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The latest from Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project
Newsletter #9, April 2017
> Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project Is Now A Registered Charity!
> Get Involved In Ajahn Brahm's 'Real Dhamma' Tour!
> Consolidating The Anukampa Vision On My Trip To America
> Vernonica's Head Shave Fundraiser!
> Volunteer Book-Keeper Found!
> Latest Dhamma Reflections From Ven Canda
> Spilling The Beans
> The Fourfold Assembly
> Upcoming teachings with Ayya Anandabodhi and Ven Canda
 

Dear friends,

Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project Is Now A Registered Charity! On April 12th, exactly one month to the date of submitting our application, Anukampa was granted charitable status as both a religious and an educational charity (registered charity no.1172570)! As a result, we are now eligible for tax relief which means your generosity will go much further in helping us achieve our aim! Special thanks to the dedicated efforts of volunteers Aminah Borg-Luck, Sue Dabbagh and Helen Hancke, whose thorough research helped us understand and fulfill all the legal requirements.

Get involved in Ajahn Brahm's 'Real Dhamma' Tour!

Preparations for Ajahns' tour (10th-18th October 2017) are coming on a treat and we are due to open registration in May. Before we write up the whole programme, we want to offer you a chance to suggest some titles or subjects for the talks! Feel free to add brief descriptions to elaborate your chosen subject. We may not be able to accommodate all suggestions, but look forward to being inspired! Please send your ideas by the end of April using this link.

Consolidating The Anukampa Vision On My Trip To America

For me, nothing beats practising with those who have devoted their lives to Dhamma, in a rustic and beautiful setting of their own creation. The community at Aloka Vihara is flourishing, and joy hangs in the air, as the bhikkhunis' dedication and commitment over many years bears increasingly sweet fruits! Such a monastery is a sanctuary of spiritual friendship, renunciation and simplicity- an ideal context for integrated practice. THIS is why I'm embarking on the challenging, unpredictable venture to set something similar up in the UK!
 
The role of such a facility became all the more clear after my retreat at Forest Refuge, Massachusetts. A meditation centre such as this, dedicated exclusively to silent retreats, 'grows' an energy of stillness, supporting sense restraint and focused inner work. Along with seven other nuns and many committed lay practitioners, the retreat also afforded precious opportunity to receive personalised meditation guidance from Bhante U Jagara (a key mentor throughout my monastic life) and Shaila Catherine- and my practice gained new momentum and flexibility.
Carving out retreat time is both a necessity and a luxury for anyone intent on ending suffering, yet we cant live in retreat forever! Moreover, mature practice demands we integrate insights gained on retreat into every-day life, if we are to experience genuine, lasting benefit. A stay at a monastery can help with transitioning from retreat and learning integration. Not only that, but a retreat can be so transformative that we may emerge with an aspiration to seek a simpler and quieter life, which conduces to full awakening.
 
I envisage creating a place which is more monastery than meditation centre, yet more meditative than most monasteries (!); where happy community life does not become an end in itself, but a potent support for liberation. When the balance between service and meditation is right, each step of the Noble Path reinforces the others, to eventually culminate in 'Right Liberation' (AN10:103 and 115)
 
Different levels of engagement with the ordained community will be possible: from offering the daily meal, staying a few days, months...or perhaps even longer in a stewardship role. And of course, monastic training from the eight precept 'anagarika' right up to full 'bhikkhuni' ordination will be possible for women with a calling to monastic life. As we endeavour to bring this vision to life, I feel so grateful for the inspiration and support of bhikkhunis and practitioners everywhere, who bring their whole heart to the practice- unapologetically, authentically and with great courage and love.

Vernonica's Head Shave Fundraiser!

We send our heartfelt gratitude and rejoice with Veronica Darmali (of the BSWA's Kalyana Mitta group), who collected over 4,440 Aussie dollars towards our monastery by shaving off her hair on her 29th birthday!

Volunteer Book-Keeper Found!

We are delighted to welcome Tehani Kalauracchi to our team who will take up a role as our new volunteer book-keeper. Tehani is thrilled to have this opportunity to serve, especially after her recent stay at Bodhinyana Monastery.

Latest Dhamma Reflections From Ven Canda

On April 4th I had the privilege of talking to a culturally diverse group of young, open-minded people in Brooklyn, courtesy of New York Insight. Here is the recording: 'Developing a Soft Mind'.

About fifty people attended the half-day retreat at Leicester Buddhist Vihara on 15th April, occupying the shrine room, staircase and corridor! I am grateful to the committee and attendees for such a warm welcome. As set of talks and guided meditations from the day is available here.

Spilling The Beans

Ajahn Brahm's old comrade and first abbot of Bodhinyana, John Cianciossi, gives an insider's perspective on what Ajahn is really like! Watch this fascinating account to warm you up for his pending visit.

The Fourfold Assembly

At the end of my retreat in America I was fortune to meet Bhante Analayo, renowned Buddhist scholar and meditation teacher. Check out his article on the importance of bhikkhunis and bhikkhus; lay-women and men.

Upcoming Teachings with Ayya Anandabodhi and Ven Canda

Ayya Anandabodhi and I will be teaching together in the UK on the following dates:

9th June, 7.30-9.30pm:Meditation, Dhamma Talk: "Meeting the Dhamma Within" and Dhamma discussion at Thames Buddhist Vihara.

11th June, 10am-5pm:One day retreat at Primrose Hill Library, London Insight, "The Courageous Heart." Please register here soon.

I am so looking forward to welcoming Ayya Anandabodhi back on UK soil, and hope that you are too!

With deep loving kindness,
Bhikkhuni Candā
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