Ayya Santussika began exploring meditation in the late seventies. In 2002, she received a Masters of Divinity degree after completing a four-year interfaith seminary program to become a minister. In 1999, Ayya Santussika made her first trip to Thailand to visit her son who had ordained there as a monk in Ajahn Chah’s international monastery, Wat Pah Nanachat. Over the years, she traveled to Thailand learning from master teachers including Ajahn Jayasaro, Ajahn Anan, Ajahn Dtun, Luang Ta Maha Boowa, and Ajahn Pannavaddho.
In 2003, she formally became a student of Ajahn Pasanno. In 2004, she spent time in Australia with Ajahn Brahm and at Ajahn Kalyano’s monastery near Melbourne where she met Ajahn Plien, whose teachings strongly impacted her development.
She took Anagarika Precepts with Ayya Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni in 2005 and spent a year helping start Dhammadharini Vihara. She then took up training at Amaravati and Chithurst Monasteries in England until 2009, when she moved with three of the Siladhara nuns to San Francisco to start Aloka Vihara. Ayya Santussika received samaneri ordination in the Sri Lankan tradition in 2010 and bhikkhuni ordination in 2012 at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara with Ayya Sudarshana and Bhante Piyananda as her preceptors.
In 2012 Ayya Santussika started Karuna Buddhist Vihara. The recent donation of a forest property in the Santa Cruz mountains has shifted Karuna Buddhist Vihara from a neighborhood monastery to a forest monastery. For more about Ayya Santussika visit Karuna Buddhist Vihara and Dharma Seed.