BIOGRAPHY

 

 


Born and brought up in a traditional Buddhist family in Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 1931, Rev. Sister Khemanandi  was a devout practicing Buddhist since from an early age, aspiring to work for the Sasana (teachings) in some way, one day.

She took up the formal practice of meditation in 1962 while still married, working and had two children. She graduated from the University of Rangoon in 1952 and  a master’s degree in Business Administration at the Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.- in 1955. 

She  first practiced on her own through instructions from books and  later  under various well-known masters in Myanmar. Her very first formal teacher was the well-known Senior Master, the Most Ven. Webu Sayadaw. But then the Most Ven Sayadaw passed away before she felt she had the opportunity to practice really intensively enough with him. Feeling  like an orphan, left in a vacuum, she felt the need to continue under the close guidance of a living Master. She tried to continue her practice under  various Masters and finally found her niche in the Mahasi method of meditation. Strangely, the Most Ven.Mahasi Sayadaw has been one of the “family  Sayadaws” since a long time before. Her husband and son have had their temporary ordinations, as was the traditional custom, and had practiced at his Centre since some time back. She has since been practicing faithfully in this lineage of the Sayadaw.   

She left Myanmar in 1980 and went to  work in Singapore for eight years. She came  to Canada later in 1988. She was one of the founding members that helped establish the new Burmese Buddhist Temple in Singapore. She also started a meditation group while there and spent most of her spare time involved in a number of Buddhist activities.

She continued to be involved in a meditation group for sometime, after she came to Canada and later founded  The Buddha Sasana Yeiktha with the encouragement of the Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita - a senior disciple and immediate successor to the Most Ven.Mahasi Sayadaw after his demise.  The Most Ven. Sayadaw also kindly gave his blessings  as the founding Spiritual Director of the Buddha SasanaYeiktha when it was established in 1994, when she offered her own personal residence for use by the Buddha Sasana Yeiktha for its lifetime.

Even before then, she was preparing herself to live as a full renunciate sometime after becoming a widow and lived in training as a semi-renunciate since 1992. She continued to reside at the Center and was ordained as a nun by the Most Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita at one of his branch meditation Centers in California, USA in 1996. After her ordination, she was fortunate enough to be accepted  under the tutelage of the Most Ven. Saddhammaransi Sayadaw, one of the well-known senior disciples of the Most Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw and a patron of the main Mahasi Center. She went to his Saddhammaransi Mahasi Meditation Center in Myanmar in 1997 for further intensive practice and training under him - initially for one year and later for a further two more intensive retreats abroad under him and a still further two more intensive practice and training again at his Center in Myanmar. She has been Resident Director of the Buddha Sasana Yeiktha since her ordination in 1996.

 

 


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