Ven. Ayya Khema
Four years after the American liberation of the camp, Ayya Khema was able to emigrate to America, where she married and had a son and daughter. Between 1960 and 1964 she traveled with her husband and son throughout Asia, including the Himalayan countries, and it was at this time that she learned meditation. Ten years later she began to teach meditation herself throughout Europe, America, and Australia. Her experiences led her to become ordained as a Buddhist nun in Sri Lanka in 1979, when she was given the name of "Khema", meaning safety and security ("Ayya" means "Sister").
She established Wat Buddha Dhamma, a forest monastery in the Theravada tradition, near Sydney, Australia, in 1978. In Colombo she set up the International Buddhist Women"s Center as a training center for Sri Lankan nuns, and Parappuduwa Nuns" Island for women who want to practice intensively and/or ordain as nuns. She was the spiritual director of Buddha-Haus in Germany, established in 1989 under her auspices. (Photos) In 1997 she also founded Metta Vihara, a thriving monastery not far from Buddha Haus. (Photos)
In 1987 she co-ordinated the first international conference of Buddhist nuns in the history of Buddhism, which resulted in the creation of Sakyadhita, a world-wide Buddhist women"s organization. H.H. the Dalai Lama was the keynote speaker at the conference. In May 1987, as an invited lecturer, she was the first Buddhist ever to have addressed the United Nations in New York.
She wrote over two dozen books on meditation and the Buddha's teaching in English and German. In 1988, her book Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, received the Christmas Humphreys Memorial Award. Her other English language books include When the Iron Eagle Flies, Who is My-Self, Be an Island, Visible Here and Now, Come and See for Yourself: The Buddhist Path to Happiness and The Path to Peace: A Buddhist Guide to Cultivating Loving-Kindness. Some of her writings are available on-line at Access to Insight and her book All of Us, consisting of 12 dhamma talks, is available at Allspirit. Some of her writings are available as eBooks for the Kindle, Nook, etc: All of Us, Meditating on No-Self and To Be Seen Here and Now. Also available on-line is A Dhamma Talk on Metta by her. Over 400 High Quality English Language MP3s of Dhamma Talks by Ven. Ayya Khema are now on-line for free download, as is the streaming audio of a talk on the 1st and 2nd Jhanas. Her autobiography, I Give You My Life, is a wonderful adventure story sprinkled with nuggets of spiritual wisdom.
Ayya Khema passed away on 2 November, 1997, at home at Buddha-Haus, in Germany. Buddha-Haus continues to teach retreats in German in Ayya Khema's tradition. Please visit their website at http://www.buddha-haus.de/. You can e-mail Buddha Haus at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For many years, Cloud Mountain Retreat Center offered a month long meditation course with the instructions and dhamma talks from video tapes of Ven. Ayya Khema recorded during two of her last English language meditation courses.
Transcriptions of a number of her inspiring Loving-Kindness Meditations meditations are available on-line.
There are a few short videos of Ayya Khema on Youtube:
Pictures of Ven. Ayya Khema
Over 400 High Quality English Language MP3s of Dhamma Talks by Ven. Ayya Khema
English (and German) MP3s of Dhamma Talks from Australia by Ven. Ayya Khema [click Downloads]
MP3 Q&A with Dhamma talk on Death and Dying by Ven. Ayya Khema (PLEASE right click and save)
Transcription of a Dhamma Talk on Metta by Ven. Ayya Khema
Video tape meditation course with Ven. Ayya Khema
Youtube Videos of talks by Ven. Ayya Khema in English and German
Recommend part 1 & 2 Death and Dying; Sister AYYA Khema 1991 part 1, 2 3, and 4.
Youtube autobiography & interview of Ayya Khema
Free PRC format eBooks for Kindle, Nook, etc: All of Us, Meditating on No-Self and To Be Seen Here and Now
Summary of Ayya Khema 1995 Retreat part 1
The Lion's Roar Podcast: New Years Prayers from Roshi Joan Halifax and Leigh Brasington on The Path to Peace by Ayya Khema
The Story of Ven. Khema, Ayya Khema's namesake
Photos of Buddha Haus founded by Ayya Khema
Photos of Metta Vihara founded by Ayya Khema
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