On September 12, 2015, we honor Sujata on this 5th International Bhikkhuni Day (IBD). It was Sujata who offered rice milk to the Buddha after his extreme austerities which included living on one grain of rice a day.
The acceptance of this nourishment was an affirmation of the world, the earth. The earth is traditionally associated with the female – with sustenance.
As Sujata fed the Buddha, so on this IBD we bring our attention to the crisis of climate change which, without our responsible action, is headed towards the devastation of the very source of our existence, the earth, our sustenance.
This a day both to celebrate the emergence of the bhikkhuni sangha, and a time to deeply feel into our relationship with and love of the earth.
Join us in organizing a local event! Half or full-day retreats celebrating IBD can take place in a center or temple, or just as easily in someone’s home, with as few as three people gathering to practice and talk. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like suggestions or help in organizing a local event.
There are a number of resources below which could be included in an event. Both Saranaloka and Awakening Truth have Eco Dhamma pages. The talks listed on these pages would be especially valuable in stimulating discussion and reflection.
While one of the main purposes of International Bhikkhuni Day is, what Ayya Sobhana calls ‘friend-raising’, i.e. educating people about bhikkhunis, it can also be a good time to do some fund-raising to support bhikkhunis. In the past, many IBD event organizers have put out a ‘dana’ basket for participants to make donations if they wish. Funds may be sent to a specific bhikkhuni monastery/vihara or to organizations that support bhikkhunis such as Alliance for Bhikkhunis or Sakyadhita.
Please send us the date, time and details of your IBD event and we will be happy to announce on our website.
As always, we would be most grateful for reports and photos of your local events to share on our website. Please email them to email@example.com.
From Ayya Tathaaloka, “Of historical note: Sujata, a laywoman, is remembered and commemorated in the Theravada tradition as ‘The First Disciple of the Buddha,’ there even directly before his awakening.”
Ayya Santacitta & Ayya Santussika
More Information on Buddhism and Climate Change
The Interfaith Climate March to support the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris and California’s groundbreaking efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will take place from 11 am to 4 pm on November 1, 2015.
On the weekend of IBD, Ecosattva online training will start from September 13th – November 15th. Your IBD group might want to consider continuing on with this training. More>>