Staff at the IBMC

Ven. H. Shanti (Abbot) | Ven. Kusala (Head Monk) | Rev. Ksanti | Rev. Sraddha | Br. Abhaya

Ordination at the IBMC

Monk / Nun -- Bhikshu
(Monk)  ///  Bhikshuni (Nun) - (Celibacy)

Monk (Bhikshu)... Traditional Mahayana Ordination.
Nun (Bhikshuni)... Traditional Mahayana Ordination.
Novice Monk... Traditional Mahayana Ordination.
Novice Nun... Traditional Mahayana Ordination.
Atthasila Monk... Traditional Mahayana Ordination.

Atthasila Nun... Traditional Mahayana Ordination.

I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher - (No Celibacy)

Dharma Teacher...  25 - I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher Precepts.
Novice Dharma Teacher... 10 - I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher precepts.
Atthasila Dharma Teacher...  8 - I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher precepts.

Lay Person

1. Avoid Taking Life
2. Avoid Taking What is Not Given
3. Avoid Sexual Misconduct
4. Avoid Unskillful Speech
5. Avoid Consuming Intoxicants


Ven. H. Shanti // Abbot / Bhikkhu

shanitVen. Havanpola Shanti was born in Sri Lanka and entered the monastery when he was 13 years old. He was ordained as a bhikkhu at the age of 20. He is the Abbot of IBMC and oversees the running and religious activities of IBMC. He also gives dharma talks, works with students and is involved in InterBuddhist and InterReligious activities.

After attending the University of Kelanaya, where he received his B.A. in Buddhist Studies, Ven. Shanti returned to his home temple and finished his studies to be a teacher. Along with eleven other teachers, he trained 150 young men and eventually took the position of vice-principal. Later he became the principal at a dharma school and held that position for six years.

After spending a year at a temple in Korea, Rev. Shanti came to Los Angeles and the IBMC. When asked whether he preferred Los Angeles or Sri Lanka, he replied, "Both places have good and bad, but it is very peaceful in the village where I grew up and very rushed here in the city."

Ven. Shanti became Abbot after many years as Vice-Abbot on 11/11/12.

Ven. Karuna // Bhikshuni / (Retired)

karunaVen. Dr. Karuna Dharma took full ordination in 1976, becoming one of the first American women to take bhikkuni ordination in the United States. She met her teacher, Thich Thien-An, and began her studies of Buddhism in 1969. She was one of the founding members of the International Buddhist Meditation Center.

Ven. Karuna became the Abbess of IBMC when Ven. Thien-An died in 1980. She is a past president of the American Buddhist Congress and the College of Buddhist Studies. She served as vice-president of the Buddhist Sangha Council and was a founding president of Sakyadhita, the International Association of Buddhist Women. Ven. Karuna is profiled in Meetings with Remarkable Women: Buddhist Teachers in America, by Lenore Friedman.

Ven. Karuna retired on 11/11/12. May she be well and happy.

Ven. Kusala //
Head Monk / Bhikshu

kusalaVen. Kusala Ratana Karuna (Thich Tam-Thien) is resident Buddhist monk at IBMC. His interest in meditation brought him to the IBMC in 1980. He took refuge and accepted the five precepts of a lay Buddhist in 1981, and was given the Dharma name Kusala (skillful). In 1983, with a growing interest in early Buddhism, he began his studies with Ven. Dr. H. Ratanasara at the College of Buddhist Studies. In 1994 he took his novice monk vows and in 1996, received full ordination as a Bhikkhu (Monk) with Ven. Dr. Ratanasara and Ven. Dr. Karuna Dharma serving as two of the ordaining masters.

Kusala Bhikshu was a member of the Buddhist- Roman Catholic Dialogue of Los Angeles, Buddhist Chaplain for the University Religious Conference at U.C.L.A and director of the University Buddhist Association at UCLA for 11 years. In 2000 Kusala was invited to join the UCLA Medical Center Spiritual Care Committee and is still a member as of 2012.

In addition to his other duties, Rev. Kusala was a Buddhist volunteer for four yeas teaching Buddhism, and Meditation at the Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall. Before his work in juvenile hall, he was a volunteer at the Los Angeles County State Prison for Men teaching Buddhism and Meditation to Buddhist inmates.

He was the first Buddhist ride-along volunteer police chaplain in Garden Grove and served for 7 years. On November 16, 2001, Rev. Kusala received a certificate of recognition from the California State Assembly, and a certificate of special congressional recognition from the United States Congress for his work with the Garden Grove Police Department.

Rev. Kusala's web-site...

Rev. Ksanti // I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher

Rev. Ksanti Karuna
was born Tom O'Connor in Syracuse, New York in 1946. He received a B.S. degree in Drama from Syracuse University. He is a marketing director for non-profits. He has worked for the LA Philharmonic and the NY Philharmonic. He is a board member of the Robert Chesley Foundation's Board and is an active participant in IBMC’s Prison correspondence program. He received his Novice Dharma Teacher ordination in August of 2002, and full I.B.M.C. Dharma teacher vows in 2004.

Rev. Sraddha // I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher

vic01 Rev. Sraddha Karuna was born Victor Bumbalo in Utica, New York in . He is a graduate of Bennington College, receiving an M.A. in Theatre. He is an award winning playwright, receiving the Ingram Merrill award for play writing. Among his plays are Adam and the Experts, Niagara Falls, What are Tuesdays Like, and Show. He has also written for television including episodes for NYPD Blue and HBO’s Spawn, Relativity and a number of Movies of the Week. He also co-produced the Three Dollar Bill Theatre in New York.He was founder and board member of the Robert Chesley Foundation, and was a team leader for the Gay Men’s Health Crisis in New York Today he is an active member of IBMC’s prisoner correspondence program. He received his Novice Dharma Teacher ordination in August of 2002, and full I.B.M.C. Dharma teacher vows in 2004.

Rev. Sraddha's web site...

Doug Solomon // IBMC Residential Manager / Brother Abhaya

doug1Doug Solomon (Br. Abhaya Singa) has lived at the IBMC for over ten years, and the last few years has worked in the IBMC office as the Residential Manager.

IBMC is unique among spiritual communities because all residents do not follow the same spiritual path. Rather, our residents reflect the diversity of the city, the diversity of our world. Although most are American-born, they represent many different heritages, subcultures and ethnic groups. For more information on the IBMC Residential Program please contact Doug at...