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Our Teachers: Forest Sangha Nuns and Bhikkhunis

The following is first a list of the Nuns of our lineage and then the Bhikkhuni’s of the Forest Tradition, all who have taught at our center.


head shot of a smiling buddhsist nun

Ajahn Sundara

Ajahn Sundara was born in France. She studied dance in England and in France. In her early thirties, after working for a few years as a dancer and teacher of contemporary dance, she had the opportunity while living and studying in England to attend a talk and, later, a retreat led by Ajahn Sumedho.

Her teachings and experiences of the monastic way of life in the Forest tradition resonated deeply. Before long, this led to a visit to Chithurst Monastery in England where in 1979 she asked to join the monastic community as one of the first four women novices. In 1983 she was given the Going Forth as a Siladhara (10 precept nun) by Ajahn Sumedho. She currently resides at Amaravati monastery.

Ajahn Sundara is interested in exploring ways of practicing, sustaining and integrating Buddhist teachings in Western culture. Since the late 1980s, she has taught and led meditation retreats worldwide.

For more about Ajahn Sundara visit: Amaravati monastery and Dhamma talks


head shot of a buddhist nun

Sister Metta

Sister Metta took ordination at Amaravati Monastery in England, a community which has its roots in the Thai Forest Tradition. She has been based in England throughout her ordained years but is German by birth. Sister Metta experienced motherhood and family life prior to taking monastic vows.

For more about Sister Metta visit: Amaravati monastery and Dhamma Talks


head shot of a bhikkhuni

Bhikkhuni Ayya Anandabodhi

Ayya Anandabodhi first encountered the Buddha’s teaching in her early teens, which ignited a deep interest in the Buddha’s Path of Awakening. She has practiced meditation since 1989, and lived in Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in the UK from 1992 for 18 years.

In 2009 she moved to the U.S. on invitation of the Saranaloka Foundation, to help establish Aloka Vihara, a training monastery for women, where she now resides. She took leave of the Ajahn Chah lineage in 2011, in order to take full bhikkhuni ordination. The teachings and example of Ajahn Chah continue to be an influence and inspiration in her practice and teaching.

For more about Ayya Anandabodhi visit: Saranaloka Monastery and Dhamma Talks


head shot of a bhikkhun9i

Bhikkhuni Ayya Santacitta

Ayya Santacitta was born in Austria and has practiced meditation since 1988. Her first teacher was Ajahn Buddhadasa, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She has trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah.

Since 2002, she also integrates Dzogchen teachings into her practice and teaching. Ayya Santacitta is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, where she has lived since 2009 and received bhikkhuni ordination in 2011.

For more about Ayya Santacitta visit: Saranaloka Monastery and Dhamma Talks