The latest from Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project
Newsletter 01, May 2016


Dear friends,

Registration for Ajahn Brahm's Dhamma tour, 'Buddhism in the Twenty-First Century,' opened a few weeks ago, and over 120 people have already booked! This is our first exciting step towards developing a bhikkhuni monastery in the UK.

We are also thrilled to announce that Ajahn Brahm has agreed to be Spiritual Adviser to Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project; a sign of his dedicated support, and proof that he "walks his talk!"

Why do we need bhikkhuni monasteries?

One beautiful aspect of Buddhism is the relationship of mutual dependence between the lay and monastic communities. Through providing material support, the laity enable monastics to devote their whole lives to practicing the Noble Eightfold Path. In return, lay women and men benefit greatly from the peaceful presence of a monastery, which offers them the wonderful opportunity to cultivate generosity, further develop their own spiritual practice, and receive both guidance and inspiration.  

The Buddha taught seven things that are essential to the longevity of the Dhamma, and each one rests on having an inter-related community of bhikkhunis, bhikkhus, laywomen and laymen, known as the fourfold assembly (Kimbila Sutta AN 7:59).

At present, there are many monks' monasteries worldwide, but very few for women, and even fewer for those who wish to train towards bhikkhuni ordination. We need to step up equality in terms of practice and ordination opportunities for women, for Buddhism to thrive and remain relevant in the 21st century. I had been a novice nun in Burma for four years, when Ajahn Brahm told me about bhikkhunis practising in Perth. A wave of inspired joy swept through me and I knew instantly in my heart: if I had the chance for full ordination I'd take it! 

Where will the new monastery be?

Simple answer - wherever there is most interest and support! The project is in your hands as much as ours, and involves a process.

According to UK law we need to raise £5,000 through fundraising, before we can register as a charity. The next step is establishing a bhikkhuni presence, through spending increasing periods of time in England, in response to teaching invitations.

How will things evolve?

Once we've found a conducive location with a local support network we will be offering regular Dhamma talks, sutta discussion groups and meditation sessions, emphasising essential practices like loving-kindness, and "kindfulness" (kindness + mindfulness). Initially we would rent a small place and eventually look for something larger and more permanent in a rural area. Set in rolling hills or overlooking the sea, it would be tranquil and calming, yet accessible for those wishing to offer the daily meal. Devon or Brighton come to mind, but it is all uncertain as the teachings remind us...

Our main intention is to create a harmonious meditation monastery, dedicated to the goal of awakening!

A Global Sangha

L-R Ven Bhikkhunis Candā, Santussika, Dhammadhira, HyoKuen, Santacitta and Anandabodhi

This year heralds the 2600th Anniversary of the Bhikkhuni Sangha, reminding us of our noble inheritance as female monastic practitioners.

I am currently visiting Aloka Vihara monastery in California. It is deeply resourcing to live and practise with courageous pioneering bhikkhunis and to sense my connection with a flourishing international women's sangha. I have also been fortunate enough to visit the Dhammadharini sangha and see their newly acquired property, attend a novice ordination at Karuna Buddhist Vihara and sit a retreat with Ajahn Sucitto at Black Mountain Retreat Center.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Alliance for Bhikkhunis, who sponsored this inspirational trip.

Wandering pilgrimage in Derbyshire

From 17th - 22nd June I will be walking in my beautiful home county with a supporter, from Bakewell to Manchester, and offering Dhamma reflections at the Manchester Centre for Buddhist Meditation, Chorlton, on Tuesday 21st June. Please contact them for further details.

Extra Ajahn Brahm talk! Friday 28th October, 2-4pm

Due to the popularity of Ajahn's visit and his indefatigable character, ABP have organised an additional London talk, entitled "Contentment and Letting Go", at a venue that boasts the best coffee in town (...although after the talk you might no longer need it!)

Those of you who have signed up for retreat news via the form on our website, will be notified a few days before tickets are available.

Thank you for taking these first steps with us!

With loving-kindness,
Bhikkhuni Canda
(founder of Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project)

Copyright © 2016 Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project
Aspen Cottage
No 83, The Green
Ewell, Surrey KT17 3JX
United Kingdom

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