Meditation Instructors

All instructors are ordained Buddhist monks or ​laypeople trained by monks at the Dhammakaya Temple in Thailand.  Each instructor donates and volunteers their time to teach us. We thank all our instructors for their generosity and loving kindness.

Venerable Dr. Nicholas Thanissaro, Ph.D


Venerable Dr Nicholas Thanissaro, Ph.D. is a Buddhist monk of UK origin. He has been a monk for twenty years and has over thirty years of meditation experience. He pioneered popular meditation courses in Europe since 1997 and has several TV guest spots, audio CD's, books, book translations and academic articles to his name. He is also a UK Complementary Medical Association qualified teacher of meditation.

Venerable Thaniyo Bhikkhu, Ph.D.



Venerable 'Arm' Saccadhico Bhikkhu originated from Thailand and has been a Thai Buddhist Theravadan Monk for 9 years. He has almost a decade of experience of teaching meditation as a Buddhist monk.  Venerable Am has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering.  He designs curriculum for youth development activities through the use of Buddhist principles and modern psychology. He also organizes public speaking trainings. Venerable Am has a facebook page ‘Saccadhico,’ a daily dhamma page where he hand writes content to help people lead happier lives, decrease suffering and find true happiness in life. Venerable Am believes that happiness is accessible and available to all despite external circumstances if we only know how to train our minds. 


Venerable Choo


Phra Wanchalerm Lamyaipongsatorn or “Luang Pi Choo” is a Buddhist monk from Thailand who wants to help bring peace to people around the world. He is currently the director of a ‘Mindful Relaxation Program.’ He has over 10 years of experience teaching meditation in various settings. He has taught meditation and organized many activities with volunteers to promote peace for almost three years on Mongolia. He is currently a meditation instructor at the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center in New Jersey.

Venerable Thaniyo Bhikkhu, Ph.D. ordained as a Buddhist monk twenty-two years ago in Thailand. He finished his Doctoral Degree in Buddhist Studies from Ryukoku University, Japan in 2010. After graduation, he became a lecturer at universities in Japan. While teaching Buddhism at universities, he was teaching meditation in Japanese. He has twenty years of experience teaching meditation in Thailand and Japan. He is currently a director at DCI Center for Buddhist Studies in Thailand. He wishes to share with everyone the knowledge of how to handle problems and be at peace through meditation. 

Venerable 'Am' Saccadhiko Bhikkhu

Venerable Sander Khemmadhammo




Venerable Sander Khemadhammo was born and raised in 1978 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He graduated M.A. in Organizational Psychology. During his student years, he followed an introductory meditation course in a Dhammakaya meditation centre, and started volunteering in the European meditation centres during university breaks. In 2003, he decided to work as a full-time volunteer for the Dhammakaya Foundation in Thailand. After having studied Thai language for two years, he ordained in the monkhood. In 2012, he moved to Europe, and now he lives and teaches in a temple in the Netherlands most of the time.

Venerable Pasura Dhantamano



Venerable Pasura Dhantamano was born in Thailand and has over 25 years of meditation experience.  He has a master’s degree in International Relations.  Ven. Pasura has conducted meditation workshops and retreats in countries from South America to South Asia.  He is the director of Peace Revolution, a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading world peace through inner peace.  Ven. Pasura is also the personal translator to the current masters of the Dhammakaya technique, the abbot and vice abbot of the Dhammakaya Temple in Thailand.


Venerable Klint Kunachawo


Ven. Klint Kunachawo was born and raised in the United States.  Grew up learning and practicing Buddhism and meditation from a young age.  Until finally making the choice and ordaining as a monk since January 5, 2010.  He now teaches meditation at the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center in Fanwood, New Jersey.  While ordained as a monk he studied at Drew University and got a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. He continues to practice meditation and does his best to help those around him and share happiness and peace to the world one person at a time.


Venerable Prawed Varasayo



Venerable Prawed Varasayo has a Bachelor's degree in Education Faculty.  He became a Buddhist monk in 1999 is the current abbot of the Meditation Center in Denver, Colorado.  Venerable Prawed would like to share the knowledge of meditation and inner peace with everyone in this world.


Venerable Anuchit Tikkhaviro



Venerable Anuchit Tikkhaviro finished his Masters Degree in Computer Engineering from San Jose State University, California in 2002.  After graduation, he became interested in Buddhism and ordained as a Buddhist monk nine years ago in California. He has six years of experience teaching meditation in Thailand, America, Denmark, India and Bangladesh.  He currently resides at the Dhammakaya Meditation Center in Azusa, California and teaches English meditation classes. He wishes to share with everyone the knowledge of how to gain happiness and peace through meditation 


Venerable Dr. Monchai Saitanaporn, Ph.D.


Venerable Dr. Monchai Saitanaporn finished his PhD in Theology and Religion in Sydney, Australia.  He obtained a masters in electrical engineering in Singapore and a masters in philosophy in Sydney.  He has been a Buddhist monk for 6 years now. He has studied Pali to the 6th level (language of the Lord Buddha) and completed the advanced course in Dhamma studies at the Dhammakaya Foundation in Thailand.  He is particularly interested in the interaction of the twofold Buddhist meditations, samatha and vipassana.  He currently resides at the Brisbane Meditation Center in Australia. 


Venerable Boonchoo Ariyadhammo


Venerable Boonchoo Ariyadhammo has been ordained as a Buddhist monk for over 13 years now. Ven. Boonchoo has a Bachelor’s degree in Food Science & Technology from Kasertsart University in Bangkok, Thailand. He received his Master’s in International Business from Georgia State University and is now working on his Ph.D. in Buddhist Studies at the University of the West. Before ordaining he volunteered at the Dhammakaya International Meditation Center for five years and was ordained as a novice monk for two years. Ven. Boonchoo has since helped to open the Meditation Center of San Jose and has organized many meditation courses and retreats around the United States. He has been a guest lecturer for such organizations as the United Nations. Ven. Boonchoo currently resides in Arlington, TX as the abbot of the Dhammakaya Meditation Center of Texas.


Venerable Piya Piyawajako



Venerable Piya Piyawajako He was born into a Thai-Chinese family in Chiang Rai, the northernmost province of Thailand.  He graduated with First-class Honours from Chiang Mai University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Faculty of Engineering. He also completed a MBA executive course from the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce. He has previously worked at Siam Michelin Tire Company and Siam Cement Company as a Maintenance and Production engineer.


He has been interested in Buddhism and meditation since 1998 when his friend invited him to join a 3-day meditation retreat; and has been practicing meditation and studying Dhamma ever since.  He intends to follow the way of the Lord Buddha in studying meditation and Dhamma to the highest level, and has been an ordained monk at the Dhammakaya Temple since 2001.  He is now responsible for teaching the practice of meditation and Dhamma to people of different nationalities and from all walks of life.

Venerable Ruben Visalo


Venerable Ruben Visalo, also referred as Luang Phi Ruben, was born on June 24th, 1981 in Belgium. He studied a master’s degree in industrial engineering (biochemistry). After he started practicing meditation in 2006, he gained an increased interest in the field of meditation and personal development, and felt the need to share this wisdom with others. It was not much later that he decided to ordain as a Theravada Buddhist monk at the Dhammakaya temple in Thailand in 2008. He has since had a chance to share the ancient wisdom and practice of meditation to all kinds of people both in Thailand and abroad. Venerable Ruben currently resides at the Dhammakaya temple in Belgium.

Venerable Wirat Manikanto

Venerable Manikanto Bhikkhu was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. He entered into monkhood on 12/1/87, in the order of Thai Buddhist monks of the Dhammakaya Temple, whose main branch is in Pathumthani, Thailand. Ven. Manikanto has a Bachelor's Degree in Buddhist Philosophy from Thailand and a Master's Degree in Buddhist Studies from Bristol University, United Kingdom. He has been the Abbot (leading monk) of multiple Dhammakaya Temples in London, UK, Belgium, New Jersey and Seattle USA. He is currently the Abbot of the Dhammakaya Meditation Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Ven. Manikanto has taught meditation for over 25 years in Thailand, Europe and the United States. He has been a meditation instructor for 4 years in Europe, 5 years in New Jersey and 9 years in Seattle until moving to Boston last year. He wishes to spread world peace through inner peace.


Venerable Vichai Phunnadhammo



Venerable Vichai Punnadhammo was born in Thailand and began his interest in meditation while in high school. He holds a Masters Degree in Industrial Engineering and after working for ten years in this field, he returned to Thailand where he decided to dedicate his life to the study of meditation and Buddhism. In 1971 he became ordained at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya Temple as a Buddhist monk.  Ven. Vichai was one of the pioneers who founded six Dhammakaya meditation centers in the US, which are located in California, Illinois, Washington, Virginia, Oregon, and Atlanta. Since June 2009, he has been assigned to the temple in Schwarzwald, Germany and is instrumental in organizing retreat programs in Germany, France, Switzerland, Italy and the Middle East.  He has been practicing meditation for 38 years.  

Venerable Pisit Jittasutdho



Venerable Pisit Jittasutdho received his bachelors from the University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.  As a sophomore, he practiced meditation regularly at the Dhammakaya Meditation Center in Chicago, Illinois for 3 years. After graduation he returned to Thailand to ordain as a Buddhist monk in 2004, and since then has dedicated his life to train and teach meditation and dharma worldwide.

As a meditation instructor and teaching monk of the Dhammakaya Temple for 10 years, he has received direct training from Venerable Dattajivo, the vice abbot of the Dhammakaya Temple, and taught meditation in various counties. During his 13 years teaching meditation, thousands of students and groups from over 30 countries have traveled to Thailand to receive his training and meditation instruction. He has received invitations to teach meditation in countries all around the world, such as USA, Switzerland, Italy, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Philippines.

Dawn Barie



Dawn Barie is a licensed psychotherapist and the founder of the Center for Mindful Living in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Dawn specializes in mindfulness and meditation-based therapies. Dawn has extensive meditation training and is a certified meditation instructor. She has been teaching meditation since 2000 in a variety of settings including clinics, universities, schools and corporations.


Rosie Wimonrat



Rosie Wimonrat is a certified mindfulness & meditation trainer (peace architect) from World Peace Initiative foundation. She has been practicing the Dhammakaya meditation technique for more than 12 years. She leads meditation sessions at yoga studios and Asia Pacific University of Japan. She is also a Meditation trainer for a Thai youth program in Thailand. She is now residing in Silicon Valley. She believes that if we are peaceful ourselves, the world will be peaceful too.


Robert Mawson, 1943-2014, In Memory of our Great Instructor


Robert Mawson, a former nuclear weapons specialist, has taught meditation to tens of thousands of people around the world.  He is a certified meditation instructor  and has taught international civil servants and diplomats at the United Nations.  He taught how meditation can be used as a tool to activate the power of one’s natural healing force and to overcome pain and suffering.  

Robert has suffered a great  deal of pain in his life due to physical ailments, and credited his survival and quality of life to his deep meditation practice.  When Robert needed a heart transplant, television’s Dr. Mehmet Oz, coined “America’s Doctor” by Oprah herself, asked to perform the operation.  The operation was filmed on the Discovery Channel to see the difference that Robert’s meditation practice would come to make in his recovery and survival.


Mindfulness & Meditation Facilitator



Kent & Cay Welsh

Kent Welsh, Ph.D. is a retired clinical psychologist in private practice in Mobile. He began meditating in the early 1970’s and has taught relaxation and meditation techniques to numerous individuals and groups over the years. Kent began meditating at the Meditation Center of Alabama in early 2010 and has been a regular member of the meditation group there.​


Cay Welsh, Ph.D. is a retired clinical psychologist who earned her graduate degrees at the University of Alabama and completed her internship at the University of Tennessee Medical Center. She has been a faculty member at several universities and retired from the University of South Alabama after more than 30 years as Director of the Psychology Clinic. Her professional training and experience has included the use of relaxation, biofeedback, hypnosis and  mindfulness as a component of psychotherapy & behavior change.


Dr. Nena Nimit

Nena Nimit, M.D., has been meditating for over 15 years.  She is a certified Mindfulness & Meditation Trainer from World Peace Initiative. She has undergone a 3 month intensive residential training from the Middle Way Meditation Institute.  She is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at the University of South Alabama (USA) and finished medical school at USA. She wishes to spread the knowledge of meditation and inner peace throughout the community.

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Sivaporn Nimityongskul

Director of the Meditation Center of Alabama


Sivaporn Nimityongskul, also known as Lar, is the director and founder of the Meditation Center of Alabama.  Lar has over 25 years of meditation experience in various methods but practices the Middle Way Meditation method.  Lar runs Bangkok Thai Cuisine.  She has a Bachelor's degree in Economics from Kasetsart University in Bangkok, Thailand and a Master's degree in Economics from Western Michigan University.  She is a certified public accountant.  Lar wishes to spread true inner peace and happiness through meditation.