About Bhante Wimala

Venerable Bhante Y. Wimala has been a Buddhist monk for 47 years, known throughout the world as a compassionate spiritual teacher and tireless humanitarian, with projects and teaching programs all over the world.

Unlike most monks who wander in their homelands or live ascetically in monasteries, Bhante has been called to spend his life traveling around 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 has been involved in numerous projects involving restoring entire villages in Sri Lanka ravaged by the tsunami and war, earthquake relief in Haiti and Nepal, 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, bring water to villages high in the mountains of Nepal, cut off after the earthquake, create job training for women, homes for the homeless and bring hope to prisoners and suffering individuals around the world.

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." Since 1986 Bhante Wimala has being the Chairperson and Spiritual Director of Triple Gem Buddhist Society, the Center for Conscious Evolution in Princeton, New Jersey and Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He also was the Founding Director and Spiritual Advisor of Prison Ministries which provided educational and spiritual support programs in many state prisons in the USA.

Following are some of his appointments and positions

  • 1994. Received the appointment of Chief Sangha Nayaka (honorary leadership position) of the USA and Canada by the supreme Council of Monks of the Samastha Amarapura Sangha Sabha of Sri Lanka.
  • 1998.Established the Lotus Buddhist Center in Prague, Czech Republic and served as the founding spiritual teacher
  • 2001. Founded the Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Centre in Tupadly (Prague) Czech Republic and still serves as the spiritual Director and teacher.
  • 2000. Since 2000, Bhante has being serving as the head Monk and Spiritual Director of Nairobi Buddhist Temple, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 2010. Bhante was reinstated as the Chief monk for the USA by the supreme Sangha council. He was also appointed as the Chief Sangha Nayaka of the Czech Republic and Kenya.

Bhante Wimala is the recipient of many awards for his peace efforts and humanitarian activities, including:

  • 2007. The Global Peace Award in 2007 from the Peace Center in the United States and the metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia.
  • 2007. Humanitarian award from the members of parliament, Kenya
  • 2008. Bhante received the Ambassador for Peace Award, offered by the Universal Peace Federation, an international and inter-religious federation for world peace.
  • 2009. Bhante Wimala was awarded the Health Services Excellence Award from the Ministries of Health and Resettlement of the government of Sri Lanka.
  • 2010, the Upcountry Amarapura Supreme monks Council of Sri Lanka awarded Bhante the prestigious 'Samadutha" Ambassador of Peace Award.
  • 2014. Humanitarian service award, Asian Development Foundation collage, Tacloban City Philippines.
  • 2017. Humanitarian award, Asian Development Foundation Collage, Tacloban City, Philippines

Short biography of Ven Bhante Wimala, taken from the Introduction to Bhante’s CD:

One need only hear Bhante Wimala's voice to understand 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 the choice of his parents 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 four 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, author of Lessons of the Lotus, 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 song. To experience the beautiful melodies fully, you need to get into the space in your heart." This he does.