Venerable Sujiva (born 1951) is a Theravada Buddhist monk (samanéra) and a world-renowned teacher of Buddhist meditation Vipassaná and Metta. In addition to teaching meditation techniques, he also lectures on Buddhist philosophy – Abhidhamma. He is also the author of many publications on Buddhist meditation and several poetry collections.
Venerable Sujiva grew up in a large Chinese family in Malaysia’s largest city, Kuala Lumpur. In college (University of Malaya), he studied agriculture with a focus on botany and forestry. During his student years, he became interested in Buddhism and various meditation techniques. His interest in Buddhism and meditation deepened so much that after successfully completing his studies in 1975, he became a Buddhist monk, or rather a samanera – novice. During his monastic training he practiced under various teachers from Malaysia, Burma (modern day Myanmar) and Thailand (Ajahn Phet). His teachers included, among others, the venerable Sayadaw U Pandita of the famous Sasana Yeiktha (Mahasi Buddhist Meditation Centre) in Rangoon, Burma.
While in the jungles of Sarawak (East Malaysia), he contracted malaria and his health forced him to settle down. He founded the Santisukharama hermitage in Kota Tinggi, Johor (Malaysia), where from 1984 he began to teach vipassana and metta meditation himself. Subsequently, he also conducted many meditation courses around the country and inspired the establishment of other meditation centers in Malaysia. An important milestone in his teaching activity was the year 1995, when he started teaching meditation abroad. Since then, he has taught courses in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, many countries in Europe and the United States. Since 1999, he has been teaching vipassana and metta meditation also in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. More than a year ago, bhatne went into seclusion. He now resides only in an Italian meditation center and teaches privately.
Teaching and publishing activities
The method that bhante Sujiva uses is based on the Burmese Theravada tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw. During its sessions, a relatively strict regime is followed, an individual interview (“interview”) is provided every other day, if possible, sometimes even every day. Noble silence is required throughout the course. However, Bhante’s approach to students is very friendly and characterized by deep understanding.
Bhante Sujiva is the author of several books on Buddhist meditation and poetry. He is respected by his disciples primarily for his deep understanding of the Buddha’s teachings combined with extraordinary love and compassion.