Resident Community

Ajahn Vīradhammo: Abbot of Tisarana
Ajahn was born in Germany, 1947, to Latvian refugee parents. They moved to Toronto when he was four years old. Around 1969, while living in India, he encountered Buddhism, meeting the late Sāmanera Bodhesako, who introduced him to the teachings of the Buddha. He eventually travelled to Thailand to become a novice at Wat Mahathat in 1973 and took bhikkhu ordination the following year at Wat Pah Pong with Ajahn Chah. He was one of the first residents at Wat Pah Nanachat, the international monastery in north-east Thailand. Having spent four years in Thailand, he went back to Canada to visit his family in 1977. Instead of returning to Thailand, he was asked by Ajahn Chah to join Ajahn Sumedho at the Hampstead Vihāra in London. Later, he was involved in the establishment of both the Chithurst and Harnham monasteries in the UK. In 1985, invited by the Wellington Theravāda Buddhist Association, he moved to New Zealand, accompanied by Venerable Thanavaro, where he lived for 10 years, setting up Bodhinyānārāma monastery. In 1995 he came to the UK to assist Ajahn Sumedho at Amarāvati and stayed for four years before returning to New Zealand, where he lived until 2002. He was living in Ottawa caring for his mother for nine years and is now resident full time at Tisarana.
Venerable Khemako
Venerable Khemako was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1959 into a large Catholic family and received his primary education from priests and nuns at the local Church-run school. His long-standing interest in the core questions of philosophy and religion led him to begin lay Buddhist practice in 1997. As his practice and faith in the Dhamma increased, his interest and involvement in lay life waned. Ven. Khemako trained for two years as an Anāgārika and Sāmaṇera, ordaining as a Bhikkhu on June 2, 2012 with Ajahn Pasanno as preceptor. In June of 2014 Ven. Khemako moved to Tisarana. During the winter of 2016 - 2017, Venerable Khemako stayed at Arrow River Hermitage.
Venerable Khema
Venerable Khema, a Toronto native, began his Buddhist path in the S. N. Goenka Tradition before staying as a long term steward at Arrow River with Ajahn Punnadhammo. After visiting Tisarana in June of 2013, Ven. Khema decided to take anāgārika precepts a few months later. He completed a year as an anāgārika and a year as a sāmaṇera before ordaining as a Bhikkhu on October 11, 2015 with Ajahn Vīradhammo as his preceptor.
Samanera Amarasiri
Sāmaṇera Amarasiri was born and raised in Chennai, India. His education and career led him to live in many parts of the world. Amarasiri moved to Toronto in 2009 and attended a Vipassana retreat in the Goenka Tradition where he was inspired by the teachings and practice of Theravada Buddhism. On his very first visit to Tisarana, his interaction with Ajahn Viradhammo impacted Amarasiri to commit to Theravadin Monastic life. He subsequently took Anagarika precepts on the 29th of November 2016 and Samanera Precepts on 20th September 2017.
Anagarika Peter
Anigarika Peter was born in Ontario to a Mennonite family and raised in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. After returning to Ontario, his spiritual search took him on a pilgrimage to India and multiple retreats at the Insight Meditation Society (IMS). This culminated in a strong desire to ordain. During this time he became ill with chronic Lyme disease. After a number of years he recovered well enough to pursue ordination.  Peter took on Anigarika precepts at Tisarana on January 5th 2017.