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Ayya Tathaaloka

Venerable (Ayya) Tathaaloka Theri is an American-born member of the Buddhist Monastic Sangha with a background in Zen and Theravada Buddhism. Ayya Tathaaloka began her journey into monastic life nearly thirty years ago, and was fully ordained as a bhikkhuni by the Sri Lanka Sangha in Southern California in early 1997, with Ven. Havanpola Ratanasara as preceptor. In 2005 she co-founded Dhammadharini "Women Upholding the Dhamma" and the first Theravadan Buddhist women's monastic community for bhikkhunis in the United States, here in Northern California. Inspired by Buddhist Forest traditions, in 2008, she went on to co-found Aranya Bodhi Awakening Forest Hermitage, a rustic off-grid women's monastic retreat on the Sonoma Coast. In 2009, Ayya Tathaaloka became the first Western woman to be appointed a Preceptor for bhikkhuni ordination in Theravadan Buddhism, serving in groundbreaking women's ordinations in both Australia and California. In 2016, her community realized a longterm dream, opening an accessible "permanent" new Dhammadharini Monastery at the western foot of Sonoma Mountain in Penngrove.

Talks given by Ayya Tathaaloka at Marin Sangha are available at MarinSangha.talks.php?tch=tathaaloka.

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