Staff at the IBMC
Ven. H. Shanti (Abbot) | Ven. Kusala (Head Monk) | Rev. Ksanti | Rev. Sraddha | Br. Abhaya
at the IBMC
Monk / Nun -- Bhikshu (Monk) /// Bhikshuni (Nun) - (Celibacy)
(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.
Teacher - (No Celibacy)
Teacher... 25 - I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher Precepts.
Novice Dharma Teacher... 10 - I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher
Atthasila Dharma Teacher... 8 - I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher
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
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
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)
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
the International Association of Buddhist Women. Ven.
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
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.
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
He was the
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... www.kusala.info
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 IBMCs 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.
Sraddha // I.B.M.C. Dharma Teacher
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 HBOs 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 Mens Health Crisis in New York Today he is an active
member of IBMCs prisoner correspondence program. He received
his Novice Dharma Teacher ordination
in August of 2002, and full I.B.M.C. Dharma teacher vows
Rev. Sraddha's web site... www.victorbumbalo.com
Doug Solomon // IBMC Residential Manager / Brother Abhaya
Doug 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... Staff@ibmc.info