Ayya Santacitta

Residential Retreat Teacher, Monastic

Ayya Santacitta was born in Austria and did her graduate studies in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on dance, theatre and ritual. She also worked in avant-garde dance theatre as a performer and costume designer. In 1988 she met Ajahn Buddhadasa in southern Thailand, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She trained as a nun in England and Asia from 1993 until 2009, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah. Since 2002, she has also received teachings in the lineage of Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. Ayya Santacitta co-founded Aloka Vihara in 2009 and received Bhikkhuni Ordination in 2011. She is committed to Gaia as a living being and resides at Aloka Earth Room, currently located in San Rafael, CA.

Mettā comes from allowing things to be just what they are, and seeing clearly the conditioned nature of all of it. Start where you are, by bringing mindfulness to present moment experience, whatever it is. We all have difficult emotions! When we can be present with what is, with the support of the precepts, we can hold that experience and allow ourselves to be cooked soft—transformed through the turmoil of that energy. Going through the fire, allow yourself to be cooked, with the clear knowing that this is going to change—because it always does.
 
Ayya Santacitta, The Four Brahmaviharas are Craving Transformed

Ayya Santacitta's Upcoming Programs

Retreat On-Land

May 5 - May 10, 2024 Sunday - Friday | 5 nights

With the World on Fire, Embody the Eightfold Path

The Buddha offered the Noble Eightfold Path as a way to direct our lives away from entanglement and towards true freedom. As we find ourselves moving into an increasing ecological crisis and witnessing its impact on the planet and our lives, the Buddha’s teaching becomes ever more relevant and essential. During this retreat, Ayya Ananadabodhi, Ayya Santacitta, and Ayya Santussika will offer teachings on this theme with an emphasis on bringing the path to the whole of our experience.

Ayya Anandabodhi

Ayya Anandabodhi

Ayya Santacitta

Ayya Santacitta

Ayya Santussika

Ayya Santussika

Emily Carpenter

Emily Carpenter

Class Series Online

May 15 - May 29, 2024 3 Wednesdays | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM

Groundbreaking Courage: Two Bhikkhunīs Reflecting on a Life of Dharma Practice

Join us for a conversation in three parts between Venerable Dhammanandā Bhikkhunī and Ayya Santacittā Bhikkhunī, who met for the first time in Thailand in the mid 1990s. Since then they have both been ordained as bhikkhunīs —Venerable Dhammananda in Sri Lanka in 2003 and Ayya Santacitta at Spirit Rock in 2011. Ven. Dhammanandā is the senior Bhikkhunī in Thailand, and joins us online from her monastery outside of Bangkok.

Ayya Santacitta

Ayya Santacitta

Dhammananda Bhikkhuni

Dhammananda Bhikkhuni

Class Series Online

June 21 - July 19, 2024 5 Fridays | 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Reciprocity and the Web of Life: Practices for Recovering Attention

10 CE Credits. As the earth calls our attention and old narratives dissolve around us, we are asked to navigate our lives differently. At an evolutionary threshold like this, the Dharma is a formidable anchor to keep us grounded. By working with ancient and new ways of experiencing embodied existence, we are consciously re-rooting in the web of life, bringing about an expanded perception of who we are and thereby opening us into our next steps on the path.

Ayya Santacitta

Ayya Santacitta

Heather Marie

Heather Marie

Dharma Library

Can't join us live online or on the land? Study and practice at your convenience with Ayya Santacitta through our new library of recordings, articles, and self-paced online courses.