Visiting Order Members
Here are some of the Order Members who will visit San Francisco this year or have visited in the past. Click a name to find out more:
Dayanandi :: Dhammagita :: Dhammarati :: Kulaprabha :: Kumarajeev :: Maitrivajri :: Padmadharini :: Paramabandhu :: Paramananda :: Parami :: Saramati :: Shantigarbha :: Srivati :: Tejananda :: Vimalasara :: Viriyalila :: Wolf at the Door
Born 1954 in the East of England, Dayanandi studied in Architecture and came across Buddhism & the FWBO at 25 as she was finishing her qualifications. At that point she realized that at last she'd found something she could put her heart into completely. She has never ceased to have this feeling. She was ordained in 1986 and moved to Taraloka women's retreat center where she lived for 16 years. In 2002 she moved to Birmingham to work supporting the well being of members of the Western Buddhist Order, especially women, as an Order Convenor.
Dhammagita has a particular interest in the development of awareness through the body. She uses a combination of meditation, movement, poetry, music and energy work to centre our awareness within our physical experience. She believes that by turning our awareness to the full range of physical sensations, the body becomes a teacher, guide and doorway to awakening.
Her initial training was as an actor and teacher. She later did a Degree in Art & Design and - after a few years as a fashion stylist and cocaine addict - ended up training in Shiatsu. She has since gained experience in many forms of body/energy work. She has been teaching meditation and leading retreats and workshops for many years - mostly with an arts and/or body bias. Her very varied background results in a rich and eclectic way of revealing awareness and experiencing our humanity to the full. She firmly believes that fun and spirituality not only can but must co-exist.
In 2007 she completed a five month 'Meditating With The Body'
training with Reginald Ray and continues in advanced training with him.
Dhammarati is the President of the San Francisco Buddhist Center. For more information see his bio page.
At the time of writing, Kulaprabha has been practising within the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order (FWBO) for 27 years, coming in contact with the Dharma while she was still working as a scientist in Glasgow. She was ordained in 1988. During most of her Buddhist life she lived with her husband and daughter, but moved in 2002 to Taraloka, a women's retreat center in Wales. As she is interested in the links between study and devotion via meditative reflection, she has developed several retreat themes such as the Brahma Viharas and reflections on conditioned co-production. In 2005 Kulaprabha will be helping create a new set of meditation and reflection retreats for women who have asked for ordination and another new Dharma reflection retreat called 'The Wings of Enlightenment'.
Born in an ex-untouchable (Dalit) family in 1970 and Kumarajeev was ordained in the Western Buddhist Order/Trailokya Bauddha Mahasangha in 1992. He worked as a Chairman of the Bhaja Buddhist Meditation Centre for five years and has been a member of the Ordination Process Team in India for last ten years. In 2001 he started the Dhammakranti (Dhamma Revolution) organization to reach out to all parts of India and to create a national network of Buddhists. Dhammakranti is very popular in more than 13 states of India and provides unique opportunity for Indians to come together in large numbers every year to celebrate, learn and share. In 2004 Kumarjeev became a Certified Trainer in Nonviolent Communication and began using NVC to support the social transformation that comes through Dhamma.
Maitrivajri has a passion for meditation which she loves to share with others. She was ordained into the Triratna Buddhist Order in 1997 and has since taught meditation in many different settings and situations. She also teaches Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy. Maitrivajri is fascinated by the mind and its relationship with both mundane reality and Insight. She sees our everyday experience, with its highs and lows, as a training ground for Insight. In developing the capacity to turn towards and be with 'what is' we become more open to becoming intimate with the True Nature of our experience - which is that all things are subject to change. This is particularly true of her experience as a bereavement counselor, when the strong and often painful loss of someone dear can, over time, bring people closer to the heart of what matters to them. Her image for the movement and growth of the spiritual journey is one of 'being propelled by suffering and drawn by beauty', the creative process by which we increasingly become more fully human. She has a particular interest in connecting with - and developing - a kind and helpful attitude to our experience of self, others and the world around us.
Growing up in a large Irish-Catholic family in the North of England, Padmadharini discovered Buddhism in her mid-twenties and was ordained in 2004. She has boundless energy, a great love of meditation and engages wholeheartedly in the practice of spiritual friendship.
Paramabandhu is a consultant psychiatrist in substance abuse, former chair of the London Buddhist Center and lead for Breathing Space (the health and well-being wing of the London Buddhist Centre). He has been teaching meditation since 1990.
Paramananda has been teaching Buddhism and meditation full-time since he joined the Western Buddhist Order in 1985. He is author of three books about meditation, Change your Mind, A Deeper Beauty, and the body, all available at the San Francisco Buddhist Center. He was Chairman of the San Francisco Buddhist Center from 1994-2000.
Born in Scotland, Parami was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order over 25 years ago. Chairwoman of the FWBO Center in Valencia, Spain, from 1995 - 2004, she speaks fluent Spanish, and travels extensively teaching Buddhism and facilitating workshops. Interested in peace studies, she is currently training with Joanna Macy.
Shantigarbha (Chris Warren) studied Classics and Philosophy at Oxford University in the UK before embarking on a career in NGOs and Arts Publishing. He worked for several years for The Karuna Trust, a charity funding health and educational projects among the 'Dalits' - some of the poorest people in India. For ten years he published and co-edited Urthona - the only Buddhist arts magazine.
He now leads workshops and retreats with trainers in the UK, the US, India and Sri Lanka and offers coaching / counselling for individuals and couples. He writes a regular column in Juno Magazine on NVC and parenting, and he’s currently working on a book on Buddhism and NVC. His website is http://www.seedofpeace.org
A professor of Buddhist Studies who taught for 30 years at Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Montana, Saramati helped to establish the FWBO Center in the Bay Area as well as in Missoula, MT. After practicing for some years within the Japanese Zen tradition, he was ordained in the Western Buddhism Order by Sangharakshita in 1993 along with Karunadevi at the first WBO ordinations conducted in the US. Over the years he has lived in Nepal, Japan, Canada, and Germany as well as the UK and the US, always pursuing a special interest, both practical and academic, in the psychology and epistemology of Asanga's Yogacara Buddhism. He took early retirement two years ago to explore setting up Dharmapala College, a small Buddhist academy based in Birmingham, UK and in Berlin, Germany
Srivati is a writer and workshop leader based at the London Buddhist Centre (LBC), UK. She is part of 'Bodhi Tree,' a project teaching about Buddhism as part of the required "Religious Education" curriculum of UK schools. She also teaches teaching meditation in the workplace and to young people.
in 1980, Tejananda served as chairman of the Bristol FWBO Center for
6 years and has also worked for the Karuna
Trust. Author of The
Buddhist Path to Awakening, he has been teaching meditation and
Dharma activities fulltime for many years. Increasing interest in his
own meditation practice and especially the practice of pure awareness
led him to accept an invitation to join the teaching team at Vajraloka
Meditation Centre in the UK in 1995, of which he became chairman
in 2000. Having continued to develop satipatthana and pure awareness
meditation as his main practice (and teaching), Tejananda is currently
planning a book on pure awareness practice.
Vimalasara (aka Queenie) is an
accomplished performer, an award-winning writer, and teacher and
trainer. An African-British lesbian, she brings a depth of personal experience to her
practice and teaching. Vimalasara brings her practice to bear
on how to work effectively with “toxic” emotions, such as anger,
jealousy and hate. Her most recent published books are
Borrowed Bodies and Detox Your Heart. Her website is http://www.valeriemason-john.co.uk
Viriyalila has been been meditating and practicing Buddhism since 1994 and was ordained into the
Western Buddhist Order in 2005. She has worked in the fields of Recreation Therapy and is a licensed massage therapist.
She appreciates the challenges of maintaining balance in one’s life and has found the tools of meditation and Buddhist
practice as essential in establishing a sense of wholeness and well-being. Viriyalila has been praised for her playful,
approachable attitude to learning & exploring Buddhist principles and meditation practice.