Dharmacharya Ordination

This is a program for yogis who want to not only deepen their own practice but have a full-bodied understanding of what the Buddha taught about living life and using this understanding to serve others through developing heart-centered sangha ministries, dharmic counseling and engaged service to others. Ordinees are authorized as ministers (reverend or acharya) of the Embracing Simplicity Contemplative Order, a dual lineage. You would be supported in your efforts to share the Dharma, establish independent meditation/dharma centers, and offer suitable retreats for your members. In the teacher/student (master/disciple) tradition, it is expected that an applicant wishes to train with Venerables Pannavati and Pannadipa directly. Once “released”, they remain available to you as mentors, but there is no continuing obligation which would limit your capacity to offer service to others in accord with your own evolving wisdom, abilities, and manner. Those who successfully complete the Dharmacharya program will know with confidence where they are along the path and be able to meaningfully support others.

Are You Prepared to Take the Next Step On Your Dharma Path?

In the words of Venerable Pannavati Bhikkhuni, co-founder and principal instructor of the Dharmacharya Program,  “A Dharmacharya is an exemplar – one who lives the Dharma (teachings of the Buddha); one who teaches the Dharma by example. This program is for those who want to BE the Dharma — not just teach it!”

For the dozens of students who have experienced the Dharmacharya Program under the tutelage of Venerables Pannavati and Pannadipa Bhikkhu since it began in 2014, this program which culminates in lay ordination has been truly life transforming. It has lead them through the steps to realize the wisdom of the Dharma while finding their own passion in learning how to live it every day.

We are therefore pleased to announce the next class of the Dharmacharya Program will begin June 1, 2018. Applications will be accepted through May 28, 2018.


Through individual communication, monthly group teleconferencing, video trainings and regional retreats, the Venerables, along with several guest teachers, will be working with the chosen yogis in each class on an individualized student-teacher journey to bring them to the threshold of a new stage in their life’s spiritual work. For this reason, enrollment is very limited.….If you feel you are being led to undertake a deeper level of learning and growth along the Buddhist path and are committed to becoming a refuge for others through developing heart-centered ministries, dharmic counseling and engaged service to others , you are invited to apply to join in this two-year odyssey of personal growth. The attached document describes the program more fully, including its qualifications and requirements.

While students are held to a higher standard of conduct, knowledge and application, celibacy is NOT required. Enrollment acceptance does NOT guarantee ordination. Each yogi will be evaluated throughout whatever time they are in the program and may withdraw or be released from the formation if the teachers deem that the most appropriate response to the interactive engagement that has occurred. If they complete the first year, however, that will signify a continuing acceptance and likelihood of graduation and ordination.

For requirements and qualifications for application to the course, please review the Dharmacharya Program summary.

Selection for inclusion in this highly personalized program will be determined by the Venerables based in part on the applicant’s responses to questions in the Application along with a personal interview and references (not always required).

To apply for admission to the 2018 Dharmacharya Program, use the form below

We look forward to working with you during this next portion of your path toward Dharmacharya ordination. If you choose to embrace this opportunity for growth and self-discovery, you are leaving a legacy to the world, even as you create the conditions to overcome samsara.  

Your application could take up to a month to process.