About Bhante Y. Wimala

Bhante Wimala has been a Buddhist monk for 36 years, known throughout the world as a compassionate spiritual teacher and tireless humanitarian, with projects and friends all over the world.

Since 1986, Bhante Wimala has been the Chairperson and Spiritual Director of Triple Gem Buddhist Society, the Center for Conscious Evolution in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. He is also the Founding Director and Spiritual Advisor of Prison Ministries which provides educational and support programs in many state prisons in the USA.

Bhante Wimala served as the Chief Sangha Nayaka of the USA and Canada. He received this appointment as the Chief Sangha Nayaka in 1994 by the Council of Monks of the Samastha Amerapura Sangha Sabha of Sri Lanka. In May of 2010, Bhante was reinstated as the head monk of the USA. He was also appointed as the Chief Sangha Nayaka of the Czech Republic and Kenya.

In Europe, Bhante is the founder and spiritual teacher of the Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Centre in Tupadly (Prague), and the founder of the Lotus Buddhist Center in Prague, Czech Republic.

Bhante is also the Chief Monk and Spiritual Director of Nairobi Buddhist Temple, Nairobi, Kenya.

Bhante Wimala is the recipient of many awards for his peace efforts and humanitarian activities, including the Global Peace Award in 2007 from the Peace Center in the United States.

In 2008, Bhante received the Ambassador for Peace Award, offered by the Universal Peace Federation, an international and inter-religious federation for world peace.

In 2009, Bhante Wimala was awarded the Health Services Excellence Award from the Ministries of Health and Resettlement of the government of Sri Lanka.

In May of 2010, the Upcountry Amarapura Supreme Monks Council of Sri Lanka awarded Bhante the prestigious “Samadutha” Ambassador of Peace Award.

Unlike most monks who wander in their homelands or live ascetically in monasteries, Bhante has been called to spend his life traveling over the world to teach and to heal and to bring peace to the people of our planet. He has forged friendships across the globe and been involved in numerous projects involving restoring entire villages in Sri Lanka ravaged by the tsunami and war, earthquake relief in Haiti and cyclone relief in Bangladesh. He personally oversees countless projects across the globe, especially in Africa and Asia, to restore eyesight, bring medical supplies and wheelchairs where there were none, educate youth, build orphanages and hospitals and bring hope to prisoners and suffering individuals everywhere.

In the introduction to Bhante's book Lessons of the Lotus, His Holiness the Dali Lama says of Bhante: “Bhante Wimala's heartfelt concern for the suffering and the simple remedies he draws from the Buddha's teachings will be a source of strength for everyone confused by the pressures of modern life."

His Holiness The Dalai Lama also writes of Bhante: (he) “presents the teachings the Buddha gave over 2,500 years ago as if they had been given to address the needs of people today. His counsel to those who meet him is drawn from his own experience and the inspiration he has gained from studying and contemplating the Buddha's teachings on a simple and practical level, [Bhante] explains how meditation functions as a healing force for the mind, he also discusses global problems such as the pollution and degeneration of our environment.”

One need only hear Bhante Wimala's voice to fathom the grounds for the Dalai Lama's statements about him. Bhante speaks in a way that is both timeless and timely. His tone is at once soothing and guiding. You can hear a depth of experience in his words, and in their clean-clear sound, a genuine teacher and exemplar.

To meet Bhante Wimala is to have his realness confirmed by your eyes. One delights in his youthful smile and bright eyes, his gentle nature, his calm yet purposeful strength, and his love of life and all living beings.

Sent by choice to a Buddhist temple at the age of 13, Bhante Wimala received his ordination as a novice the next year. Bhante completed six years of formal training as a Buddhist monk and received his higher ordination at age 20. At this stage, a Buddhist monk is typically encouraged by custom or inclination to continue in strictly formal studies, which are primarily academic in their emphasis. Bhante Wimala however, chose to set out into the world bearing only his robe and bowl.

Traveling for two decades around the globe and studying under many teachers and masters has produced in the person of Bhante Wimala a compassionate and receptive monk. His practical spiritual teachings and down to earth approach make him available, encouraging and understandable. Bhante's philosophy emphasizes the authenticity of experiencing (above mere speculating), a focus on "be-living" rather than "believing."

Bhante, who has produced several meditation CDs, also writes poetry and has a book of poems, Poems of Awakening, to his credit. He has written: “Life is a poem. To experience the beautiful melodies fully, you need to get into the space in your heart.” This he does.

Learn more about Bhante Wimala at www.bhantewimala.com