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“There are, O monks, these four lights. What four? The light of the moon, the light of the sun, the light of fire, and the light of wisdom. Of these four lights, the light of wisdom is supreme.”
~ The Buddha
AN 4:143

(source)

Monastic Community


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Bhante Henepola Gunaratana is the founding abbot of the Bhavana Society. Born in rural Sri Lanka, he has been a monk since age 12 and took full ordination at age 20 in 1947. He came to the United States in 1968. “Bhante G” (as he is fondly called by his students) has written a number of books, including the now-classic meditation manual Mindfulness In Plain English and its companion Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness. Bhante G regularly leads retreats on vipassana, mindfulness, metta (Loving-friendliness), concentration, and other topics both at the Bhavana Society and elsewhere. (read more)


Bhikkhu Seelananda

Ven. Seelananda was born and bred in Sri Lanka as a Theravada monk. Having received the invitation extended from American Sri Lankan Buddhist Association of New York he came to US for the dissemination of the Dhamma in 2002. Bhante Seelananda, along with his friends, established a meditation Center named “Samatha Vipassana Meditation Centre” in Edmonton Canada. Ven. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana and the board of Directors have appointed Ven. Bhikkhu T. Seelananda as the Vice president and Vice Abbot of Bhavana Society from January 2011.


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Bhante Dhammaratana Thera

Bhante Dhammaratana was born in Detroit and worked primarily as a mechanic in lay life. He became interested in Buddhism from the Dhamma writings in The Tassajara Breadbook. These inspired him to contemplate ways to improve his life and overcome suffering. He came to Bhavana in 1991 where he served as a lay resident. In 1992, he was ordained by Bhante Gunaratana and is currently the most senior monk at the Bhavana Society ordained by Bhante G. Bhante Dhammaratana became a monk because of a desire for a more enduring happiness found by serving and being sensitive to others.


The monastic community is made up of monks and nuns from the US and around the world. The monastic community is supported by a dedicated group of lay people who live at Bhavana and beyond.