About Us

Spiritual Director

Venerable Ayya Adhimuttī Therī

Venerable (Ayya) Adhimutti was born in Aotearoa/ New Zealand, and entered monastic life in Thailand as a mae chee in 2005 at Wat Ram Poeng with Ajahn Suphan. During this time, she attended the Sakyadhita conference in Malaysia and she met Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo and also Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. Meeting both of them and many of the inspiring bhikkhunis at that conference, gave her deep inspiration and vision as to what is possible for monastic women. Venerable Adhimutti subsequently went forth as a sāmanerī at Santi Forest Monastery with Ayyā Tathālokā as preceptor and Bhante Sujato as Acharya, in 2008.

In 2010 she ordained as a bhikkhunī at the Aranya Bodhi Hermitage, with Ayyā Tathālokā as preceptor.

Returning to Australia after time back in Asia, in late 2013, she supported and participated in the transition of Santi Forest Monastery in becoming a bhikkhunī monastery. She also regularly participated in and supported the Sakyadhīta International Conference on Buddhist Women, and was one of the founders of the Awakening Buddhist Women Blog.

From mid 2015 Ayya Adhimutti spent some years in New Zealand, America and Asia deepening her meditation and Dhamma studies, returning to New Zealand early 2021. In late 2021, together with the New Zealand Bhikkhuni Sangha Trust, and many supportive friends, and with the support of local bhikkhus, from the Waikato Compassion Meditation Centre (WCMC), established the first Theravada bhikkhuni vihara in New Zealand. She spent the next two years as the resident monastic at the vihara, leading meditation programs and retreats, conducting programs for children and young people, being engaged in Dhamma work, and working together from time to time with the bhikkhus from the WCMC and was instrumental in creating Dhammatiriya.

As well as continuing her work with Dhammatiriya in New Zealand, Ayya Adhimutti is now spending much time meditating at a small hermitage in Sri Lanka and is furthering her studies, practice and service in the USA where she ordained as a bhikkhuni.

For more information about Ayya Adhimutti please refer to her website: https://adhimutti.org/


Venerable Dunuvila Metteyya Maha Thero

Venerable Dunuvila Metteyya Maha Thero (Bhante Metteyya) is the chief incumbent of Waikato Compassion Meditation Centre, Hamilton, New Zealand. Venerable is also the Patron Monk of the Meditation Trust. Venerable Maha Thero’s main Buddhist center in Sri Lanka is Rajawalukaramaya, New Town, Digana. He has been a Buddhist monk for 50 years in Theravada Buddhism (early Buddhism).

He was born in 1964, and entered the Buddhist Order in 1973 under the guidance of his most venerable teacher Waradiwela Dhammananda Nayaka Maha Thero and later received higher ordination in 1985 while residing at Bandiya temple, Wekada, Panadura. Having completed BA degree at the University of Colombo and MA degree at Buddhist and Pali University in Colombo and Diploma in Education at the University of Peradeniya, thero joined the education service in Sri Lanka. Over ten years of his service as a school teacher, he left for Washington DC, USA to serve the Buddhist community in the States as a resident monk of Washington Buddhist Vihara in 2000.

Later the Thero was invited to come to New Zealand by venerable Makuldeniye Somarathana Maha Thero, the founder and the chief monk and patron of Samadhi Buddhist Vihara in Christchurch, New Zealand to serve the Buddhist community in Canterbury.

In 2005 venerable was invited to come to Hamilton to serve the Buddhist community in Hamilton as the chief incumbent by most venerable Bootawatte Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thero, the founder of Hamilton Buddhist Vihara, While giving religious, cultural and spiritual services to the Buddhist community in Hamilton. Maha Thero provided guidance and services to ACBL in Auckland for four years from 2006 to 2010. In 2006, the Thero assumed the responsibilities of Chief Incumbent of Compassion Buddhist Vihara and Patron Monk of Compassion Buddhist Vihara in Hamilton as the successor to most venerable Bootawatte Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thero. Since then Metteyya Maha Thero had taken many initiatives and guided WCMC to develop Hamilton Vihara, a premier Theravada Buddhist Center in Hamilton, New Zealand.

Sayadaw U Jāgara

Born in Canada, Sayadaw U Jagara, originally named Martin Boisvert, embarked on his spiritual journey in the mid-1970s under the guidance of Robert H. Hover. In 1979 he received ordination as a monk from the Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw in Burma. For the next 15 years, he resided in Sri Lanka, where he blended the practice of meditation with the study of Buddhist scriptures. He also made intermittent trips to India and Thailand for meditation retreats. During the 1980s, he assumed the role of a meditation guide, conducting retreats in the tradition of S.N. Goenka across India, North America, Europe, and Asia. In 1995, he began training under the esteemed Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw, a revered Burmese meditation master known for his commitment to the Visuddhimagga. This text serves as both a practical roadmap to deep states of meditation (jhāna) and a meticulous guide to the direct analytical approaches of vipassanā. Sayadaw U Jagara began assisting Venerable Pa Auk Sayadaw in teaching the dhamma in the early 2000s and sustained his support up to the early 2010s. In the past decade, he has independently shared his wisdom and experiences across North America, collaborating with various meditation teachers. His teachings focus on life as continuous meditation, guiding students toward liberation through observation, wisdom, and compassion.


Venerable Ajahn Brahmali Mahāthero

Ajahn Brahmali was born in Norway in 1964. He first became interested in Buddhism and meditation in his early 20s after a visit to Japan. Having completed degrees in engineering and finance, he began his monastic training as an anagarika (keeping the eight precepts) in England at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist Monastery.

After hearing teachings from Ajahn Brahm he decided to travel to Australia to train at Bodhinyana Monastery. Ajahn Brahmali has lived at Bodhinyana Monastery since 1994, and was ordained as a Bhikkhu, with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor, in 1996. In 2015 he will be entered his 20th Rains Retreat as a fully ordained monastic and received the title Maha Thera (Great Elder).

Ajahn Brahmali’s knowledge of the Pali language and of the Suttas is excellent. Bhikkhu Bodhi who translated most of the Pali Canon into English for Wisdom Publications called him one of his major helpers for the recent translation of the “Numerical Discourse of the Buddha”. He has also published two essays on Dependent Origination and a book called “The Authenticity of the Early Buddhist Texts” with the Buddhist Publication Society in collaboration with Bhante Sujato.

The monastics of the Buddhist Society of WA (BSWA) often turn to him to clarify Vinaya (monastic discipline) or Sutta questions. They also greatly appreciate his Sutta and Pali classes. Furthermore he has been instrumental in most of the building and maintenance projects at Bodhinyana Monastery and at the emerging Hermit Hill property in Serpentine.

Venerable Ayya Tathālokā Mahātherī

Ayya Tathaloka Mahātherī

Venerable (Ayya) Tathālokā is an American-born member of the Buddhist Monastic Sangha, the first non-Sri Lankan woman to receive bhikkhunī ordination into the Theravāda tradition in modern times. She entered monastic life as an anāgārikā in 1988, received pabbajjā with her senior bhikkhunī mentor in Korea in 1993 followed by sāmanerī precepts in 1995, and received bhikkhunī upasampadā (full ordination) with the Sri Lankan Sangha in California in 1997, with the late Ven. Havanpola Ratanasāra Mahāthera as preceptor. After further studies, a three-year retreat, and time back in Asia in Sangha university and on tudong in Thailand, in 2005 she returned to the U.S. There she co-founded Dhammadharini Support Foundation together with the Dhammadharini Sangha, the first monastic community for Theravāda bhikkhunīs in the western United States. Inspired by Buddhist Forest traditions, in 2008, she co-founded Aranya Bodhi Hermitage, and later Dhammadharini Monastery. In 2009, she became the first contemporary non-Sri Lankan woman to be appointed a bhikkhunī preceptor. Ven. Tathālokā first received instruction in Mindfulness and Insight practices at age ten, further studying and training with Indian, Korean, Thai, Sri Lankan and Burmese meditation teachers, including the Thai forest traditions of the most venerable Ajahn Mun Bhuridatta, and the Burmese Vipassana meditation masters Sayadaw U Pandita and Pa-auk Sayadaw. Her practice and teaching are profoundly influenced by the Buddha’s teachings as contained in the canonical Early Buddhist suttas, together with the teachings and practices of Forest and Insight meditation traditions. 

Dr Rick Hanson

Rick Hanson, Ph.D.is a psychologist, Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, and New York Times best-selling author. His seven books have been published in 31 languages and include Making Great RelationshipsNeurodharmaResilient, Hardwiring HappinessJust One ThingBuddha’s Brain, and Mother Nurture – with over a million copies in English alone. He’s the founder of the Global Compassion Coalition and the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, as well as the co-host of the Being Well podcast – which has been downloaded over 15 million times. His free newsletters have 250,000 subscribers, and his online programs have scholarships available for those with financial needs. He’s lectured at NASA, Google, Oxford, and Harvard. An expert on positive neuroplasticity, his work has been featured on CBS, NPR, the BBC, and other major media. He began meditating in 1974 and has taught in meditation centers worldwide. He and his wife live in northern California and have two adult children. He loves the wilderness and taking a break from emails.

Monastic Trainee

Anagārikā Upacālā

Anagārikā Upacālā got her first taste of the Dhamma in 2016 at Dhamma Medini Vipassana Meditation Centre. She saw immediate benefits and gradually strengthened her meditation practice over the years. 

The inclination towards monastic life strengthened along with her meditation practice, until in 2023 she had the opportunity to take the Anagārikā precepts with Ven. Adhimutti, beginning her journey towards bhikkhunī ordination.