Founding Co-Abbot of the Embracing Simplicity Hermitage
“Courage to Seek, Courage to Give: Odyssey of a Buddhist Nun”
Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Columbia College Campus
The Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni is a co-founder and co-Abbot of Embracing Simplicity Hermitage in Hendersonville, N.C., and a founding director of Sisters of Compassionate Wisdom Buddhist order. Formerly a Christian pastor, she now is a Buddhist monk ordained in Theravada and Mahayana traditions, a transmission holder from Zen Master Bernie Glassman of Zen Peacemakers and a receiver of Vajrayana empowerments. She is known for her ordination of Thai and Cambodian nuns, work with homeless youth in Appalachia, and ministry to the "Untouchables" in India.
An international teacher and advocate for disempowered women and youth globally, she received the 2008 Outstanding Buddhist Women’s Award and a special commendation from the Her Royal Highness Princess of Thailand for humanitarian acts in 2009. She also established the first Thai and Cambodian ordination platforms for women in 2009 and 2011, respectively, and was the recipient of the 2011 Women in Engaged Buddhism Award, presented by the Buddhist Council of the Midwest. She is the founder of My Place, Inc., a program offering refuge, job training and social enterprise opportunities to homeless youth in Hendersonville, N.C. A guest speaker at BuddhaFest in Washington, D.C., in 2012 and 2013, she also guest teaches at New York Insight Mediation Center and Spirit Rock Mediation Center in Woodacre, Calif.
Though her many accolades are impressive, Ven. Pannavati has never lost sight of her humble concern for and connection to all sentient beings, and is revered for her compassion, contemplation and wit.
The Schiffman Lecture in Religious Studies was created to educate students, faculty, staff and the community about religion’s influence on society in the United States and globally. Read more about the Schiffman Lecture series.