Thanissara is Anglo-Irish and originally from London. She trained in the Burmese Vipassana School of Meditation for three years, and was a Buddhist nun in the Thai Forest School of Ajahn Chah for twelve years. She has taught Buddhist meditation internationally for thirty years, and has a Master of Arts in Mindfulness Based Core Process Psychotherapy and a Post-Qualification Master of Arts in Mindfulness Based Psychotherapeutic Practice from the Karuna Institute of Middlesex University in London. She is a cofounder and guiding teacher of Dharmagiri Meditation Centre (South Africa) and Chattanooga Insight (Tennessee), a core teacher at Insight Meditation Society (Massachusetts), and an affiliated teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center (California). She lives between South Africa and the United States. Thanissara and Kittisaro, her husband and teaching partner, coauthored Listening to the Heart: A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism, and she has written two poetry books, Garden of the Midnight Rosary and The Heart of the Bitter Almond Hedge Sutra, and Time To Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for the Earth.