May Full Moon Wesak Observance

This retreat is an offering of Sacred Mountain Sangha for the benefit of all beings. We ask those who are able to contribute at the highest level that they can afford, as this directly supports SMS, our teachers, fellow sangha members, and our ability to present the teachings for everyone.

SMS recognizes the many forms of dana, including the generosity of one’s presence and participation in study and practice as a sangha.

For individuals who wish to make a financial dana offering, you may do so below or at the time of this event. For those who do not wish to contribute at this time, please enter the number “0″ in the field below to receive your Zoom link and event details.

May Full Moon Wesak Observance

with Kittisaro and Thanissara

One moment can change a day, one day can change a life and one life can change the world.”
– The Buddha


We invite you to join us as we commemorate Wesak Puja, observed in the Theravada Buddhist calendar on the full moon of May. This sacred occasion is dedicated to honoring the Buddha and his profound teachings, which have guided practitioners on the path of enlightenment for over 2,600 years.

The Buddha revealed that the enlightened mind arises from within the intensity of samsara, the wheel of suffering. The mind caught in greed, hatred, and delusion gives rise to suffering. However, as Dharma practice deepens, we understand that suffering becomes a catalyst for awakening and evolutionary transformation. In this way, we recognize that the world itself, with all its challenges and uncertainties, provides fertile ground for awakening. Through this Dharma lens, we see that every moment offers an opportunity for realization and wise transformation.

In these times of great suffering and uncertainty, we draw inspiration from the Buddha’s courage. He fearlessly challenged societal norms and religious dogma to proclaim a revolutionary truth: that freedom is the birthright of all beings. Regardless of caste, class, race, or gender, every being has the potential to attain liberation. As practitioners, we aspire to embody this revolutionary spirit through the practice of the bodhisattva way, devotedly working for the liberation and well-being of all sentient beings.

The observance of Wesak Puja serves as a reminder of our shared journey toward awakening. During this session, we will touch on the core of the Buddha’s teachings, exploring how we can integrate them into our lives and practice, deepening our commitment to the path of mutual liberation.


This offering will be led by Kittisaro and Thanissara and will feature Dharma reflections, guided meditation, and the Kuan Yin Compassion Ceremony.  

Open to all experience levels!



This ceremony is a part of the contemplative practices within the Kuan Yin Dharmas. Kuan means “listen” or to contemplate and Yin means “sound.” Kuan Yin is known as the Bodhisattva who “contemplates the sounds of the world at ease, and who responds through merciful and fierce compassion to overcome obstructions.

The ancient practice of this ceremony invokes the transformative power, energy, and frequency of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Saints and Sages, and all supportive ancestral, elemental, and angelic forces to help dissolve obstacles in this time of profound planetary transformation.

The ceremony supports our individual practice, helps dissolve personal, ancestral, and collective obstructions, and supports the dissolving of all obstructive karma throughout all realms, all time and all space.




DATES: Thursday, May 23rd
TIME: 8:30am – 11.00am PT
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PLATFORM: Virtual (Zoom)



This offering is shared by Sacred Mountain Sangha for the benefit of all beings. We ask those who are able to contribute to do so at the highest level that they can afford, as this directly supports our ability to make the teachings and these events available for everyone.

SMS recognizes the many forms of dana, including the generosity of one’s presence and participation in study and practice as a sangha.

Your presence is a beautiful expression of dana!


Kittisaro & Thanissara

Thanissara and Kittisaro, former monastics and founders/guiding teachers of Sacred Mountain Sangha.


Kittisaro graduated from Princeton as a Rhodes Scholar and went on to Oxford before going to Thailand to ordain with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He lived as a monk for 15 years, during that time he helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK, trained other monks, was a prison Chaplain, and continued to offer teachings.

He disrobed in 1991 and went on to co-found Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in 2000 and helped initiate and support a number of HIV/Aids response projects in South Africa. Also with Thanissara, Kittisaro co-founded Chattanooga Insight Meditation Center in Tennessee.

Kittisaro has studied and practiced Chan and Pure Land for 35 years, informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua, and has completed two year-long silent self-retreats.

With Thanissara, he is co-author of Listening to the Heart–A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism.

Kittisaro is the co-founder and co-guiding teacher of Sacred Mountain Sangha. He teaches and offers guidance to dharma communities around the world.



Thanissara began Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. After meeting Ajahn Chah, the great Thai master, she was moved to take on the robes and ordain as a monastic. She spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun, during which time she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the United Kingdom.

Thanissara has taught and facilitated trainings, classes, and meditation retreats internationally and virtually for the last 30 years. She currently serves as a guiding teacher and is co-founder of Sacred Mountain Sangha, and with Kittisaro, she is co-founder of Chattanooga Insight Meditation Center. Thanissara sits on the Board of Directors and Teachers Councils for several organizations and holds a master’s degree in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University and the Karuna Institute in the UK.

With Kittisaro, she co-founded the dharma center, Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat, and helped initiate and support several community development projects in rural Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. She continues to lead a dharma-informed approach to awakening activism in the United States and abroad, focusing on the cessation of violence, and inspiring engaged climate awareness and responsibility for positive change. She is also a co-founder of Mind Our Democracy with Konda Mason and Tara Brach.

Thanissara is the author of several books, including Time to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth — The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes and Listening to the Heart–A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism with Kittisaro.


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