Newsletter # 53 ~ May 2023     

Dear <<First Name>>,

We hope this bumper newsletter finds you very well and we invite you to settle down with a nice cup of tea (especially if you are English!) for a good read. With so many teaching and other activities, it has been a while since we shared our news - and there is much to share! 

Ajahn Brahmali's imminent trip is at the forefront of our minds, and you can find links to book in for his events beginning on 10th May if you haven't already done so. We invite you to a June day retreat in Cambridge called "Wisdom of Forgiveness," with Ven Upekkha and I (Ven Canda), and excitedly share the registration links to Ajahn Brahm's November tour! I am also leading a 7-day metta retreat in December, which has just two places left!

Ven Upekkha's Musings speak of her experience here in England, and you can read about our guests and goings on at the Vihara of late. Our Facebook coordinator Paul writes a very interesting article on our trip to Lancashire in 'Bhikkhunis on The Witches' Pendle Hill'. There is  also an an eye-opening interview with three Buddhist men, some lovely photos of our interactions with the Oxford Buddha Vihara Sangha, and memories fresh from the retreat in Norway I just co-taught. Lastly we share our newest Sutta discussions, meditations & talks on Anukampa's YouTube channel.

This should be enough Dhamma inspiration to last for a while, so please take your time and enjoy! :-)

Mini watercolour painting by Stefanie Reinhart from Norway, offered to me during the retreat.

Zoomi Bhikkhuni

~ Meet Regularly Online With Ven Canda - and Ven Upekkha :-)

Fridays – Sutta Discussion Group 

18:45 – 20:00pm UK time 

These sessions follow Bhikkhu Bodhi's book, "Social and Communal Harmony." They are educational, interactive and inspirational! They provide a rare opportunity to dive deeply into the Buddha's teachings and apply them to our practice in daily life, supported by the wisdom of friends.

Next dates: May 5th, 26th, Jun 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd  
Meeting Password: 909557
Saturdays – Guided Metta & Sharing Group
9:00 – 10:00am UK time

Start the weekend by expanding your heart with the powerful, sublime practice of loving kindness! This group helps us bring the long-term benefits of metta into our lives in a truly transformative way.
Next dates: May 6th (with Ayya Anandabodhi!) & 27th; June 10th & 24th
Meeting password:  01140!$M

Every Tuesday & Thursday – Silent Meditation Group
19.15 – 20.00pm  UK time 

This is a simple, silent meditation group who find sitting together very supportive to developing and maintaining a regular practice alongside friends. You may be surprised to find it supports you too!
Meeting Password: 904346

Every Wednesday –  Chanting Dedications & Blessings Group
17.30 - 18.00pm UK time

Here we chant the Karaniya Metta Sutta in Pali, the closest language to what the Buddha spoke. Together we spread beautiful loving-kindness, compassion, and blessings to those who in need of a little extra support - be they family, friends or beings throughout the world: 
Meeting password: 364195%L 

All our regular and special teaching events are found and kept up to date here:

Be Aware! You will need to be signed in to your personal zoom account to access all meetings. Please refer to our easy guidelines here.
~For security reasons please do not share links on social media, but instead refer people to our website :-)

Magnificent magnolia recently in bloom in Iffley Village near the Vihara

 Ajahn Brahmali's UK Tour


Last Chance to Book!

N.B Our Residential Retreat (13th to 20th May) is fully booked.


New Poster: Ajahn Brahmali in Bristol

If you can print and display full sized versions of this or any of our posters of Ajahn Brahmali's tour (found in our last newsletter), please write to Paul, at Thank you!

 Eye-Opening Interview With Three Men

Click below to discover:

What The Bhikkhuni Sangha Means To Male Buddhists Of Three Generations


7th April 2023 

In this thought-provoking and spontaneous interview, Ven Canda & Ven Upekkha speak to three male guests visiting Anukampa Bhikkhuni Vihara about if and why bhikkhuni ordination matters to them as male Buddhists, and what they feel bhikkhunis offer to them - and to the Buddhist world at large. The conversation is mainly directed toward Ananda (Luke), a devoted 21 year old Buddhist aspiring to ordain as a bhikkhu, and Erlend from Norway, a 47 year old Buddhist who is heavily involved in supporting Ajahn Nitho to develop a monastery in Norway. Ananda's father Patrick, who came to Buddhism through Taekwondo, offered a few words as well - so the voices of three generations are heard here. We thank Ananda, Erlend and Patrick for their kind participation and thoughts on this important matter. May all beings fulfill their spiritual aspirations!

L-R: Luke (Ananda), Patrick and Erlend

"Wisdom of Forgiveness"


 In-person day-retreat with Ven Upekkha & Ven Candā


17th June,  10:00 - 17:00 BST


This Cambridge retreat is a precious opportunity to receive teachings from two bhikkhunis! Venerable Upekkha has been staying at Anukampa Buddhist Vihara in Oxford for several months and will be returning to Australia soon after this retreat. So don't miss out on her gentle wisdom and warm-hearted teachings alongside Ven Canda!

Set in the beautiful historic city of Cambridge, where Ajahn Brahm studied and sat his first meditation retreat, the Friend's Meeting House offers a warm, friendly and conducive atmosphere for meditation. The theme of the retreat is as follows:


Forgiveness is not only about the other person - it is also about yourself. Holding on to hurts and grudges exhausts the mind and wastes our opportunity for freedom and true happiness. Accepting our shortcomings and sensitive human mind, that is prone to making mistakes, we release ourselves from our own exacting standards to enjoy the precious present moment.

With a forgiving mind, the present moment opens up to peace and unalloyed bliss that has no baggage or agenda. Unburdened by painful perceptions we have an opportunity to embrace our experience and see things as they truly are.

This day retreat will include Dhamma reflections, guided meditations, walking and silent meditation and an opportunity for Q&A.

Register here!

 Ven Upekkha's Musings


Crawling out from under a rock in Gidgegannup, I felt like a neanderthal arriving at Heathrow airport. Prepared with a stack of letters proving that it was alright to enter a country without money, I stood on the 300 or so long e-immigration line that was manned by two people. It may have been Ajahn Brahm and Ven Canda sending metta at the time, but more likely that immigration officers were on strike – I arrived in the UK safely, and my long-awaited visit to Ven Canda had finally come to be.

Peering into a computer screen in the mornings and putting on my thick coat to walk down the quaint streets of Iffley towards the Thames in the afternoons, I wonder at how transient life can be.  Having joined a forest monastery almost 14 years ago, I would never have imagined I would be sitting in front of a computer in a small terraced house in Oxford. As our abbot at Dhammasara, Ajahn Hasapanna often says, ‘Whatever you least expected - is probably what will happen’.

It has been a privilege to be part of and witness the growing community taking shape around Anukampa Bhikkhuni Vihara. Having known Ven Canda since before we took bhikkhuni ordination together in 2014, I know how hard she has worked (and still does). A Bhikkhuni Vihara in the UK is a reality.  There is a dana hall, a meditation hall, and rooms for nuns and lay guests.

More inspiring than the Vihara (not to be under-estimated, a roof over our heads!) are all those who have come by. Some long-term Buddhists and others inspired by Ven Canda’s ongoing Zoom sessions; the generosity and sincerity of everyone involved is palpable.

The highlight for me so far was an invitation from the Oxford Buddha Vihara to teach on their eight-precept day. We were warmly welcomed by the bhikkhu community and Venerable Mahasena proudly introduced the two bhikkhunis in the neighbourhood to his supporters.

A long-term supporter of the OBV wrote afterwards in an email:

"It’s just dawning on me how yesterday was such a historical moment - the four-fold assembly meeting together at the Oxford Buddha Vihara in joy and harmony! Because it was so relaxed and informal it might be easy to miss the significance of the event, but I will always remember it."

I have been very fortunate in my monastic life – to have the opportunity to practice as a fully-ordained nun, in a harmonious community in a vast forest. But I stand on the shoulders of giants. Those who had the guts to make it possible for women to live the Holy Life to its fullest – and those brave women and bhikkhunis who went before me.

May I be able to give back some of all that I have received,

Venerable Upekkha :-)

What's Been Happening at the Monastery?


Here at Anukampa Vihara we have had many delightful comings and goings, with each and every visitor enriching the community. Guests notice the peaceful, harmonious atmosphere - ‘It feels like a sanctuary, a spiritual home,’ they say. Perhaps it is the silent afternoons, the regular meditation and Dhamma talks, or the faith of the guests who might have driven hours to offer a meal; whatever it is, Anukampa Vihara has become more than the house that was occupied in November – it has become an oasis of calm in a busy and fast-paced world.

There has been a growing stream of overnight guests and drop-in visitors. Venerable Upekkha has doubled the Sangha’s presence and Grace looked after us well for seven weeks. The years of community building through "Zoomi Bhikkhuni" are finally bearing abundant fruit, with the majority of our residential guests having first met us online and since developed a lasting relationship with the community. From Norway to America (and this coming month from Perth!), everyone arrives with a heart of service, united in their aspiration to see the Bhikkhuni Sangha flourish and thrive.

After years of a solitary uphill slog, Anukampa is bursting to life, like the blossoms and leaves on the trees of Iffley Village. Thank you for supporting us in every way, both seemingly small and large.

Veronica & Roger, faithful supporters of Anukampa, with the help of their daughter Claire made a pilgrimage from Ireland & Dorset, to see the new Vihara. In the front row are two of our three guests who stayed over Easter.

Finally, to start the month of May on a high, we had the fortunate opportunity to invite two of the Oxford Buddha Vihara monks for lunch dana with us - Ven Mahasena from the Shan state of Myanmar who is currently acting abbot, and Ven Tuan from Vietnam who is studying for his PhD. The meeting was informal and filled with joy (and delicious food!). After lunch we had a fascinating discussion with Ven Tuan about the historical context of the Sarvastivadin and Early Mahayana teachings. We look forward to meeting our Dhamma brothers again at Ajahn Brahmali's Oxford events - and hopefully seeing you there too!

Here are some fun photos of the day and you can click to listen to our five minute welcome and two minute blessing chant - captured on Manori's a mobile phone!

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhuuuuuuu!

May 1st at Anukampa Buddhist Vihara, with Elena, Manori, Sarah, Chandima, and son, Stefano and Liz (the photographer!)

Bhikkhunis on the Witches' Pendle Hill!


by Paul (Anukampa Facebook Coordinator), 19th April 2023

What a blessing it has been to host Venerables Canda & Upekkha in our little cottage here in the Ribble Valley, Lancashire for a few days this month. Their presence transformed our humble abode into a mini Bhikkhuni Vihara while my partner Richard, our little beagle Amber and I vacated the house for their ease. Breakfast and lunch dana was offered daily, the regular Friday Night Sutta Discussion Class was broadcast live from our lounge and we got to know the learned Ven Upekkha a little better.

We also had the opportunity to do a memorable hike up and over nearby Pendle Hill. With its infamous connection to the Pendle Witch Trials of 1612 and the beginnings of the Quaker Movement with the divine vision of George Fox in 1652 on its summit, Pendle Hill has seen some important historic events including the sojourn of Mahatma Gandhi in a village close by in 1931. The visit of Britain's only known resident Theravada bhikkhunis at present is no less significant, in particular for the History of Buddhism in Britain. They are probably the first ever fully ordained Buddhist Nuns to ascend her heights!

Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project has brought a lot of joy to my life since becoming a volunteer back in 2016 and this has been a highlight for us. Long may the Bhikkhuni Sangha continue to grow and flourish for the benefit of all living beings!

Paul Burton :-)

Ajahn Brahm's "Wisdom Of Peace" UK Tour

 7th - 20th November 2023

We are more than thrilled to have Ajahn Brahm back in England this November! 

We are offering two mini-retreats as well as a selection of talks so that as many people as possible can have access to our much-loved meditation master, revered for his compassion, wisdom and humour.

As ever, Ajahn's main reason for coming is to support Anukampa’s monastery aim. We reached a major milestone at the end of 2022 by procuring our first Bhikkhuni Vihara and need your ongoing support to continue working towards a full-scale monastery. For this reason, all donations will be used for this purpose as well as to help us continue serving you with excellent teachings. We keep costs as low as possible thanks to volunteers who work entirely for free as an act of charity and love, yet may be able to offer some bursary support.


The Retreats:



Ajahn Brahm & Ven Canda's 3-Day Non-Residential Retreat: “Rest in Peace Before You Die!”

Sheffield Quakers, 9th - 11th November, 9.30am - 5.30pm daily


Do you ever feel like the only peace you’ll ever get is after you’re dead? You’re just so busy and burdened with the duties of life that peace feels like a different lifetime? In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to lose sight of what really matters and become consumed by stress, anxiety, and worry. Through the practice of meditation, however, we can learn to cultivate a deep sense of peace and contentment, even in the face of life's ultimate challenges; dying and death.

Ajahn Brahm and Venerable Canda bring a unique blend of wisdom, compassion, and humour  to the retreat, providing expert guidance and support as you explore the depths of your mind. Over the course of this transformative retreat, they will guide you on a journey of awakening, helping you to embrace the present moment and let go of the fears and worries that hold you back. Through a powerful combination of guided meditations, teachings, and discussion, you'll learn to connect with your deepest wisdom and find a sense of peace that can carry you through any situation. Don't wait until you're dead to find peace!

The retreat consists of silent meditation practice, Dhamma talks, guided meditations, Sutta classes from "The Word of The Buddha," and Q&A sessions. The schedule will be relaxed and the sessions optional. Participants will have full use of the whole building, including the main hall, rooms for walking meditation, lobby and kitchen for hot drinks. Participants will have full use of the whole Quakers building, including the main hall, rooms for walking meditation, lobby and kitchen for hot drinks.

More Information and Registration Here



Ajahn Brahm’s Weekend Retreat: “The Way of Buddhist Insight”


Mercure Oxford Hawkwell House, 18th - 19th Nov. 9.30am - 5.30pm 

What is the Buddha’s path of insight and how does wisdom arise? How can we learn to remove the hindrances - such as worry, aversion and desire - so that we can see things clearly, become wise and experience the bliss of Nibbana?


With Ajahn Brahm's expert guidance and compassionate support, you'll delve into the heart of Buddhist meditation practice, exploring the wise teachings of the Buddha and discovering your own innate capacity for understanding and release. Through a powerful combination of guided meditations, teachings and discussions you'll learn to cultivate a deeper connection to your own inner wisdom and uncover new levels of clarity and peace.


Whether you're a seasoned meditator or a beginner, this retreat offers a safe and nurturing environment to deepen your practice. The weekend will include Dhamma reflections, Q&A sessions, periods of seated and walking meditation and lots of laughter!

More Information and Registration Here


The Public Talks:


Tues 7th Nov: Dhamma Talk "Non-Self & Responsibility" 19:00 - 21:00, Thames Buddhist Vihara (no registration required),
Sun 12th Nov: Dhamma Talk: “Buddhist Optimism”, 17:30 - 19:30 pm, Pendulum Hotel Manchester 
Tues, Nov 14th: Dhamma Talk: “The Right Approach to Jhana”, 19:30 pm - 21:00 pm, Wolfson College, Oxford
Wed 15th Nov: Dhamma Talk: “Be Compassionate to Yourself”, 18:00 pm - 20:00 pm, Future Inns Cabot Circus Hotel, Bristol
Fri 17th Nov: Dhamma Talk: “Embracing Anxiety & Fear”, 16:30 pm - 18:30 pm, Quakers Friends Meeting House, Oxford           
Mon 20th Nov: “What is Letting Go?”, 18:30 pm - 20:30 pm, London Scottish House, Central London

Volunteers and attendees at Ajahn Brahm's November 2022 tour, Wolfson College, Oxford

"Love to Break All Boundaries"


7-day Metta Retreat With Ven Canda in Devon

3rd to 9th December 2023 ~ Only Two Places Left!

This retreat will encourage loving kindness to develop, opening your heart to well-being, calm and insight. 

Metta, or loving kindness, is a boundless quality of heart that embraces all beings, including oneself. Metta overcomes the tensions that arise from human interaction, by gradually dissolving the forces of selfishness at their root. It is therefore a great peace-maker and promoter of harmony.

The Buddha said that whatever one frequently reflects upon becomes the inclination of the mind (Dvedavitakka Sutta). This retreat will encourage the flourishing of loving kindness as a way of relating to our experience and as a systematic cultivation that dissolves the barriers we erect between "self" and "other." As we learn to incline away from harmful states of mind through loving kindness, the heart opens to ever deeper experiences of well-being and calm, which provide a powerful basis for insight.

More Information & Registration Here 

Norway Venabu Retreat Memories



On April 29th I returned back from a very rewarding teaching experience in Norway. The week-long retreat at Venabu was organised by the DNBF and led together with Ajahn Nitho, a brother in the Dhamma who also trained with Ajahn Brahm.

Protected from the blizzards and cosy inside, we taught aspects of the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths, including breath meditation, right endeavour and loving kindness, to 42 sincere and open-hearted meditators. Most people were Norwegian, with a handful from Finland, Sweden, Germany and the US. The results were very positive and people reported experiencing a softening of the heart and a deepening of their meditation. 

For me personally - and many others who fed back - it was very inspiring to have the four-fold assembly present - one young man said that this was of "global significance;" helping to "redeem Buddhism" so that the Dhamma is as fully inclusive and accessible as the Buddha intended and worked tirelessly to ensure.

The retreatants incl. gigantic teddy bear, after the retreat on 29.4.23 (shared with permission)

Latest Inspiring YouTube Teachings


~With Ven Canda & Ven Upekkha

Ven Candā & Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 36 "Why Rules?!" 17.03.23

Retreat talks: "Preparing the Mind For the Natural Breath:"

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 1: Opening Talk "The Foundations For Breath Meditation" 19.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 2: Guided Meditation "Recollecting The Good Heart" 19.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 3: Talk "Joy In Breath Meditation Is Essential For Success" 19.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 4: Guided Meditation "From Metta To Breath" 19.03.23

Ven Candā:  Day Retreat - Part 5: Q&A "Trouble Shooters Guide" 19.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 6: Closing Meditation "Boundless Metta To Heal The World" 19.03.23

Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 37 "Six Principles Of Cordiality" 24.03.23

Ven Upekkhā: Guided Meditation  "Using Our Hearts To Connect" 25.03.23

Ven Candā & Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 38 "From Quarrels To Concord" 31.03.23

Ven Candā: Guided Meditation "Together In The Safe Space Of Mettā" 01.04.23

Retreat Talks: "Guarding & Quietening the Senses:"

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 1: Opening Talk "Guarding The Senses" 26.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 2: Guided Meditation "Bringing Up Wholesome Perceptions" 26.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 3: Dhamma Talk "Quietening & Cooling The Senses" 26.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 4: Guided Meditation "Inclining To Equanimity" 26.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 5: Q&A 26.03.23

Ven Candā: Day Retreat - Part 6: Guided Meditation "Flooding The Heart With Mettā" 26.03.23

Ven Candā & Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 39 "Seven Conditions For Social & Monastic Harmony" 07.04.23

Please note that we frequently upload new videos to our YouTube channel, so subscribe to get announcements!

May all beings be happy, whether they are fluffy or not - omitting none!

So, on behalf of the whole Anukampa community, I wish you a lovely weekend and hope to see you at our Friday sutta discussion and Saturday metta meditation, for which Ayya Anandabodhi will be present in person! (4th to 6th May). Three bhikkhunis in Oxford is undoubtedly a first and without your amazing support, encouragement and trust throughout the years, this would not be happening now!

May we all be safe, healthy, happy and free (including all teddy bears) ;-)

With deep loving kindness,
Ven Canda :-)

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