News Archive

News Archive

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Two Events to Benefit the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery at IMC, Redwood City


Women in Buddhism – From the Scriptures to Early Western Scholars: A Symposium to Honor the Nuns of Aloka Vihara.

Saturday, November 14, 2015
9 am – 4 pm

The Sati Center will host a symposium highlighting the accomplishments of women scholars in the early years of Buddhist Studies in the West, on the one hand, and portraits of women as presented in the scriptures of early Buddhist literature on the other. We will celebrate the contributions of these women as part of a benefit to support the pioneering Theravada Buddhist nuns living at Aloka Vihara in the Sierra foothills. More >>

‘The Great Passing Away of Mahapajapati’: A dramatization based on an ancient poem that confidently asserts the spiritual potential of women.

Saturday, November 14, 2015
7:30 pm – 9 pm

IMC will host a grand dramatization of the great passing away of the first Buddhist nun, the Buddha’s aunt and adoptive mother, Mahāpajāpatī. The dramatization will be based on an ancient poem that confidently asserts the spiritual potential of women. It also celebrates the role Buddhist nuns have for teaching the Dharma and displaying the attainment of liberation. It is likely this poem was originally composed to be dramatized. It is also likely that it was composed by women at a time when the nuns order was quite strong, before the decline of the position of women in Buddhism. Dramatizing the poem at IMC is thus a way of reviving an ancient form of teaching active among ancient Buddhist women. More >>
Download the flyer

Insight Meditation Center
108 Birch St.
Redwood City, CA

November 1st, 2015

Sacramento Interfaith Climate March

The Sacramento Interfaith Climate March on November 1 was blessed with cleansing rain and over 100 participants. A group of wonderful speakers from 7 different faiths inspired us with the wisdom and compassion of their traditions. More >>

Oct 31 & November 1, 2015

Kathina Celebrations

From Ayya Sudhamma: Our Kathina celebrations a couple weeks ago – Sat. Oct 31st in Greenville and Sunday Nov 1st here – went beautifully well. We actually had 7 nuns here! Myself, our 4 visiting Theravada bhikkhunis, and 2 Vietnamese Mahayana nuns who came from a temple in Charlotte to help us celebrate.

A full year ago Ayya Sudinna and Ayya Sudhamma made a pact to attend each others’ Kathinas, and to hold the Kathinas of their two temples (viharas) on a Saturday & Sunday of the same weekend, to enable them both to gain the necessary full quorum of five bhikkhunis; and they strategized together on invitations to their bhikkhuni friends.Katina

Such cooperative planning is traditional, as well, for temples often schedule their Kathina dates methodically to enable monks to support each others’ celebrations.

The Kathina celebrations each year mark the end of India’s Rainy Season (Vassa). Given the weather here, soon we too will feel like we have lived through a monsoon and that it’s time for a Kathina!

October 25, 2015

Report from the 21st Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering & End of Vassa

BUddhist ConferenceAyya Tathaaloka reports that “Ayya Sobhana, Samaneri Niyyanika and i returned last night under a moon waxing full from the 21st Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering, this year held for the very first time in Washington State, at Sravasti Abbey.” Read Ayya Tathaaloka’s full report.

The Time to Act is Now: A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change

wheel3On Nov 28, 2015, signatures from faith statements from around the world will be presented to leaders at the UN Climate Conference (COP21). We invite you to endorse this statement from the Buddhist community.

Together, with over 5000 Buddhist practitioners, and significant leaders such as the Dalai Lama, the Karmarpa, and Thich Nhat Hanh, The One Earth Sangha is presenting The Time to Act is Now, A Buddhist Declaration on Climate Change, co-authored by David Loy, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi and John Stanley. The declaration, authored in 2009 and updated in 2015, represents a global Buddhist statement and will be presented under the name, “Global Buddhist Climate Change Collective” on November 28th in Paris when there will a ceremony of all faith based petitions. The total number of signatures may be in the millions.

More >>

Fall, 2015

A new translation of the first anthology of women’s spiritual poetry

TherigathaRead this review in Tricycle of this recently published translation by Charles Hallisey of the Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women published by Harvard University Press. More >>

September 15, 2015

Issue #2 of the Forest Path, the newsletter of the Bhavana Scoiety

The_Forest_Path_Issue_2-1This excellent issue is devoted to the discussion of Bhikkhunis and covers:

  • The recent European bhikkhuni ordination
  • An article by Anagarika Jayantha
  • The Therigatha

These articles and more can be read here.

September 13, 2015

Sāmaņerī Anuruddhā’s Pabbajja Ceremony

samaneri-anuruddha-2From Sati Saraniya Hermitage: We are blessed to have a new sāmaņerī. On September 13, 2015, with great joy we gathered for Sāmaņerī Anuruddhā’s ordination or pabbajjā in the meditation hall at Sati Saraniya Hermitage.

Boundless gratitude especially to all our parents, teachers, friends in the community – near and far – who helped bring forth these blessings; and to the wider Sangha who continue to inspire us with their dedicated practice on the Noble Eightfold Path.
More photos >>

September 12, 2015

Aloka Vihara Almsgiving Ceremony


From Emily and Mindy of Friends of Aloka Vihara:
It was a beautiful celebration of generosity and community. Despite the smoke from wildfires burning in the area and warm temperatures, more than 50 lay people gathered, along with five bhikkhunis and three anagarikas for this year’s ceremony. More >>

September 2, 2015

Opportunity to Support Purchase of Dhammadharini Monastery

Ayya Tathaaloka and Ayya Sobhana at the gate of the potential new “Sonoma Mountain Bhikkhuni Refuge”

Ayya Tathaaloka and Ayya Sobhana at the gate of the potential new “Sonoma Mountain Bhikkhuni Refuge”

Dear and Treasured Friends and Sangha,

I am pleased to thank everyone who has been so generous in helping us come as far as we have. We are now ready and poised to take the next step: the purchase and offering of our Bhikkhuni Monastery (vihara).

There are Dhammadharini supporters and friends-of-friends here in our area and around the world who are uniting behind this vital and interconnected worldwide community for the noble and worthy cause of the Bhikkhuni Sangha.

The rise of the Feminine wisdom in Buddhism and its role in the Fourfold Sangha will be nurtured and encouraged by a permanent Monastery. More >>

August 18, 2015

New Book by Thanissara Mary Weinberg

Time-to-stand-upTime to Stand Up: An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth — The Buddha’s Life and Message through Feminine Eyes (Sacred Activism)

Time to Stand Up retells the story of the historical Buddha, one of the greatest sacred activists of all time, as a practical human being whose teachings of freedom from suffering are more relevant than ever in this time of global peril. Evolving onward from the patriarchal template of spiritual warriors and their quests, former nun Thanissara explores awakening from within a feminine view where the archetypes of lover and nurturer are placed as central and essential for a sustainable world.

More >>

August 1, 2015

Anagarika Martha’s Precepts Day

From Ayya Tathaaloka: On August 1, under the Blue Asalha Full Moon, we celebrated the 2610th lunar anniversary of the Buddha’s own going forth into homelessness in search of the Way, and the 2604th anniversary of his very first teaching “Turning the Wheel of the Dhamma.” Saheli Anuththara, together with her parents, friends and family also offered the Vassa Aradhana, the invitation to our bhikkhunis to dwell for the Vassa and the pledge to offer the Kathina at the end.

On this lunar anniversary of the bodhisatta’s going forth, our dear friend Martha, who has been staying with our bhikkhunis in Northern California for the past 3 months, had her hair cut off, her head shaved, donned the white robes of the anagarika, and undertaking the anagarika precepts, went forth into monastic life with our Dhammadharini women’s monastic community.

June 23 – 30, 2015

14th Sakyadhita International Conference

The 14th Sakyadhita Conference was held in Indonesia at the Sambi Resort, located in the highlands on the outskirts of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The tropical ambiance and spacious grounds at Sambi were an ideal setting for meditation, educational presentations, workshops, interactive discussions, and cultural exchanges. As with all Sakyadhita International Conferences, all voices were welcome; women and men, lay and ordained of all ages, nationalities, and perspectives.

June 21, 2015


Two Historic Bhikkhuni Ordinations on June 21, 2015

Bhikkhuni ordinations were held in Indonesia and Germany. Read more >>

June 6, 2015

2015 Vesaka at Dhammadharini Vihara with Anagarika Ordination

VesakNews from Dhammadharini: “We celebrated Vesaka at our temporary Dhammadharini Vihara in Santa Rosa on June 6th, with monastics from three monasteries: Aloka Vihara in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Aranya Bodhi Hermitage on the Sonoma Coast, and our Dhammadharini Vihara. In the morning our friend Maryanne Southam shaved off her hair, requested to go forth as an anagarika for three months, donned the white anagarika robes, and undertook the angarika precepts with Ayya Tathālokā as her preceptor. She received the new name Anagarika Gambhīrapaññā. Also, Anagarika Michelle, who has been an anagarika now for 9 months, made an asservation to the Bhikkhuni Sangha, that she wants to train for samaneri pabbaja and bhikkhuni ordination. She was also blessed with a new Pali name: Anagarika Aneñjañānī. We are delighted to see our aspiring friends going forth into the monastic path.”

May 24, 2015

Newbury Buddhist Monastery Officially Opened

Opening-Ceremony-1It was with great rejoicing, and in the presence of about 500 lay people and 15 monastics, that the Newbury Buddhist Monastery was officially opened on Sunday, 24th May 2015.

May 16, 2015

Buddhist Leaders Conference at the White House

us-first-white-house-buddhist-leaders-conferenceA diverse gathering of Buddhist teachers and leaders, from a range of lineages, ethnic backgrounds, and geographical locations, made it to Washington DC to take part in what was seen as a historic occasion. This was the first time a range of Buddhist representatives had been invited and welcomed into the White House, to register their concerns, and make themselves known as a body that has political and social impact. Perhaps more important, was that we, as Buddhists, recognized ourselves as stepping out to engage more fully on the political stage. More >>

April 25, 2015

News from the Dhamma Moli Project in Nepal After the Devastating Earthquake

Venerable Dhammavijaya, Venerable Molini and the young novice nuns at the Dhamma Moli Project are safe after the earthquake but there has been damage to the women’s monastic residence which includes an ancient Buddhist shrine.

If you wish to contribute to help repair the damage to Dhamma Moli go to any of the following:

You can contribute to more broad-based disaster relief via a Buddhist organization through the following:

  • Buddhist Global Relief, founded by Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi, has an emergency disaster fund. Disaster relief donations BGR receives are contributed to worthy on-the-ground relief organizations when and where disasters happen.
  • Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending four teams of medical and non-medical staff to Nepal to assist those affected by the Earthquake. The teams will leave early tomorrow morning from Bihar state in India–where MSF has been working since 2007–which is close to the border with Nepal.
  • The Red Cross, which Bhikkhu Bodhi has also suggested.

April 25, 2015

Talk by Venerable Bhikkhuni Thanasanti

amma-bio-picVenerable Bhikkhuni Thanasanti will appear in Washington, DC at American University for a talk that is open to the public. Saturday April 25th at 1 pm. 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016. This will be her only public event while in the DC area.

Download the flyer for more info >>

March 10, 2015

From the Buddhistdoor: Sri Lankan Buddhist Monk to Establish College for Nuns

In a ground-breaking step forward for the development of bhikkhuni ordination in the Theravada tradition, a Sri Lankan monk has pledged to establish a Pirivena (monastic college) for nuns. More >>


March 8, 2015

Anagarikā Ordination at Compassion Monastery

A beautiful ordination on Sunday, March 8th, welcomed Sister Cittānandā (Chau) into the Karuna Buddhist Vihara community in Mountain View, CA.

For more photos visit their Facebook page at

February 26, 2015

Ruth-DennisonRuth Denison Dies at 92

From the Saranaloka Foundation: Ruth Denison passed away at 3:00 AM on Thursday February 26th at Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center.

Ruth originally initiated the idea of creating a foundation to support nuns from the Ajahn Chah lineage and asked Jill Boone to carry that out. Jill together with several other board members created Saranaloka Foundation in 2004, which supports us to this day.

Ruth died peacefully with close disciples around her and people holding vigil for her all over the world. It happened that our community at Aloka Vihara was meditating through the night and ending at 3:00 AM, just at the time Ruth breathed her last. We shared blessings for the benefit of all beings.

Please click here for more information about Ruth’s extraordinary life and service in the Dhamma.

February 17, 2015

P1050369Samaneri Ordination at Santi Forest Monastery

At the Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, Australia, the Samaneri Ordination (Pabbajja) of Sayalay Vimalanyani took place on February 17, 2015 in the Big Cave. Ajahn Sujato performed the ordination.

More >>

February 15 – 24, 2015

Ajahn Brahm visits the Bay Area

ajahn-brahmAjahn Brahm visited the Bay Area in February for a speaking tour to benefit the Dhammadharini Bhikkhuni Sangha.


February 1, 2015

Ordination of 33 women in Sri Lanka

Thirty three women entered the order of Bhikkunies under the tutelage of Ven. Dr. Kolonnawe Kusuma Therani at the Hettiyadeniya Sri Sudharshana Dharmanikethana on yesterday (31). Chief incumbent of the Horana Arya Kema Meditation Centre, Ven. Dr. Kusuma Therani said it was for the first time in the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka after the ordination of 500 women by Ven. Sanghamitta Therani, who established the order of Bhikkunies, that a large number of women entered the order of Bhikkhunies.

More >>

January 24, 2015

KarmapaGyalwang Karmapa Makes Historic Announcement on Restoring Nuns’ Ordination

During the Second Arya Kshema Winter Dharma Gathering the Gyalwang Karmapa made the historical announcement that, beginning next year, he would take concrete steps towards restoring nuns’ vows in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. Read More >>

January 21, 2015

We Are In This Together: Compassion and Climate Change

embody-compassionThis new article by Brenna Artinger is based on an interview with Venerable Bhikkhuni Thanasanti and discusses compassion and climate change. Read Amma Thanasanti’s views on Buddhism and climate action, how we are part of this crisis, and how we can make a difference.

Go to article >>

Dec. 20, 2014

Saranaloka Foundation is in the process of purchasing property for Aloka Vihara


Saranaloka Foundation is in the process of purchasing the 17-acre rural property and house in the Sierra Foothills that has been rented for Aloka Vihara since May 2014. Read more >>

December 17, 2014

From the Bangkok Post – Mediation between the Sangha Supreme Council and Bhikkhunis

726760The National Human Rights Commissioner (NHRC) has offered to mediate the dispute between the Sangha Supreme Council and Bhikkhunis

A group of Bhikkhunis and laywomen visited members of the National Reform Council (NRC) at parliament last Friday in protest against the council’s announcement reiterating its stance against female ordination, which they say breaches women’s rights.

More >>

Dec. 5, 2014

Thai Ordination

There was an ordination ceremony at the Medicine Buddha Vihara in Thailand on December 5th. The 112 candidates who were ordained (a little over 108 that were originally planned) came from 6 countries: Thailand, U.S.A. Denmark, Brunei, Austria and Switzerland.

Nov. 29, 2014

Bhikkhuni Ordination in Thailand


On Nov 29, after two years of preparatory training, venerable samaneris Dhammadipa and six of their peers were ordained at Thippayasathandhamma Bhikkhuni Arama on Koh Yoh Island in Songkhla, southern Thailand.

Photo: courtesy of Ven Dhammadipa Bhikkhuni and Ven Dhammakamala Bhikkhuni, Thippayasathadhamma Bhikkhuni Arama

November 15, 2014

Anagarika Precept Ceremony at Santi Forest Monastery, Australia

The Santi Forest Monastery in Bundanoon, Australia, welcomed Anagarika Thilina at her Anagarika Precept Ceremony. Read more >>

November 1, 2014

Ordination at Aloka Vihara in Placerville, CA

A beautiful and historic ordination for Ayya Jayati was held at Aloka Vihara in Placerville, CA.
More on Ayya Jayati
A Personal Perspective: Ayya Jayati’s Bhikkhuni Ordination
You Just Need to Be Hungry – article by Margo Mallar on Ayya Jayati