Thanissara is Anglo-Irish, originally from London. She started Buddhist meditation practice in the Burmese school of U Ba Khin in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery. She was also co-initiator of events for children and families at Amaravati. Thanissara has facilitated meditation retreats since 1989 and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. She is author of several books - 'Garden of the Midnight Rosary', 'The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra', co-author of 'Listening to the Heart', and and her latest is 'Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth'. She is a core teacher at Insight Meditation Society, MA, guiding teacher of Chattanooga Insight, TN and affiliated teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, CA. Together with her husband Kittisaro, she co-founded Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre.