Venerable Clear Grace Dayananda


Venerable Clear Grace Dayananda, a Black Buddhist Monk, received novice ordination under the guidance of Venerable Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in the Plum Village Vietnamese Zen tradition. Later, she attained higher ordination (upasampadān) with the Embracing Simplicity Contemplative Order, inheriting transmission-lineages from both Theravada and Mahayana traditions from her Master Preceptors, Ashin U Pannadipa Thero and her Master Maha Theri,  Dr. Pannavati Karuna.

Immersing herself in the study of verse from a young age in the Church of God, Venerable Dayananda seamlessly embraced the Buddhist Scriptures, finding profound liberation within the teachings of the Dharma. The Dharma has become her greatest source of insight and transformation, empowering her to heal from injustices and sufferings of all kinds. 

Recently honored for her two-year pilgrimage, “The Great Aspiration,” she received The 2024 Outstanding Women of Buddhism award as a testament to her dedication to spreading the transformative teachings of Buddhism and her impact on a wider Buddhist community.

In response to her unique calling and distinct presence at the intersection of diverse communities, coupled with her commitment to sharing the transformative power of the Dharma, Venerable Dayananda continues to embrace authenticity and live the universal truths she has encountered. As the founder of Traveling Nunk, she now leads Sangha House NOLA, situated in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Louisiana. She serves as a conduit for healing and transformation by sharing her integrative skills, learned and unlearned truths, wisdom traditions, and views of the world to help others unlearn deeply embedded beliefs that have hindered the experience of joy in daily life and for the alleviation of suffering for self and all beings.