How does a nice Jewish girl from Burbank, California become a Buddhist mendicant nun — with integral proclivities? Listen in as Jeff talks with with Amma Thanasanti, a Buddhist teacher in the Ajahn Chah Forest Tradition, who has been deeply influenced by Ken WIlber and integral theory.  Amma was traveling through Boulder a couple weeks ago, and stopped by for a spot of tea and a chat about her unusual life and her beautiful, integrally-informed teachings on love, sex and awakening.

Amma is conducting a virtual retreat (you attend via skype or phone), over Thanksgiving weekend, 11/27 – 11/29. The topic, appropriately, is gratitude. You can find out more here.

Some highlights from Amma:

“It’s not fashionable right now to live a life of alms mendicancy, or renunciation, or a life of simplicity. But in terms of their potency as a tool for clarity I have not seen anything that comes anywhere close. Once I became a celibate my understanding about sex and sexuality increased logarithmically. ”


“One of my lifelong journeys has been to understand the energies of love and sex and to use them in the process of awakening. This is not the languaging that comes through the tradition that I ordained into. That languaging is mostly about restraint, so that one can access and cultivate other qualities of mind. But my experience has been a long process of learning how these energies actually can be transformed and utilized for heart opening and mind opening…and how they can take us to states that are really, really peaceful, very blissful, and very useful for practice.”


“I teach in a way that speaks to all of the different quadrants, and to making sure that we have lines of intelligence that are developing in many different areas. What I think is imperative is that as many people as possible are in the process of waking up to the highest level of consciousness they have access to.”