India, Nepal, and Thailand to meet many of the meditation masters she had heard about.

She joined Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in 1989 as a part of the community of nuns to begin training as a novice. She began integrating meditation practice with the daily duties of a nun at both Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist Monasteries, England. She received 10 precept (siladhara) ordination in 1991.

As part of her monastic life she has went on retreat into the remote bush of Australia.

For the last several years Ajahn Thanasanti has been involved in the leadership team and guidance of the nuns' community at Chithurst. Since 1996 her community and monastic responsibilities have been interspersed with teaching intensive meditation retreats in the US, UK, Switzerland, and Australia.

In order to pursue her vision of how monastic and lay practitioners can work together in the modern world to create viable communities for practice in the United States, she has taken the significant step of leaving the formal affiliations of Amaravati and associated monastic communities. She has been living on faith according to the ancient principle of alms mendicancy and is based in Colorado Springs.

The first Theravada bhikkhuni ordination ceremony ever to occur in North America took place in August, 2010 at Aranya Bodhi Forest Hermitage in Sonoma, California. Ajahn Thanasanti was one of four nuns ordained.

Her interests are in awakening compassion and wisdom to integrate insight into the whole human condition. She uses essential Buddhist and non-dual teachings, devotional practices, and respect for nature as skillful means.

Ajahn Thanasanti's Los Angeles schedule

  • Nov. 2: Teaching, Wednesday night class, ATS, Melrose
  • Nov. 5: Women's Group, 12:00-3:00 pm, ATS, Melrose
  • Nov. 6: Brunch on the Beach, 10:00 am till...
  • Nov. 7: Teaching, Monday night class at ATS, Santa Monica
  • More TBA

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