Ayya Santussika, in residence at Karuna Buddhist Vihara (Compassion Monastery), spent five years as an anagarika (eight-precept nun), then ordained as a samaneri (ten-precept nun) in 2010 and as a bhikkhuni (311 rules) in 2012 at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles.
Ayya Santussika was born in Illinos in 1954 and grew up on a farm in Indiana. While being a single mother, she received BS and MS degrees in computer science and moved with her two children to the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked as a software designer and developer for fifteen years. Her search for deeper meaning and ways to be of service led her to train as an interfaith minister in a four-year seminary program that culminated in an Masters of Divinity degree and a brief period of practice as a minister before ordaining as a Buddhist nun. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Buddhist Global Relief.
Ayya Santussika gave the fifth talk in a six-week series titled "Ethics,
Action and the Five Precepts." She takes an in-depth look at the first precept: refraining from killing. She explores harming, how to live a life of non-harming, and facing difficult situations non-violently.
It is through taking action together that we wield power and experience relief, especially as we expand our notion of sangha beyond the usual boundaries, to all faiths, to all people taking action in accordance with our shared values of compassion, justice and peace. And we bring our own quintessential flavor, our Buddhist practice, our confidence in the Dharma and our commitment to face the way things actually are.