Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni was first introduced to Buddhist teaching and insight meditation in 1979. From that time she consciously committed to awakening and envisioned living her life as a nun.
In 1989, she formally joined the Ajahn Chah lineage and the community of nuns at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery to begin training as a novice. That began the process of intensive study and meditation practice. After two years as an Anagarika, she received Siladhara ordination in 1991 with Ajahn Sumedho as her preceptor. She lived at both Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist Monasteries in England a total of 20 years.
For several years Amma Thanasanti was involved in the leadership team and guidance of the nuns' community at Chithurst and Amaravati. Since 1996 her community and monastic responsibilities were interspersed with teaching intensive meditation retreats in the US, UK, Switzerland and Australia. In 2000, she took Bodhisattva vows with His Holiness Dalai Lama en-route to spending extensive time in retreat in the remote bush of Australia. From that point on, the place of compassion and relationship with nature became central to her life and practice. In order to pursue her vision of how monastic and lay practitioners can work together in the modern world to create viable communities for practice in the United States, she took the significant step of leaving the formal affiliations of Amaravati and associated monastic communities and returned to the USA. In 2009 she founded Awakening Truth, a religious non-profit and 501 (c)3 organization. In August 2010, after being a nun for 19 years, she was ordained as a Bhikkhuni at Aranya Bodhi Forest Hermitage, in the historic first dual Theravada Bhikkhuni ordination to be conducted in North America. Ayya Tathaaloka is her preceptor. Currently she is based at the Shakti Vihara hermitage in Santa Rosa, California as a solitary alms mendicant nun where her time is interspersed between writing, teaching, time meditating in the nearby Annadale State Park and caring for her elderly mother.