Born in Berlin in 1923 to Jewish parents, Ayya Khema was educated in Scotland and China and later emigrated to the United States. The author of twenty-five books, she was ordained as a nun in Sri Lanka in 1979 and established several Buddhist centers, including Wat Buddha Dhamma in Australia, Parapuddua Nun’s Island in Sri Lanka, and Buddha Haus in Germany. In 1987 she coordinated the first-ever International Conference of Buddhist Nuns. She passed away in 1997.
Books, Courses & Podcasts
Who Is My Self?
Self-transformation is an essential element in all forms of Buddhist meditation—from Tantra to Zen. Ayya Khema, author of the best-selling Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, uses one of the earliest Buddhist suttas to guide us along the path of the oldest Buddhist meditative practice for understanding the nature of “self.” By following the Buddha’s explanation with clear, insightful examples from her years of teaching meditation, she guides us back and forth between the relative understanding and higher realizations of the Buddhist concept of “self.” Her thoughtful contemplation of the Buddha’s radical understanding of “self” and her practical advice for achieving insight offer the reader a profound understanding of the “self.” Both beginning and advanced practitioners will greatly benefit from Ayya Khema’s warm and down-to-earth exposition of the Buddha’s meditation on “self.”
Please note: the ebook edition of this book has a new, revised cover.
Be an Island
From the best-selling author of Being Nobody, Going Nowhere, Ayya Khema’s Be an Island guides us along the path of Buddhist meditation with direct and practical advice, giving us contemplative tools to develop a healthy sense of personal being. Be an Island is at once an introduction to the teachings of Buddhism and a rich continuation of Ayya Khema’s personal vision of Buddhist practice.
Being Nobody, Going Nowhere
In this lucid classic, beloved teacher Ayya Khema introduces the reader to the essence of the Buddhist path. She addresses the how and why of meditation, providing a clear framework for understanding the nature of karma and rebirth and the entirety of the eightfold path. With specific, practical advice Ayya Khema illuminates the practices of compassion and sympathetic joy and offers forthright guidance in working with the hindrances that we all encounter in meditation. Few introductory books are both simple and profound. Being Nobody, Going Nowhere is both.
Know Where You’re Going
Know Where You’re Going provides a full course of instruction in Buddhist meditation and reflection, and contains a wealth of exercises and advice to help the reader grow. As we put these teachings into practice over time, we learn to see things as they really are and discover transcendence right here in our everyday lives.
Ayya Khema shows us how to live a wholehearted spiritual life, even amid our day to day concerns and responsibilities. Her teachings unfold simply, free of jargon, and are ideal for the contemporary world. Grounding the practice of more advanced meditations in a deeply cultivated sense of mindfulness, love, and altruism, Khema shows us, step by step, how to access to liberation and freedom. Originally published as When the Iron Eagle Flies.