V. R. Dhiravamsa, known more simply as Dhiravamsa, was raised in the Thai Buddhist tradition. Before accompanying his Principal Vipassana Master (the late Most Venerable Phra Dhammadhiraraj Mahamuni of Wat Mahadhatu, Bangkok) to Britain, in 1964, he held the position of Headmaster of a private school in Prachinburi Province, Thailand, and raised the standard of education to the point where it gained recognition by the Provincial Authority of Education at the Ministry of Education.
Coming to the West in the mid-1960s, he was given the title and name of Chao Khun Sobhana Dhammasudhi, and appointed at the young age of 33 as Chao Awas (Abbot) of the Thai Buddhist Mission to Great Britain, effectively serving all of Western Europe from its home base in London.
Dhiravamsa has lectured and taught Vipassana Meditation extensively in United Kingdom, on the Continent of Europe, in North America, and in Australia. He first visited the United States in January 1969, when he conducted a meditation workshop at Oberlin College and lectured at several colleges and universities. Since then he has regularly returned to Canada and to the States for periods of two to five months, invited by many universities and colleges including Swarthmore, Haverford, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Colgate, Amherst, Earlham, Carlton, Middlebury, Florida State, and Chicago Presbyterian Seminary.
In October 1971, Dhiravamsa gave up the robe after twenty-three years as a Buddhist monk. Now he leads a simple, meditative life in the world and in the Dharma, continuing his work of teaching Vipassana Meditation and other related activities such as Vipassana Dream Work, Active Imagination, and Holistic Healing.
In these past decades, Dhiravamsa has been living in Spain and teaching there and in a number of countries in Europe and elsewhere. He currently resides in Las Palmas, Canary Islands.
Among his books are
The Way of Non-Attachment (also in French, Dutch, and Spanish editions),
A New Approach to Buddhism,
The Middle Path of Life; his more recent publications include
Nirvana Upside Down and
Healing through Pure Mindfulness, both described at the web site of the publisher,
Wisdom Moon Publishing. Dhiravamsa has also several books published in Spanish and in other languages incuding French, Dutch, German, Italian, Russian, and Greek. For more, see
Dhiravamsa’s home page, with text in English and Spanish.
On a personal note, Dhiravamsa has been what the Tibetan Buddhists might call my root teacher, the main teacher in Buddhist meditation that has taught me for over forty years now. He invited me to train and to become his first Western disciple to be invited to become a Kalyana-mitta (or meditation tacher) in his tradition. He has continued to be an inspiration to me in my teaching of insight meditation and Buddhist psychology in a variety of life contexts. We continue to be in ongoing contact and mutual support to this day.