Bhante Yogavacara Rahula was ordained in Sri Lanka in 1975. He has been a part of the Bhavana Society since 1987 and serves as the vice-abbot. He regularly teaches and conducts retreats, including retreats integrating yoga breathing and exercise with vipassana. His approach to meditation emphasizes mindfulness of the body. Bhante Rahula conducts retreats in the United States, Canada and Germany. He also regularly goes to India to teach Buddhists and give talks in remote villages.
As a self-described “confused youth”, Bhante Rahula served a three-year stint in the army, then traveled in Europe and Asia. He spent much of this time living as a hippie, experimenting with a variety of recreational drugs. Eventually, he encountered Tibetan Lamas in Nepal and, after a month-long meditation course, began earnestly seeking a spiritually fulfilling life. He studied yoga in India, then traveled south and began learning about Theravada Buddhism. He ordained in Sri Lanka and lived there for 11 years, practicing in solitary caves and huts, learning Dhamma, and eventually leading retreats. Bhante Rahula describes his transformation from a young hippie and army dropout to a Theravadan bhikkhu in his autobiography, One Night’s Shelter.
He has also written a number of other books. Most recently Meditation: Body and Mind Connection, a manual about the integration of simple yoga and movement with vipassana meditation. Bhante Rahula has also written two other meditation manuals, Cutting through the Self-Delusion and The Way to Peace and Happiness, and a chronicle of his hiking and travels as a bhikkhu in India and Nepal, Traversing the Great Himalayas.