Bhante Vimalaramsi became a Buddhist monk in 1986 because of his keen
interest in meditation. He went to Burma in 1988 to practice intensive mediation
at the famous meditation center, Mahasi Yeiktha in Rangoon. There
he practiced meditation for 20 to 22 hours a day for almost a year, then because
of some social unrest, all foreigners were asked to leave the country, so
Bhante went to Malaysia and practiced intensive Loving-kindness meditation
for 6 months. In 1990, Bhante went back to Burma for more intensive Vipassana meditation, for 16 hours a day, at Chanmyay Yeiktha in Rangoon. He practiced
for 2 years, sometimes sitting in meditation for as long as 7 to 8 hours a
sitting. After two years of intensive meditation and experiencing what they
said was the final result, he became very disillusioned with the Vipassana
method and left Burma to continue his search. He went back to Malaysia
and began teaching loving-kindness meditation.
In 1996, Bhante was invited to live and teach at the largest Theravadan
monastery in Malaysia. This Srilankan monastery oered public talks every
Friday evening and Sunday morning where 300 to 500 people would attend.
Bhante gave talks every other Friday and on every Sunday. While staying
there he had the opportunity to meet many learned monks, and Bhante
questioned them at length about the Buddha's teachings. He found out that
the Vipassana method of meditation is taken from a commentary written
a thousand years after the Buddha's death. This commentary is not very
accurate when compared with the original teachings.
Bhante Vimalaramsi then began to study the original texts and then practice
meditation according to these texts after a three month self-retreat, he
came back to Malaysia and wrote this book on the Mindfulness of Breathing
called \The Anapanasati Sutta-A Practical Guide to Mindfulness of Breathing
and Tranquil Wisdom meditation." This book has been published by several publisher and there are 100,000 copies distributed worldwide. This
book is currently used as a practical study guide for meditation teachers and
their students. Bhante Vimalaramsi came back to the U.S. in 1998 and has been teaching meditation throughout the country since then. He is presently working to establish a meditation school named Dhamma Sukha near Lesterville, Missouri.