About Rainbodhi LGBTQIA+ Buddhist Community

Rainbodhi is a spiritual friendship group for LGBTQIA+ Buddhists and an advocate for more inclusion and diversity in the broader Buddhist community. We offer meditation, dhamma discussion and social events in a safe, supportive environment. We welcome everyone regardless of race, gender, sexuality or ability. Rainbodhi is a non-sectarian group, open to people from all Buddhist traditions, other faiths or with no faith. All our events are free.

Our name combines two words: rainbow, representing our diverse community, and bodhi, the Buddhist concept of enlightenment. We believe in inclusion, compassion and wisdom.

 

A person sitting in a cave smiling wearing orange robes.

Akāliko Bhikkhu

Akāliko Bhikkhu (he/him) is the founder of Rainbodhi and an out and proud queer Buddhist monk in the Theravada forest tradition. Bhante Akāliko first encountered Buddhism as a teenager and spent over twenty years practising in different traditions both in Australia and overseas, before taking full ordination with Ajahn Brahm as his preceptor. He is on the Board of Directors for the Buddhist Council of NSW and a chaplain with the University of Western Sydney.

He currently resides with his long-term teacher, Bhante Sujato, at Lokanta Vihara, (the Monastery at the End of the World) in Sydney, Australia.

He is active on Facebook and posts regular teachings on YouTube.

 

 

A person standing in the road, waving and smiling

Venerable Bom Hyon Sunim

Venerable Bom Hyon Sunim is from the Korean Zen tradition and is resident at Therimettarama, a non-sectarian monastic residence for women in Sydney. Since founding the Healthcare Chaplaincy program for the Buddhist Council of Victoria, Sunim currently serves as a chaplain for the University of Western Sydney and is the Senior Buddhist Chaplain for the Australian Defence Forces. Sunim is also the current chair of the Australian Sangha Association.

Sunim conducts regular teachings and retreats and continues to teach regularly with the Melbourne Sakya group. She is active in interfaith and welcomes engagement with all who are spiritually and ecologically motivated to live in right relationship to the planet and all beings. 

A person standing in the road, waving and smiling

Ayya Yeshe

Ven. Ayya Yeshe (she/her) is the director of Bodhicitta Foundation, a charity in central India empowering ex “untouchable” women and children. She is also the Abbess of Bodhicitta Dakini Buddhist Monastery, in Tasmania, Australia. She is a feminist activist, contemplative, and published Author. Her Sacred chants have a large following. She is a non sectarian Buddhist nun who has been ordained 21 years.

 

A person standing in the road, waving and smiling

Kyle Neo

Kyle Neo (He/Him) is the leader of Rainbodhi Singapore. He is a designer, mentor and humanitarian volunteer, as well as the editor in chief for an online Buddhist publication, Kusala. He is the founder of Gift Back Movement and raised funds to help prevent human trafficking by walking 375kms from Bangkok to the Burmese border. He is also a cancer survivor, and has shared his experience with cancer in his book Monk Key, and has developed an app adapted from the Monk Key Book that addresses mental well-being in Asia. In 2021 he helped organise Rainbodhi’s Buddhist Toolkit online series and regularly contributes to Rainbodhi’s design needs. 

A person smiling sitting in bushland.

Letty

In the struggles against settler-colonialism, eco-cidal capitalism, racism, gendered violence, homophobia and transphobia we need to stand together now more than ever. Rainbodhi is a space for collective liberation and awakening.

Rainbodhi repairs the unwise view of “I and mine” to “we and ours” – we are stronger together.

Letty is a queer Zen/Theravadin Buddhist, living on stolen and unceded Gadigal and Bidjigal lands and pays respects to First Nations Elders, past, present and emerging across the country and the world.

 

 

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Kee

Kee was born into a Chinese Mahayana Taoist Buddhist Confucianist (phew… that’s a lot of beliefs!) family, that mainly practised ritualistic Buddhism and ancestral worship.

Curious about spirituality and the meaning of life from young, he has explored various world religions. After engaging and studying different major and minor world religions and beliefs, he settled back into Buddhism, currently mainly practising Theravada and Ch’an (Zen) Buddhist practices, but also openly explores various other Buddhist, non-sectarian, inter-denominational and secular paths.

 

 

 

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Ben

Uniting together as a spiritual community, proud of what we bring to this life as Queer and Trans* individuals is what Rainbodhi is about. For many, spirituality has been a place of discrimination and non-acceptance. Rainbodhi offers a place of spiritual nourishment for those interested on the path to awakening that is safe, affirming and inclusive.

Ben (he/him) is a Buddhist practitioner with a strong interest in the intersections of Buddhism and Queer Identity. Ben lives and works on the land of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation – a land which was, is and will always be Aboriginal Land, and pays respects to Elders past, present and emerging.

 

Photo of Claire smiling

Claire

Claire (They/Them) is travelling the Buddha’s Path and training for ordination in the Triratna sangha in Sydney.  They are particularly inspired by Metta and Sangha – the power of coming together in ways which support us to become more aware of our deep interconnection.  Claire is full of gratitude for the individuals and communities which supported them to find themselves through practice as a Non-Gendered Being. They are excited to be part of Rainbodhi’s creation of shared spaces to explore Queer being in welcoming communities, inclusive spaces for us all to be, belong and go beyond.

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Yulianto (Sin Sin)

Yulianto Lukito aka Yuli aka Sin Sin studied Buddhism at school in Indonesia since religion is compulsory there. However, it was only in his late teens and early 20’s when he began to pursue his quest for a spiritual life and he rediscovered Buddhism as a way of life instead of a boring subject to study at school.  

He has mainly been studying under the guidance of Theravada Buddhist practitioners with a special interest in early Buddhism. However, he is non-sectarian and is open to the teachings from other Buddhist traditions. 

He is passionate about elephant welfare and advocacy and in his free time, he enjoys hiking and spending time in nature.