The Breath of Love
Most Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi Mahàthera
About the Author
Most Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi Mahàthera
became a Buddhist monk in 1986 because of his
keen interest in meditation. He went to Burma
in 1988 to practice intensive meditation at the
famous meditation center, Mahasi Yeiktha in
Rangoon. While there, he practiced meditation
for 20 to 22 hours a day for three months and
16 hours a day for 5 months. Because of some
social unrest, all foreigners were asked to leave the country. So
Bhante traveled to Malaysia and practiced intensive Loving-
kindness Meditation for 6 months.
In 1990, Bhante went back to Burma for more intensive Vipassanà
meditation, for 14 to 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 straight Vipassanà method
and left Burma to continue his search.
He went back to Malaysia and began teaching Loving-kindness
Meditation. In 1995, Bhante was invited to live and teach at
the largest Theravàda monastery in Malaysia. This Sri Lankan
monastery offered 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 straight Vipassanà Burmese
method of meditation is taken from a commentary written a
thousand years after the Buddha’s death, called the Visuddhi
Magga. This commentary is not very accurate when compared
directly with the sutta teachings. Bhante Vimalaramsi then began
to study the sutta texts more thoroughly and practice meditation
according to these texts. After a three month self-retreat, he
came back to Malaysia and wrote a book on the Mindfulness
of Breathing called “The ânàpànasati Sutta – A Practical Guide
to Mindfulness of Breathing and Tranquil Wisdom Meditation”.
There are now over 1,000,000 copies distributed worldwide in
multiple languages. 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. In 2003
he cofounded the United International Buddha-Dhamma Society.
UIBDS supports the Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center located
near Annapolis, Missouri, USA, where he teaches meditation
from May–October each year.
In 2008 he officially announced the birth of the Buddhist
American Forest Tradition in Annapolis, MO. This is the first
Buddhist American Forest Tradition study center on American
soil where all teaching and work is done using English as the
primary language and the core teachings rely on the Pàli Canon
directly with the Vissudhi Magga used as an additional reference
support. The Tradition actually began in 2005.
International monks now come there to improve their English
and study more deeply the meditation and sutta studies. An
active ordination program is available where both men and
women are trained equally.
About Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center
United International Buddha-Dhamma Society (UIBDS) and
Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center (DSMC) are located on 103
acres of forested land located in the Ozark Mountains of Iron
County (near to Annapolis) in Missouri, USA.
DSMC’s goal is to be open
all year round. At present
it usually houses from
10–20 students at a time
between the months of
May 15–October 15 each
year for meditation training
and Buddhist studies. In
winter it is open for visitors
and there are small group
retreats. The main teachers
usually teach abroad during
the coldest time of the year. This helps to raise money for further
buildings at the center. Presently there are cabins, dining hall
and kitchen, library, and a new Dhamma hall is going up in 2012.
There are beautiful walking trails and flat areas for walking near
the main halls. There is a lay area for meditators and a separate
monastics living area.
June–October full moons serve as the center’s Rains Retreat
period each year. Monastics may come in for a May to September
Rains Retreat if they let us know in advance. We do offer an
Dhamma English support program.
In this Buddhist tradition, Rains Retreat is when monks and
nuns stay in one place to give Dhamma talks and teach people
meditation. They also practice their own meditation deeply at
this time. Each year various monastics who also support the
goals of this program visit from different traditions. Often times
they will offer to teach Buddhist history, Chanting, and Pàli
classes while in the center. From over 23 countries around the
world, students and faithful lay people come to investigate early
Buddhist teachings and they stay from 2 weeks to 3 months at a
time upon by approval by the teacher.
There is also an active ordination program for men and women
for equal training. It is a sincere forest training which is received
and there will be opportunities in the near future for study
abroad at a university in Sri Lanka which is now partnering with
the DSMC project in 2012.
DSMC is dedicated a religious center sheltered by United
International Buddha-Dhamma Society. UIBDS is a Missouri 501
(c) (3) non-profit corporation set up for the purpose of Religious,
Charitable and Educational works.
DSMC provides a support place for people to come and hear
early Buddhist texts taught in English by a master meditation
teacher, Most Venerable Bhante Vimalaramsi Mahàthera and
Sasana Dipika Sister Khema who have both taught this Buddha-
Dhamma internationally over recent past years.
In the center you will study and practice early foundation
teachings recovered from the very earliest Buddhist texts that
survived. Center monastics offer free counseling support for
people. Daily meditation is practiced and many supports are in
place to help students keep their practice going in life.
After 14 years of investigation work, at DSMC, it has been
confirmed that the Buddha recovered something extremely
unique that leads directly to a reduction of suffering and, if the
teachings and meditation are pursued more deeply, following
the precise instructions, this training can lead to an eventual
total cessation of suffering in this lifetime.
The center teaches a simple meditation practice based on Right
Effort as found in the early texts. The practice is called Tranquil
Wisdom Insight Meditation, TWIM for short. TWIM is easy and
fun to learn and is appropriate for anyone within the bounds of
This teaching is easy to understand and immediately effective.
The practice transfers very well into daily life to help us lighten
up, smile more, and become happier. It is so progressively
interesting that it invites deeper inspection and people really do
want to ‘come and see’ and understand more.
There is no question that Buddhist
teachings make life easier. They provide
a clear understanding of how the mind
works. As you discover how things
actually operate, then quite naturally,
as you calm down, you will tend to act
in more compassionate ways towards
people in daily life.
Training at the center uses the Majjhima Nikàya as a main text for
guidance during your training. Students who practice in earnest
and want to progress well are encouraged to follow the advice of
MN-95 The Canki Sutta when coming to the center to study. In
that sutta there are 12 steps key to making good progress. MN-15
describes the best student for the teacher to put time and energy
into training. The proper outcome of your training is described
in MN-21. It is worth it for you to investigate these suttas before
coming to train.
At the center, students
and monastics alike
are challenged to test
through their own
verification of any
spoken truth they
hear in a Dhamma
talk. If their results
match the results
the suttas, then
they are considered
the Buddha’s teaching. If not, then its time for open Dhamma
discussion and re-evaluation.
We encourage you to visit our website at www.dhammasukha.
At the website you will find a lot more information about
Dhamma talks, how we teach at the center, books that can help
you, articles, and more information about how to contact our
center in Missouri.
If you need help, you can write to Rev. Sister Khema at
email@example.com. She will forward you to whomever can
help you best.
Please make arrangements to come into the center by April 15 if
possible so residences can be carefully planned for you.
The address of Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center and
Anathapindika’s Park is:
Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center
8218 County Road 204
Annapolis, MO 63620 USA
Office Telephone: (573) 546-1214 (please leave a clear message)
Training Questions: firstname.lastname@example.org