Writings & Talks

meeting a monarch butterfly

The teachings presented here are by Ayyā Medhānandī Bhikkhunī, the founder and guiding teacher of Sati Sārāņīya Hermitage. The daughter of Eastern European refugees who emigrated to Montreal after World War II, she began a spiritual quest in childhood that led her to India, Burma, England, New Zealand, Malaysia, Taiwan, and finally, back to Canada.

In 1988, at the Yangon Mahasi retreat centre in Burma, Ayyā requested full ordination as a bhikkhunī from her teacher, the Venerable Sayādaw U Pandita. This was not yet possible for Theravāda Buddhist women. Instead, Sayādaw granted her ordination as a ten precept nun on condition that she keep her vows for life.  When a military coup closed Myanmar’s border, Sayādaw blessed her to join the Ajahn Chah Thai Forest Saņgha at Amaravati, UK. Ten years later.  Ayyā felt called to practice as a hermit nun in New Zealand for 6 years and later in SE Asia.

In 2007, after nearly 20 years as a novice alms-mendicant nun, Ayyā fulfilled her long-held wish for full bhikkhunī ordination at Ling Quan Chan Monastery in Keelung, Taiwan. In 2008, on invitation from the Ottawa Buddhist Society and Toronto Theravāda Buddhist Community, Ayyā returned to her native Canada to establish Sati Sārāņīya Hermitage.

Désarmement Intérieur

The French translation of  Ayyā Medhānandī’s talk, Inner Disarmament, about overcoming fear as a way to true peace; on the occasion of the 10th Global Conference on Buddhism, Neuroscience and Mental Health, June, 2017, Toronto Museum of Science.

Le Dharma de la Neige

Published in Regard Bouddhiste magazine, May 2016 (reprinted with permission), this French version of Ayyā Medhānandī’s article The Dhamma of Snow describes a winter snow melt episode and the enthralling insight into how melting delusions give way to Truth.

Ayyā Medhānandī’s Blog

Written while based in Penang, Ayyā Medhānandī draws on her experiences in a monastic community in England, as a solitary nun in a coastal hamlet of New Zealand, and as an urban nun perched in a ‘sky temple’ overlooking the Malacca Straits.

Gone Forth, Going Beyond

A book of Ayyā Medhānandī’s Dhamma reflections from 1996 to 2007, published in English and Mandarin, 2008.

Audio Talks

Recordings of hospice meditation sessions led by Ayyā Medhānandī for staff and volunteers in Ottawa, 2008-2014.

Listen to talks given by Ayyā Medhānandī since 1996 at retreat and meditation practice venues in Canada, US, and overseas.