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  The latest from Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project

Newsletter #7, Dec 2016

Dear friends,

As this year comes to a close, the Anukampa team and I would like to express heartfelt gratitude to every one of you, our friends, trustees and supporters; not to mention our revered Spiritual Advisor and Teacher Extraordinaire, Ajahn Brahm! All of you have contributed to Anukampa in your own unique way, thus helping us get off the ground. I truly hope our combined endeavours have been of benefit to you, and, as we take wing, hope you will continue to be involved in a way that deepens your practice and brings you compassion, wisdom and peace.

New Guided Meditation and Dhamma Talk

To keep you in kind warm spirits over the chilly winter, you may enjoy this talk and guided meditation offered as part of the Sanghamitta Day programme at Thames Buddhist Vihara. Thanks to everyone who joined us and especially to chief monk Ven. Kanthale Wijithawansa for his support.

Dhamma Adventures in Germany

After Ajahn Brahm's tour, I spent a month as a guest of the BGH Hamburg, one of the oldest Buddhist Societys in Europe. I was warmly welcomed and invited to guide bi-weekly sutta and meditation classes, where we covered topics such as communal harmony, resolving conflict, and right view. I was impressed by the participants knowledge and engagement with the teachings, and how they sincerely try to apply them in every day life.

I also led a weekend retreat. We enquired into ways of befriending our body, emotions, physical sensations, thoughts and even meditation objects such as happiness, by cultivating compassionate awareness in our relationship to experience. We found this especially important when encountering those aspects of ourselves that we tend to reject, or dissociate from, and the negative inner-talk many of us get habituated to.

Unfortunately the recordings I took were very poor quality, but I hope to hold a similarly themed retreat in England next spring so I can share the teachings with you in person.

Apart from deepening long-term connections with my German dhamma friends, highlights included meeting Bhante Ananda, of the Mahabodhi Society, Bangalore, and hearing of the Society's incredible work running training monasteries for monks and nuns, hospitals, schools and retirement homes throughout India. You can read more about their work, here.

I also had the privilege of sharing my attic space (which we christened "Sunshine Dwelling"!) with Ajahn Cittapala, a very senior nun at Amaravati. Our meeting afforded an invaluable opportunity to tap into her wisdom on the challenges and potentials of community life, thus connecting me to a wider support network here in the UK. 

Thanks to the board members of the BGH and everyone else who made my stay so beneficial, and to everyone who participated in the daily offering of food!

Anukampa Friends and Trust Meeting

Soon after my arrival back in London, we had a trust meeting to attend to final requirements for our charitable application. On 20th December our first Anukampa Friends meeting took place at our new webmasters teashop, Teanamu Chaya Teahouse. We meditated together for about 40 minutes, and then had a dhamma reflection and animated disussion. If you would like to attend our next meeting scheduled for April, you can send me an email using the subject heading: Anukampa Friends.

Across the Atlantic Again!

In January I'm off to Aloka Vihara again, to spend the bulk of the winter retreat with the bhikkhunis there, before undertaking a month's retreat with Bhante U Jagara and Shaila Catherine at Forest Refuge.

Before we are in a position to start our monastery, and between preparations for Ajahn Brahm's tour, I'm taking every available opportunity to learn as much as possible about establishing community, and to strengthen my mind in Dhamma. May we all incline ever more deeply to the Dhamma so we can be of true, lasting benefit to ourselves and others.

With loving-kindness,
Bhikkhuni Canda

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