I 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, I had the good fortune to attend the Sakyadhita conference in Malaysia and to meet Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo and also Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo. Meeting both of them and many of the inspiring bhikkhunis at that conference, gave me deep inspiration and vision as to what is possible for monastic women. I also met a fellow monastic, Ayya Yeshe, who told me about Bhante Sujato and his support for monastic women. I subsequently went forth as a sāmanerī at Santi Forest Monastery with Ayyā Tathālokā as preceptor and Bhante Sujato as Acharya, in 2008.
In 2010 I ordained as a bhikkhunī during the first vassa at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage, with Ayyā Tathālokā as preceptor.
I met Sayadaw U Jagara in 2011 on a retreat with Shaila Catherine. He has since then been my main meditation teacher and has been a profoundly important kalyanamitta for me going forward. Shaila has also been an important teacher.
Returning to Australia after time back in Asia, in late 2013, I supported and participated in the transition of Santi Forest Monastery in becoming a bhikkhunī monastery. I 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 I spent some years in New Zealand, America and Asia deepening my 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 our local bhikkhus, we established the first Theravada bhikkhuni vihara in New Zealand.
I am currently between New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the U.S, continuing to develop the conditions for the flourishing of bhikkhunis in New Zealand.
Miscellany connected with ordinations.
I am including these various links below, as these were wonderful and ground-breaking times to live through. The opportunity to ordain as a Theravada bhikkhuni (or even samaneri) in the West, was rare, not so long ago. I was extremely lucky to have as my monastic mentors and elders a group of compassionate, courageous monastics (Ayya Tathaaloka, Bhante Sujato, Ajahn Brahm, Ajahn Brahmali, Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi and Bhante Analayo) who worked hard to ensure that monastic life in its fullness is open for women. Thus also helping to establish the Four Fold Assembly in the West.
My involvement in re-establishing bhikkhuni ordination, and setting up bhikkhuni monasteries defined much of my life in my thirties. Also, the bhikkhuni movement gave me a future in robes, and ultimately led to the founding of Dhammatiriya, and now to being involved in a small hermitage in Sri Lanka.
Samaneri Ordination at Santi FM
Clips from the bhikkhuni seminar we organized (my samaneri ordination took place at the very beginning):
An article I was asked to write at the time (re-published many years after by Buddhistdoor):
Bhikkhuni Ordination at Aranya Bodhi
An article I was requested to write by the wonderful Gotami Vihara in Malaysia: