Bhante Kovida grew up on the tropical island of Jamaica, West Indies, of Chinese descent. He immigrated to Canada, studied for a science degree, then traveled overland from Europe to India and Nepal (via Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) during 1974-1975, where he began the study of Indian history and culture, Hatha Yoga and meditation, classical Indian music, and Buddhism. This journey was to be the most significant event in his life as it fulfilled a deep childhood yearning for travel and adventure, and spiritual understanding.
After two more extended visits to India plus doing some social development work in Sri Lanka, Bhante Kovida took ordination with Venerable Balangoda Anandamaitreya, a noted scholar, teacher and meditation practitioner, in January, 1991. Ven. Balangoda was a humble, learned and gracious Sri Lankan monk and was very adventurous and open-minded in temperament and throughout his long life he was able to make many visits to India and several other countries. Ven. Balangoda passed away at the venerable age of 102 after a long and dedicated service to the Dharma and Sangha.
Bhante Kovida left Sri Lanka towards the end of 1993 and began traveling and sharing the Dharma in the Toronto area with occasional visits to Hamilton, Ottawa, Halifax and Vancouver. He has also visited inmates at Warkworth Correctional Center near Campbelford, Ontario, AIDS patients at the Casey House hospice in Toronto for a period. Since then Bhante Kovida has been traveling and teaching the Dharma, as well as Hatha Yoga and Qi Gong exercises in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, United Kingdom, New Zealand and across Canada.
Although Bhante Kovida is officially of the Theravada tradition, he considers himself a student and devotee of the Buddhayana tradition, the ancient path of Shakyamuni Buddha, the forest monk and mystic.
Extracted from: http://kovida.buddhismcanada.com/biography.htm and from Bhante's book, An Inquiring Mind's Journey Into Wisdom, Compassion, Freedom and Silence.