In the Beginning

The Trust is inspired by the venerable Ayya Medhanandi Bhikkhunī’s six-year visit to New Zealand.ayya-m-2013

Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī, a native of Canada, is the founder and guiding teacher of Sati Sārāņīya Hermitage.  In 1988, while on retreat at the Mahasi centre in Yangon, Myanmar, Ayyā requested full-ordination as a bhikkhunī from her teacher and preceptor, Venerable Sayadaw U Pandita.  This was still not possible for Theravāda Buddhist women.  Instead, Sayadaw granted her the ten-precept vows of a Theravāda novice nun on condition that she take them for life.  Thus began Ayyā’s training in the Burmese monastic lineage. When a military coup closed Myanmar’s borders to foreigners, Sayadaw blessed her to continue practising in the Ajahn Chah Thai Forest Sangha at Amaravati, UK. After ten years with their ‘sīladharā’ nuns community, Ayyā felt called to more seclusion and solitary practice, first in New Zealand for six years, and then in Penang and Taiwan.  There, in 2007 – after twenty years as an alms mendicant nun – she received full bhikkhunī ordination at Ling Quan Chan Monastery, Keelung. The following year, on invitation from women of the Ottawa and Toronto Theravāda Buddhist communities, Ayyā returned to Canada to establish Sati Sārāņīya Hermitage.

Some of her Dhamma talks are available at

Ayya Tathaaloka Bhikkhunī together with her student Ayya Adhimutti visited the Land of the Long White Cloud in 2012 and the seed was planted.

We wish to support the presence of bhikkhunīs living, practicing and teaching in the Theravada tradition, as well as those training to become bhikkhunīs — for their deeper practice and study and for sharing their teachings and leading retreats — as an essential and beautiful part of the fullness of the Buddha’s Fourfold Assembly.

Contact if you would like to share in supporting this noble happening.

May you be well & happy, peaceful & at ease.

May your heart grow in wisdom & enlightenment.

May you be well.

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