Samita ASBL in Belgium now has a contract to purchase land in Engreux for the new monastery!
From their website:
We can now start to look at plans for the new buildings together with the architect and ask for quotes from building firms.
The first stage will be just the main structure of the building . This means it will have a roof and walls and the foundation and ground-works will be done (like sewage system) and water and electricity will be inside the building. However, plumbing, wiring, kitchen, toilet, bathroom, painting, flooring, etc. still will need to be done by us and volunteers. If you want to help with this, most likely in the spring and summer of 2017, please contact us.
Next to this 2-3 kutis will be built. These are around 3000-4000 Euro each. They are small, simple, wooden buildings of around 10 m2 with sufficient insulation for the winter, electricity and possibly a small stove.
You can make an instant difference by donating, even a small amount will be helpful.
Charlotte Buddhist Vihara is having a gathering Saturday, December 17th, for Sanghamitta Day – which honors the great enlightened nun Arahant Sanghamitta Bhikkhuni.
Following Ajahn Brahm’s much-anticipated visit to the UK, the team at Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project are moving nearer to their aim of establishing a bhikkhuni monastery in the UK. In this article, British bhikkhuni Venerable Candā, founder and spiritual director of Anukampa, provides updates on the latest news and the next steps, sharing excerpts from two discussions with Anukampa’s spiritual advisor, Ajahn Brahm. More >>
Each year since the time of the Buddha, at the end of three-month Rains Retreat or Vassa, the lay communities in the area of Buddhist monasteries gather to celebrate the end of the Vassa and to honor the relationship of generosity and gratitude between the supporters and monastics.
The ceremony is usually initiated by one or a group of supporters to make the offer of cloth for robe-making and other necessities for the monastery in the Bha Pah or Kathina ceremony, as for the latter occasion, the cloth is then cut, sewn and dyed by the monastics to make a robe on the same day.
This year, Bha Pah ceremony is planned and will be offered to Dhammadharini Monastery in Penngrove by the French Family of Cloverdale and and Ms Yupin Suksun of Ukiah, and is opened to all well-wisher to join.
From Mahapajapati Monastery:
Assistant Abbess Ayya Vimala, Belgian Ayya Vimala, Samaneri Parayana, and Anagarika Talia attended Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara’s kathina in Los Angeles. There was an all-night chanting ceremony the evening before, and, then, in the morning, two women were ordained as samaneris. After the ordination, there was a large lunch dana with many male and female monastics in attendance, and then the ceremony of offering the robe cloth. It was a wonderful coming together of the fourfold assembly of men and women monastics and men and women lay practitioners.
Asistant Abbess Ayya Vimala and Samaneri Parayana also attended Karuna Buddhist Vihara’s kathina ceremony, which is pictured above. It was a lovely gathering that included women monastics from other Theravada monasteries in California, as well as from a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Maine. We were grateful to connect with our Dhamma sisters, and to make new friends among the community of supporters of Karuna Buddhist Vihara.
From Karuṇā Sevena:
We would like to send you warm regards from ārāma Karuṇā Sevena and share good news with you. This year is of great importance to us! Venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi has just finished her tenth vassa and therefore she has become a bhikkhunī therī (a senior nun). Many blessings to our teacher!
Another news is, that The Trust Fund Karunā Sevena took a loan and purchased ārāma’s neighboring building. Currently, we are working on the administrative details of the ownership transfer. The house will be called Viveka, which means “solitude,” “seclusion” or “a state of mind free from defilements.” Starting with the new year, we should be able to offer meditators an accommodation in this new space, intended solely for their needs.
This year will be the first Katina Alms Giving Festival at Dakkhina Dhammatthala. “We are lucky to have one Theravada Bhikkhuni here in Adelaide and our community has decided to have an “Alms Giving Festival” to support and celebrate her contribution on Saturday November 12th at 9.30am.”
For more info visit their newsletter
Ayya Dhammadhira is going to be staying in Colorado Springs, and has formed a new organization independent of Awakening Truth (which is relocating to Santa Rosa with Amma Thanasanti). Ayya’s new website is: http://www.webofconnection.com/
More from Ayya Dhammadhira in the Awakening Truth Newsletter (second item) >>
The 22nd Annual Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering is coming up in Soquel (in the Santa Cruz Mountains just south of the San Francisco Bay) next week. Ayya Tathaloka and Samaneri Niyyanika from our Dhammadharini Bhikkhuni Sangha will be attending, with Ayya Tathaloka offering a presentation. Ayya Santacitta from the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery community will also be attending and participating, together with around 40 Buddhist monastics from all Buddhist monastic traditions.
The Gathering will be followed by the Buddhist Global Relief “Walk to Feed the Hungry” in San Jose on Oct 22, in which Ayya Santacitta and Ayya Santussika will join together with many of our South Bay friends and other monastic attendees of the Gathering along with local monastics. It is not too late to support the Western Buddhist Monastic Gathering, or to join in the Walk to Feed the Hungry.
A PowerPoint presentation, entitled “I Will Not Pass Away….Reinstating the Buddha’s Vision of the Four-Fold Sangha” has been developed about the history of Bhikkhunis from the time of the Buddha until present day, using the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery nuns as an example of a group of pioneering women who are helping to revive the lineage.
See it on YouTube or below.
On Sunday 18th of September, the three Bhikkhunis who had been “Ordained on One Side” by the Bhikkhuni Sangha at Santi Forest Monastery in NSW, presented themselves to the Bhikkhu Sangha at Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia. Ayya Vajira, Ayya Dhammavati and Ayya Santacari received ordination from the Bhikkhu Sangha headed by Ajahn Brahmavamso with Ajahn Brahmali acting with him as Kammavacacariyas [speakers of the action to ordain]. The witnessing Bhikkhus were Bikkhu Nitho, Bhikkhu Kassapa, Bhikkhu Sunno and Bhikkhu Nibbuto, making a Sangha of 6 Bhikkhus to perform the ordination. Five being the minimum number of Bhikkhus to perform a “Sangha Kamma” ie to enact a “legal act” of the Sangha.
Bhikkhunī Visuddhi sends many regards from her meditation retreat in her monastic dwelling in the Czech Republic. She is now observing vassa, and will be available again after the end of October.
In June and July 2016, the first meditators stayed in the beautiful, newly reconstructed ārāma. Karuṇā Sevena received very good feedback from these practitioners. You can view the photogallery here.
From the Dakkhiṇa Dhammatthala: Southern Oasis of Dhamma website
Ayya Santacārī was fortunate to be able to have her Bhikkhunī ordination Upasampada last Sunday. She is now “ordained on one side” until she and the other two newly ordained Bhikkhunīs visit the monks at Bodhinyana monastery where they will have their ordination “confirmed”.
Photos on Google Drive
From the Sati Saraniya Newsletter:
September 18th was to be a full moon time alms-giving ceremony to honour our ancestral mother – the Buddha’s surrogate mother – Arahant Mahapajapati Gotami Mahatheri.
That is no longer possible for us. Under the present conditions, we are unable to accommodate visitors and have to cancel the program. Why?
Due to many months of drought, the water shed in our area is very low and our well is drying up. Use of our facilities such as toilets/sinks/showers is severely compromised. We rely on the kind gifts of water brought in from outside sources by many different hands in glass bottles or plastic containers; and we use infrequent rainwater collected in our rain barrels.
We are so vulnerable – and yet so blessed. We are safe and well. People bring us enough food and drinking water. Day by day, we learn the art of conserving water. But more importantly, the Dhamma shows us the way to make peace with these ever-changing and unpredictable climate conditions.
Review From Shambhala Publications
This book is a contemporary and provocative examination of the women who played a role in the Buddha’s life and teachings—based on overlooked or neglected stories from ancient source material.
Most works on Buddhism tend to focus on the Buddha’s teachings rather than his history, and the biographical details that do get passed along tend to offer an incomplete picture. Stories of the women in the Buddha’s life are especially absent in most modern understandings of his life. Thus many students of Buddhism lack a fully rounded and humanistic view of the tradition—and of the Buddha himself.
Wendy Garling brings the Buddha’s story to life and challenges the status quo with fresh tellings of his history gleaned from ancient and often overlooked source material, with an emphasis on the stories of the women who influenced and shaped his life. More >>
Exciting steps are being taken towards establishing the UK’s first ever monastery for bhikkhunis. British-born Theravada monk Ajahn Brahmavamso Mahathera (better known as Ajahn Brahm), the abbot of Bodhinyana Monastery in Western Australia, has generously lent his support to Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project, as the initiative is known, and to the project’s coordinator, British nun Venerable Canda, through a busy schedule that will include a milestone teaching tour of the UK entitled, “Buddhism in the 21st Century.”
Info on Ajahn Brahm’s UK Dhamma Tour and video of his support for the this monastery can be seen here.
From the Mahapajapati FaceBook page:
Ayya Vimala came from Belgium and Ayya Satima came from Sri Lanka to receive higher ordination as bhikkhunis before the dual sangha of bhikkhunis and bhikkhus. Although the candidates were already samaneris in brown and orange robes, they began the ordination in white as a symbol of purity, as is the Sri Lankan tradition. They then changed back in their brown robes to complete the ceremony. Ayya Gunasari was their preceptor. Ayya Anandabodhi and Ayya Dhammadhira were the chanting bhikkhunis who questioned the candidates about their qualifications and reported to their preceptor. Ayya Tathaaloka gave a short talk about the Buddha’s intention to have a monastic sangha that included fully ordained women. Congratulations to Ayya Vimala and Ayya Satima!
The first Higher Ordination for Novice-Nuns (Samaneris) at Santi – fully supported by Spiritual Director Ven. Ajahn Brahmavamso will occur on Sept. 4th.
Santi Forest Monastery is delighted to be able to offer this rare opportunity to the following candidates:
It is a joyful time at Mahapajapati Monastery. We have been joined by a new full-time resident, bhikkhuni Ayya Vimala, who will serve as our assistant abbess. And we are all looking forward to August 7th, when residents Sayalay Kawsala and Anagarika Martha will be ordained as novices and Talia will be ordained as an anagarika. In addition, Ayya Gunasari is happy to be able to facilitate the higher ordination of two novices, Samaneri Satima and Samaneri Vimala, who will ordain as bhikkhunis and who plan to return to their home countries of Sri Lanka and Belgium. It’s wonderful to see the women’s monastic sangha growing, both at Mahapajapati Monastery and abroad!
The Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery is a rural monastery located in the Sierra foothills where women can live and train as nuns and the lay community can stay and practice. An opportunity to offer support to the monastery is coming up with the Almsgiving ceremony on September 3, 2016. This Almsgiving ceremony will be a unique opportunity for us as laypeople to reflect deeply on the interdependent relationship between the monastic and lay communities and to follow that reflection into action. Just as the monastics dedicate themselves to sharing the teachings with us both in word and through their way of life, we lay practitioners have the opportunity to offer what it takes to help the Bhikkhuni Sangha thrive.
Talia and Anagarika Martha will undertake anagarika and samaneri precepts on August 7th at Dharmavijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles under the auspicious of the Ven Walpola Piyananada Nayakathero, with Ven Gunasari Theri as Bhikkhuni Preceptor.
From Ayya Tathaaloka:
The biography of one of the earliest bhikkhunis in the revival of the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha. Ven Dhammawati was ordained as a bhikkhuni in 1988 in Southern California, with the support of my own venerable late preceptor, the most venerable Havanpola Ratanasara Mahathero.
From Karma Lekshe Tsomo:
“Beloved Daughter” is about how a fourteen-year-old girl became the Buddhist teacher, Dhammawati, and her many adventures along the way.
“When I first met Venerable Dhammawati, what impressed me most was her deep humility. As a young girl, with extraordinary determination, Venerable Dhammawati risked everything to flee the constraints of an ordinary life and dedicate herself to the freedom of Nibbana. Her journey through the jungles of Assam and Nagaland to Burma was both exotic and harrowing, with elephants, pythons, tigers, and arrests. Weaving history and legend, both ancient and modern, (the story) reveals the precarious path this fortunate daughter embarked upon in order to realize her dreams.”
From Mera Publications, July 12:
Thank you to all who attended the book launch today and helped make it such a lovely event. More thanks to all who helped with this project over the four years – and especially to Dhammawati Guruma for all the inspiration that she provides for the good of Nepal and for the good of the whole world.
From Ayya Tathaaloka:
Today is our big moving day – the old vihara will now be closed. But we will not begin vassa at the new monastery until the August full moon as basic initial repairs and renovations on the new monastery’s residential wing are not complete yet. With the donations that have come in for our Opening Blessings, including the AfB’s, we are able to begin those preliminary repairs and renovations.
After at least 17 years of study and 4 years of tough exams it is now official. All 20 Tibetan nuns who took their fourth and final round of exams in May have received the long-awaited news that they successfully passed. They will now be the first Tibetan women to attain the Geshema degree – a degree that was, until recently, only open to men and that is equivalent to a Doctorate in Tibetan Buddhist philosophy.
On Saturday, July 23, 2016 there will be a party and potluck lunch to celebrate the founding of the Charlotte Buddhist Vihara. This will be a relaxed community get-together starting at 10:00 am, with a few short speeches at 11:00 am, and potluck lunch at noon.