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.