Ayya Santussika grew up on a farm in the USA near Chicago, raised two children and was a software designer and engineer before ordaining as a bhikkhuni in the Theravadan tradition. She began meditation practice in the 1970’s but didn’t meet up with the Dhamma until 1998 when her son moved to Thailand to become a monk in the Ajahn Chah lineage of the Thai Forest Tradition. Through many visits to see her son in the monasteries in Thailand, she was able to learn from master teachers. She also trained to be an interfaith minister in a four-year seminary and received a Masters of Divinity degree in 2002. As her faith and understanding of the Dhamma developed, she aspired to become a nun. She first took robes in 2005 and trained at Dhammadharini Vihara in Fremont, California, Chithurst and Amaravati Monasteries in the UK and Aloka Vihara in San Francisco. She co-founded Karuna Buddhist Vihara in 2012, where she currently lives, located in Mountain View, California. She teaches Dhamma as it applies to life experience, drawing from the Pali Canon.