Advisors to the Saranaloka Foundation
Saranaloka is fortunate to have an advisory group of five renowned Buddhist leaders. Each has a special connection to the project and has helped us move through the transition process with as much grace and clarity as possible.
Thanissara has taught meditation internationally for the last 20 years, and is the director of Dharmagiri and Dharmagiri Outreach in South Africa. She was one of the first four siladhara in the Ajahn Chah/Ajahn Sumedho lineage and disrobed after 12 years.
Thanissara’s understanding of the challenges for women within the Buddhist monastic traditions has helped us to keep the objective of empowering nuns foremost in our minds and actions. She continues to speak on this issue, guiding many to contemplate on the significance of the four fold sangha.
Dharmagiri Buddhist Hermitage, South Africa
Bhikkhu Bodhi is an American Buddhist monk, and well-known scholar and translator, living at Chuang Yen Monastery in New York. He inspired the development of Buddhist Global Relief, a nonprofit focused on providing food security to the poor and needy throughout the world regardless of nationality, ethnicity, gender, or religion.
Bhikkhu Bodhi has been inspirational to Saranaloka, providing the right mix of scholarly understanding and compassion to the question of bhikkhuni status in Buddhism.
Buddhist Global Relief
Ajahn Pasanno ordained over 35 years ago in Thailand and spent 15 years as the abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat. He is currently the abbot of the Abhayagiri Monastery north of Ukiah in California, the only monastery in the United States in the Ajahn Chah lineage. Abhayagiri Monastery’s help was invaluable to the sisters when moving to America and more recently, Ajahn Pasanno has offered guidance to the Saranaloka board. We appreciate his assistance.
Abhayagiri Monastery, Redwood Valley, California
Jack Kornfield was a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma and India before becoming one of the key teachers to bring mindfulness practice to the West. He helped found both the Insight Meditation Society in Massachusetts and the Spirit Rock Center in California. He lives and teaches at Spirit Rock.
Jack’s support of the nuns at Aloka Vihara, encouraging and supporting their evolution towards bhikkhuni ordination and his support of the monastic form at Spirit Rock, have made him an invaluable advisor to Saranaloka. Jack has helped us to see a clear path for this transition and has offered resources, personal guidance and understanding as we all move forward.
Spirit Rock, Woodacre, California
Gil Fronsdal has trained in both Theravada and Soto Zen traditions, spending some time as an ordained monk and also a Soto Zen Priest. Gil is currently the primary teacher at the Insight Meditation Center (IMC). He has been supportive of this project since the very beginning, encouraging the exploration of monasticism and supporting the nuns on their visits to America.
Gil has been very encouraging of the board’s ability to hold the transition and changes that are occurring and continues to show support of lay women teachers and nuns in Buddhism in many ways. His understanding of the relationships between the lay and monastic communities has been of great benefit to us and the board depends on his direct answers to delicate questions.
Saranaloka would like to provide a rural monastery for the nuns in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which is near the area where IMC is located and the new Insight Retreat Center that IMC recently purchased. We look forward to a fruitful ongoing relationship with both Gil and the IMC.
Insight Meditation Center, Redwood City, California