Ayya Santacitta was born in Austria and has a multifaceted background in hotel management, cultural anthropology and avant-garde dance theatre. Her first teacher was Ajahn Buddhadasa, who sparked her interest in Buddhist monastic life. She has practiced meditation for over 25 years and trained as a nun in both the East and West since 1993, primarily in the lineage of Ajahn Chah under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho and the Order of Siladhara.
Since meeting Shechen Rabjam Rinpoche in 2002, she also integrates Dzogchen teachings into her practice. Ayya Santacitta is co-founder of Aloka Vihara, where she resides since 2009 and received bhikkhuni ordination in 2011. She is in particular committed to right action on climate justice and inspiring people to embody the Buddha’s teachings through their lives.