CARU DASSANI has been in robes since the 1990's, and has lots of experience. In the Sayadaw U Pandita lineage there is strong emphasis on mindfulness meditation in strict intensive environments, often lasting 3 months or more. She is also well qualified in Abhidhamma and the Pali Suttas. You will find her a clear and precise guide. She is a close disciple, translator and assistant for Sayadaw U Pandita, who has been one of the world’s leading Vipassana teachers for many decades.

DAVID DE YOUNG (standing next to his mother Ayya Santussika) was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, USA. He finished his BA degree in Jazz Piano Performance at the Berklee School of Music in Boston in 1996. He arrived in Thailand late in 1998 and received monk ordination and name Gunavuddho (One Who Cultivates Goodness) in 2000 at Wat Nong Pah Pong, Ajahn Chah's main monastery. Since then he has lived with many of the senior disciples of Ajahn Chah such as Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Jundee, Ajahn Dtun, and Ajahn Anan at Wat Marp Jan. After 10 years of living in Thailand, he returned to California and lived at Abhayagiri Monastery.

David is a student of Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Pasanno, and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, and has helped Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi's charity Buddhist Global Relief, as the BGR representative for Northern California, organizing BGR events such as Walk to Feed the Hungry.

He left the monkhood in March 2013, became the International Program Manager at Suan Mokkh Bangkok for one year, and teaches English, Meditation and Music in the Bangkok area.

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. She has trained in large and small communities of nuns, including Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries of the Ajahn Chah tradition in England. She began traveling in Asia in 1999, staying in different monasteries and learning from master teachers, particularly in Thailand. It was these experiences, along with her many visits to monasteries in the West, especially Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery in Redwood Valley, California that caused her faith to develop to the point of choosing to live and practice as a nun. 

She has deep respect for and has learned greatly from the teachings of Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, Ajahn Pasanno, and her son Ajahn Guna (David De Young), during his fourteen years in monastic life. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Buddhist Global Relief. 

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.

GREGORY KRAMER teaches meditation, writes, and is the Guiding teacher at the Metta Foundation. Metta is an international organization based in the U.S.A. and dedicated to a whole life understanding of Dhamma. He is the author of Insight Dialogue: The Interpersonal Path to Freedom, from Shambhala Publications; Dharma Contemplation: Meditating Together With Wisdom TextsSeeding the Heart: Practicing Lovingkindness With Children; and other books and articles.

Gregory has practiced meditation since 1974, and studied with esteemed monks, including Anagarika Dhammadina, Ven. Balangoda Ananda Maitreya Maha Nayaka Thera, Achan Sobin Namto, and others. Gregory has been teaching meditation worldwide since 1980. At Metta Foundation, he has pioneered online meditation and contemplation practices.

His primary focus since 1995 has been developing and sharing Insight Dialogue, an interpersonal form of Buddhist insight meditation, and groups are now active worldwide. He also developed Dharma Contemplation, a text-based contemplation practice.

Read more: Gregory Kramer

VENERABLE AJAHN JAYANTO (Chris Bowen) was born in 1967 in Boston, Massachussetts, USA. In 1988 he left university in order to pursue something more meaningful, and within a year had found his way to Amaravati in order to join the monastic community. After eight years training, mostly in the monasteries at Chithurst and Harnham, he spent another eight years in Buddhist countries in Asia, mostly in Thailand. He returned to Britain in order to live at Amaravati in March, 2006. He is in the process of starting a hermitage on the East Coast of the USA.

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