Biography of Venerable Sobhanā Therī
(Ayya Sobhanā )
Ayya Sobhana is a Harvard graduate and trained with master Dhamma and meditation teacher Venerable Dr. Henepola Gunaratana Nāyaka Mahāthero (known as "Bhante G") since 1989. Her primary practice is the Eightfold Noble Path, that is, integration of meditation with ethical living and compassionate relationships for the sake of liberation.
She “went forth” into monastic life as a Sāmanerī in 2003 at the Bhavana Society of West Virginia with Bhante Gunaratana as her teacher, and obtained full Bhikkhuni ordination at Dambulla, Sri Lanka in 2006, with the Most Venerables Sīrī Sumedhā Mahātherī and Sīri Sumangala Mahāthero as her bhikkhunī and bhikkhu preceptors.
After nearly five years of monastic life and teacher training with Bhante Gunaratana, in 2010 Ayyā Sobhanā was invited to dwell at the new bhikkhunī hermitage, Aranya Bodhi, on California's Sonoma Coast, which she has played an important and leading role in developing. In 2016, Ayyā Sobhanā was appointed vice abbess of Dhammadharini, and in 2020 she was appointed a bhikkhunī preceptor.
Ayyā teaches around the greater San Francisco Bay Area, and on both coasts of the US, offering retreats at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, Southern Dharma Retreat Center,and at Buddhist Insights of New York. She also offers regular meditation and Sutta teachings as well as retreats online hosted by Dhammadharini Monastery (see Dhammadharini Monastery on YouTube).