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"Mindfulness, the aware, balanced acceptance of present experience, is at the heart of what the Buddha taught.”
—Sylvia Boorstein

Ayya Medhanandi

Ayya Medhanandi, born in 1949 in Montreal, is the founder of Sati Saraniya Hermitage, the first Canadian monastic residence for Theravada bhikkhunis. She began meditating at aged 21, trained with an Advaita sage in India, completed an MSc in nutrition, and went on to manage international NGO and UNICEF/WHO projects for malnourished women and children.

Her teacher's death in 1986 was a call to monastic life: on retreat in Myanmar, she took 10 precept ordination under Sayadaw U Pandita, was a siladhara for 10 years at Amaravati Monastery with Ajahn Sumedho as preceptor, spent 8 years as a solitary nun in New Zealand and Penang, and taught retreats in the antipodes, Asia and the West. In 2007, she received bhikkhuni ordination in Taiwan and returned to Canada in 2008 to establish the Hermitage where she is the senior incumbent. She continues to teach retreats and vipassana meditation courses for hospice staff and volunteers in the Ottawa area. She is the author of Gone Forth, Going Beyond.



Upcoming events with Ayya Medhanandi