Teachers

Tom Davidson-Marx, who founded the group in 1998, is the regular weekly teacher. You can read about him on the About page above.

Guest Teachers

Anushka Fernandopulle formally trained in Buddhist meditation for over 25 years, primarily Vipassana or Insight Meditation (the root of secular Mindfulness meditation). After studying Buddhism at Harvard, she spent four years in full-time intensive meditation training in monasteries and retreat centers in the US, India and Sri Lanka. In the twenty years since then she continued to practice in daily life, studied the Pali Canon, and spent at least one month in intensive silent retreat most years.

Bhante Buddharakkita was born in Uganda, Africa. He first encountered Buddhism in 1990 while studying in India. He was ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk by the late Sayadaw U Silananda in 2002 at the Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, California. He then spent eight years under the guidance of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. He is the founder and Abbot of the Uganda Buddhist Center in Uganda, Bhante is a Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, USA. He is also a Spiritual Advisor to the Global Buddhist Relief in New Jersey. Since 2005, Bhante has been teaching meditation in Africa, Australia, Europe, Asia, South America and the United States.

Bhante Kovida of Chinese descent, grew up on the tropical island of Jamaica, West Indies. He migrated to Canada where he studied science and then traveled overland from Europe to India and Nepal. There he began the study of Indian history and culture, Hatha Yoga, meditation and Buddhism. Bhante Kovida took ordination with Ven Balangoda Anandamaitreya, a noted scholar, teacher and meditation practitioner. Since then, he has been traveling and teaching the Dhamma in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe, UK, USA, and across Canada. He also teaches mindfulness meditation and qi-gong which are beneficial for mental, emotional stress, anxiety and depression.

Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo is a professor in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, where she teaches Buddhism, World Religions, and Comparative Religious Ethics. She studied Buddhism in Dharamsala, India, for fifteen years and received a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Hawaii. She is a founder and past president of Sakyadhita: International Association of Buddhist Women, and director of Jamyang Foundation, an education project for women in developing countries.

Grahame White has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Centre outside Sydney. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) regulary in order to deepen his own practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings ,at times assisting in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

Venerable Ayya Viranani is a Buddhist nun from the USA (Hawaii). She is deeply rooted in the Dhamma through the practice, study and transmission of the Dhamma. She has been meditating since 1979 in the Burmese tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw, the Thai forest tradition and has worked in the Insight Meditation Society in the US. Ayya ​​Virañani was ordained as a Buddhist nun in Myanmar in 2006, and is currently associated with a renowned meditation center Chanmyay Myaing, also in Myanmar. She has years of experience guiding retreats around the world. She speaks with a lot of compassion and makes the traditional texts accessible with many examples from daily life. Ayya ​​Virañani is skilled in both vipassana and metta meditation.

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5 thoughts on “Teachers”

    • Hi Marilyn,

      So nice of you to contact me. Your friend and you are always welcome to come sit with us. For information about the weekly sittings, please go to this page on our blog — it has our address and my cell number as well. Anything else you need help with just let me know. Looking forward to meeting you! –tom

      https://www.alohasangha.com/meditation-hawaii/

      Reply
  1. Dear Tom:
    My friend and I will be spending June in Honolulu and would like to attend a few of your Thursday sessions. Could you tell me the address of the sessions?
    Thanks!
    Marilyn

    Reply
    • Hi Gretchen — yes, all our weekly classes and guest teacher classes are open to the public and are always free of charge. You are always welcome and you can bring a friend. If you and your friend are OK with sitting on the floor it would be good if you could bring a firm cushion(s), as we do have some but there might be more folks tonight than we have cushions for. If you prefer to sit on a chair(s) we will have some set up. Looking forward to meeting you. Aloha, Tom and the fam.

      Reply

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