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Dhammasiha, Bhante

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Bhante Dhammasīha was born in West Germany on December 5th, 1966. After finishing high school in Hannover and serving as a conscript in the German armed forces, he studied business administration in West Berlin.

As business students had the lowest average IQ of all faculties at German universities, the curriculum was not too demanding and he was left with plenty of time and energy for his genuine interests: Schopenhauer’s philosophy, Indian religion and culture, and an extensive exploration of the suffering and disappointment inherent in sensual pleasures.

During field research in India for a PhD on “Indian Corporate Culture”, he read the Dhammapada which hit him as a true revelation. He traveled to Sarnath and Bodh Gaya and finally succeeded in dropping worldly concerns to devote his life to Dhamma.

He ordained as a Theravada Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka in June 1995, with most Ven. Paṇḍita K. Sri Jinavaṃsa as preceptor. For three years he trained at Nissaraṇa Vana, Meetirigala in Sri Lanka, a forest monastery dedicated to solitary practice of meditation, and meticulous observance of the Theravada Vinaya. His approach to practice was guided by the Suttas of the Pali Canon, and by the example of senior monks like Ven. Ñāṇavimala, Ven. Ñāṇadīpa and Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi.

Inspired by transcripts of Ven. Ajahn Brahmavaṃso’s Dhamma talks, he came to Bodhinyana Monastery in Perth in 1998 and trained there with Ajahn Brahm as his ācariaya for the next 7 years. During his stay in Perth, he was fortunate to receive teachings from visiting Ajahns of the Thai forest tradition, like Tan Ajahn Tui and Tan Ajahn Plien.

During his 10th and 11th rains retreat he enjoyed the quiet solitude of Vimokkharam, a small forest hermitage in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges.

In October 2006, he was invited by Brisbane Buddhist Vihara to help in establishing a forest monastery in South East Queensland. Bhante Dhammasīha now is the abbot of Dhammagiri Forest Hermitage, a new monastery 30km west of Brisbane CBD, right on the southern limits of Brisbane Forest Park.

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