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  The latest from Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project

Newsletter #5, Nov. 2016

Dear friends,

On 18th October, I returned from Perth, having had a peaceful and spiritually nourishing rains retreat with Ajahn Brahm. After an extremely busy year I felt very grateful to be able to channel the merits of service (including setting up ABP and arranging Ajahn's UK trip), into meditation practice, directly empowering right endeavour (samma vayama), right mind/kind-fulness (samma sati) and right stillness (samma samadhi). I extend heartfelt thanks to the BSWA community and my fellow retreatants, as well as our steadily growing Anukampa team here in the UK, who in my absence not only kept the ball rolling, but even increased its momentum! The time away allowed me to stand back and marvel at how far we have come since this time last year, when ABP was just a newly hatched idea!

Now we have 6 skilled and dedicated trustees (including Ajahn Brahm who is also our Spiritual Adviser), and I have a constitutional role as Spiritual Director. With this legal set up, we are almost ready to apply for charitable status, our next goal! We expect this to take around 3 months, and will keep you informed. We are also delighted to have another highly experienced Adviser, who was my Abbess at Dhammasara Monastery, Perth. You can see Ven Hasapanna's biography and photo on our website under 'Additional Advisers'.

Ajahn Brahm's tour

A week after my return (and intensive last-week preps!) Ajahn Brahm arrived to begin his teaching tour. It was a huge, sell-out success, and I for one am still basking in the warm afterglow! Our team worked tirelessly throughout, to ensure everything flowed smoothly, and many of us are just resurfacing after a well-earned period of rest. Ajahn Brahm, amazingly, escaped jet-lag on both legs of the journey, arriving back in Perth on November 4th with only "ordinary tiredness", in his own words!

There was a definite buzz in the air at all the venues, and Ajahn Brahm clearly enjoyed being back in his homeland. As we travelled through his childhood and student stomping grounds, he was repeatedly approached by people who thanked him for his teachings- and often for changing their life.

The Dhamma has an amazing power to bring people of all backgrounds, cultures, genders and race together and this was evidenced in the attendence at talks and retreats. Among these were friends from Poland, Bangladesh, Italy, Norway, Germany, Nepal, Singapore, Slovenia, Brazil, France and Sri Lanka, and Ajahn's wisdom, warmth (and even humour!), seemed to reach us all.

Our monastery project was also met with great enthusiasm, as many expressed their wish to be involved. Not only did the tour succeed as a community building exercise; we also raised approximately £48,000 through tickets and donations. To top it off, we recently received a very substantial donation from an anonymous donor, who simply thanked us for the opportunity to give! With this, the monastery seems set to become a reality- a few generous people already offered me temporary accommodation in England, and by this time next year we aim to have our own initial base.


A special thank you to everyone who participated and personally expressed support- I was greatly moved and encouraged by your enthusiasm!

You can now see the main talks from Ajahn's weekend retreat "Developing a Still, Happy Mind" on our website.

Connecting in the Dhamma with Anukampa Friends

To harness the enthusiasm and support many of us experienced on the tour, we would like to create one or more community groups for keeping in touch. As the Buddha emphasised, the company of like-minded people is an essential source of support and encouragement for practice and, as we witnessed on the tour, for evolving new ideas! A group could take the form of a regular informal gathering, a Dhamma discussion group, an Anukampa volunteer group, or an amalgam of all three (!), and I (Ven Canda) would be delighted to be present whenever possible. If anyone is interested and would like to discuss this further or suggest a place for meeting, please contact me at team@anukampaproject.org using the subject, 'Anukampa Friends'
Image courtesy of Annie Keating

Talks and retreats with Ven Canda

I will be residing and teaching at the Buddhistische Gesellschaft Hamburg (Buddhist Society Hamburg) from 17th November-15th December and leading the regular evening meditation/discussion programme.

Sat 3rd- Sun 4th December: Two-day non-residential retreat with Ven Canda, entitled "Becoming One's Own Best Friend"- English with German translation. All are welcome- please contact BGH for further information.

Sun 18th December: One day retreat and evening talk at Thames Buddhist Vihara, Selsdon, in celebration of Bhikkhuni Sanghamitta- the first Bhikkhuni to arrive and establish the Bhikkhuni Sangha in Sri Lanka. All are welcome- please bring cushions and contact TBV for further information.

Ajahn Brahm's next visit


Finally, we are very excited to report that Ajahn Brahm will be coming to England again next October! The exact dates and programme are yet to be arranged and confirmed- please keep posted via our website and newsletter.
 

With loving-kindness and gratitude,
Bhikkhuni Canda

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