Thanissara is an Anglo-Irish teacher from London and started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school of U Ba Khin in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun where she was a founding member of Chithurst and Amaravati Buddhist Monasteries in England. Her practice and teaching are also influenced by the teachings and practice of the Kuan Yin dharmas through the transmission of Chinese meditation master, Master Hsuan Hua.
Thanissara has an MA in Core Process Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from the Karuna Institute in the UK. With Kittisaro, she co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000, and helped initiate and support a number of HIV/Aids response projects in deep rural South Africa. They also co-founded Chattanooga Insight, TN and Sacred Mountain Sangha, CA, which offers the 2-year Dharmapala program.
Thanissara is a Climate Activist and is deeply engaged in applying the Dharma to our times of planetary emergency. She has facilitated meditation retreats internationally for the last 30 years and teaches across the U.S., in South Africa, and the UK. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Time To Stand Up, A Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth, and is co-author with Kittisaro of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism.