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.

Meditation isn't about having a different experience, it’s about adding something to what's already happening—and that something is awareness. The four establishments of mindfulness show us how we can establish the right relationship with our experience so that we can learn from, and not get stuck in, whatever is happening. And whatever is happening will express the law of impermanence. That's the common denominator. To know this intellectually is a good beginning, but to really know it in the body is a much more intimate knowing, with a much greater capacity for liberation.

Ayya Santacitta, Taking an Interest in the Struggle—That's the Way We Learn

Dharma Library

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