trained as a Buddhist monastic in the Thai Forest Tradition in lineage of Ajahn Chah. She spent eleven years at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist Monasteries in England from
2001-2012. After returning to the U.S. Dhammadhira took the full ordination as a bhikkhuni at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Temple in Los Angeles.
In 2015, Dhammadhira came to visit Amma Thanasanti of Awakening Truth in Colorado Springs for what she thought would be a "short stay". Six years later, she continues to weave together the three strands of Dharma, Ecology and Community in the same small residence on the Westside. Her involvement with a variety of programs has included Buddhist retreats and weekly meditation and inquiry meetings, a multi-faith camp, community supported agriculture and more.
In October 2020 after nearly 19 years in robes. Dhammadhira transitioned from monastic to lay life. She continues to teach in Colorado Springs and other venues along the Front Range.
"I love to experiment with a wide variety of meditation styles. I have benefited greatly from that. My interest in that started about 7 years ago. I started trying new techniques and eventually created my own techniques that have helped me immensely. I have experimented with over 300 techniques now. My aim in starting the weekly guided meditation is to share the results of my experiments "the best of the best," to benefit others just as they have benefited me and to help bring out the Buddha nature in us all.
For more about John, see Board of Directors.
was born in California in 1970 to Brazilian parents and grew up in Brazil with Portuguese being her first language. At the age of 23, Sister left university in Brazil and came back to the United States to try for a better life. Adjusting well she ended up staying.
During the 6 years in the Navy and Army National Guard, she went back to college and earned a teaching certification in Health and Physical Education followed with a Master’s in Exercise Science. After teaching for 12 years in the public schools, including juvenile detention and coaching sports, she went on a 7-month sabbatical driving and camping cross country. She visited various monasteries in different traditions and earned a yoga certification during this time. Then she taught for 4 years as an adjunct faculty at a community college teaching many subjects but focusing primarily on Yoga.
Her first years as a Buddhist were spent mostly in the Tibetan tradition; Sister Khemanandi shifted her practice to the Theravada tradition for the past 4 years. About 3 years ago, after participating in the Exploring Monastic Life retreat at Sravasti Abbey, in Newport, WA, she decided to become a monastic and chose Aloka Vihara to be her home, followed by novice ordination in April 2020 at Mahapajapati Monastery.
Sister Khemanandi appreciates sustainability, minimalism and the healing power of being in nature.
Chris has recently completed Tara Brach and Jack Kornfield's two year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program He has been certified as a teacher by both the Awareness Training Institute and the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California at Berkeley. This training was grounded in the foundations of mindfulness, lovingkindness, and compassion.
Ethical living, acceptance, cultivating healthy relationships and engagement with community are some of the aspects I intend to bring forward and live by. I am dedicated to sharing these teachings with others for the great benefits I believe they offer. Living more mindfully and with greater moment to moment awareness is possible for all of us. We can learn to skillfully be with all of our experiences. We have the ability to reduce our own experience of struggle and suffering and also to contribute to the reduction of suffering of the larger community.
I began my meditation practice in 2015 with short daily sits. I took to the practice quite quickly. My interest led me to take courses in MBSR - Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction and MSC - Mindful Self Compassion. By this point it became clear to me that this practice and study is something that I would incorporate into my life forever.
After decades of searching, learning, and practicing with a wide variety of modalities and teachings, it is with the practice of mindful meditation that I have found the most benefit in my life.I have been particularly drawn to the Insight Meditation/Vipassana/Theravada schools of thinking and practicing. I continue to delve deeper into the teachings of the Buddha, look to connect with secular communities to teach mindfulness skills, and seek to challenge myself and expose myself to wisdom and spiritual teachings from a variety of sources.
I am blessed to meet so many kind hearts on this path.