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Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi

Bhante Vimalaramsi

Bhante is a distinguished American Buddhist monk with more than 40 years of meditation practice. Bhante is regarded as a master meditation teacher leading Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation retreats in Europe, Asia, and North America.

 
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​He founded the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center near St. Louis, Missouri, after returning to the USA having practiced twelve years in Asia as a monk. He is the author of The Anapanasati Sutta: A Guide to Tranquil Wisdom Meditation, Breath of Love, and Moving Dhamma Volume One and Life is Meditation and Meditation is Life.

Bhante's students credit him with reviving the most direct path to wisdom and awakening as taught by the Buddha, by teaching a very simple but highly comprehensive and effective practice.

Bhante was a distinguished American Buddhist monk with more than 50 years of meditation practice. He taught tranquil wisdom insight meditation (TWIM) since the mid-1990's in Europe, Asia, and North America. Bhante was the founder and abbot of the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center near Annapolis, Missouri. For many years he was the U.S. representative to the World Buddhist Summit and Conferences and regarded as master meditation teacher. 

TWIM principles and practices that he taught originated in the discourses of the Buddha in the Pali cannon. He referenced vipassanā insight and samatha tranquility as being equally yoked together in mediation (jhāna) both in theory and practice.​ Hundreds of his Dhamma talks are available on his YouTube channel: TWIM Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center. HERE
 

Bhante Vimalaramsi, U.S. Sangha Representative to the World Buddhist Summit 2014, Kobe, Japan
 

His approach to teaching meditation included personal one-on-one daily interviews to expedite progress into and through the stages of mediation (jhāna) to awakening. He often said that  practicing loving-kindness was fun to do. It was neither difficult nor a test of endurance but a joy-filled journey on the middle path of clarity, joy, and wisdom he added, ff you can smile, meditation is easy. He claimed that the principles of TWIM practice originated not form him but from the words of the Buddha alone.

Bhante did not teach cultural or institutional Buddhism, theory or scholarship but instead, the Buddha's formula of the Eightfold Path. The purpose of the jhanas was to cultivate  wise-attention,  tranquility, and insight leading to the liberation of mind. His legacy is many hundreds of students that he taught and coached with dozens of TWIM teachers world-wide that carry on the same dedication for sharing the Dhamma.

 

TWIM mediation retreats, he believed, must be results-oriented yielding mental, emotional, and meaningful personality development. Retreat courses were structured to be ideal for beginners to easily learn effective meditation that offered relief from craving, the cause and condition of suffering. TWIM retreats drew advanced meditators that had become discouraged or plateaued in their progress. The practice he pointed out, immediately dissolves barriers by relieving craving, the cause of suffering. The practice gradually develops a foundation for the Noble Eightfold Path culminating in the direct experience of Nibbana. 

June 27, 2023, the Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi passed away.

Early Life and Ordination

Bhante Vimalaramsi, originally named Marvel Logan, was born on August 7, 1946, in the United States. His spiritual journey began in earnest in 1977 when he studied with Anagarika Munindra, a prominent meditation teacher. In 1986, he ordained as a monk in Thailand and subsequently traveled to Burma in 1988 to practice intensive meditation at the Mahasi Yeiktha Meditation Center in Rangoon​ (Dhamma Sukha)​​ (Dhamma Sukha)​.

Founding of Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center

After spending over twelve years in Asia, Bhante Vimalaramsi returned to the United States. In 2003, he established the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center (DSMC) in Annapolis, Missouri, located in the Ozark Mountains. This center became a pivotal site for his teachings and the practice of Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (TWIM), a unique approach combining Samatha (tranquility) and Vipassanā (insight) meditation techniques​ (Dhamma Sukha)​​ (Dhamma Sukha)​.

Teachings and Contributions

Bhante Vimalaramsi is renowned for reviving what he considered the most direct path to wisdom and awakening as taught by the Buddha. His teachings emphasize a relaxed and open state of meditation, advocating for a balanced approach to practice. He developed the "Six-Rs" technique, which guides practitioners to recognize, release, relax, re-smile, return, and repeat their focus during meditation. This method is detailed in his various works, including "The Anapanasati Sutta: A Practical Guide to Mindfulness of Breathing," "Breath of Love," and "A Guide to Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation (T.W.I.M.)"​ (Wikipedia)​​ (Suttavada Foundation)​.

Global Influence and Legacy

Bhante Vimalaramsi's influence extended globally, leading TWIM retreats in Europe, Asia, and North America. He served as the U.S. representative to the World Buddhist Summit and Conferences, advocating for unity among different Buddhist traditions and promoting global peace. His students often credit him with offering profound insights that simplify and deepen the practice of meditation​ (Dhamma Sukha)​​ (Dhammasukha Indonesia)​.

Passing and Memorial

Bhante Vimalaramsi passed away on June 27, 2023. His teachings continue to inspire and guide practitioners worldwide. The Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center remains a testament to his dedication and contributions to Buddhist meditation practice​.

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Book - Beginning Instructions for Loving
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