Newsletter # 52 ~ March 2023     

Dear <<First Name>>,

Happy Spring Greetings!

As snowdrops return to sleep and daffodils turn their heads toward the sun, we are looking forward to sharing retreat time with you in the Norwegian mountains; the Derbyshire peaks; the vibrant London metropolis - and online. 

Here at Anukampa Buddhist Vihara in Oxford, we are blessed with the harmonious presence of Venerable Upekkha, my ordination sister from Perth, Australia, and another longer-term guest named Grace.

Ajahn Brahmali arrives in England in less than two months' time and whilst his retreat is full, his public talks are slow to fill up - below we share some lovely posters made by Elena that we ask if you can distribute far and wide, to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from our excellent teachers' wisdom!

As well as our regular events and latest videos from our YouTube channel, we also want to share that Ajahn Brahm will be visiting England again from 7th to 20th November, 2023 - dates for your diary! The tour will span both the North and South. More about that in our next newsletter, but for now...

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. Read more here.

Next dates: March 17th, 24th & 31st, April 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th
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: March 25th (Ven Upekkha) and April 1st & either 15th or 22nd (tbc) 
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 :-)

 Ajahn Brahmali's Full UK Tour Schedule!

Between 10th and 24th May, 2023


  • Fri 12th May: “Awakening 101” 6:45 pm - 8.30 pm Kagyu Samye Dzong, Bermondsey, London ~ REGISTRATION ONLY!
We would very much appreciate your help with our efforts to promote this exciting and enlightening tour! Please circulate the posters on all your social media outlets as well as print them off to display at retreat centres and monasteries, universities, cafes, and yoga centres. We would love to fill these talks with a whole diverse bunch of folks!

Please write to Paul, at for full sized versions of the posters to print and display. Thank you!

Norway Mountain Retreat, April 22-29


 ~ Places still available!


The Norwegian Buddhist Association invited Ajahn Brahm and I (Ven Canda) to Norway in November and now Ajahn Nitho, their Spiritual Director and a fellow student of Ajahn Brahm, has invited me to lead a retreat with him in the beautiful mountains of Norway. Here is what they say about the retreat:

"We rent the entire Venabu Fjellhotell for a quiet meditation retreat in April 2023, so that all participants get optimal conditions for learning, practice and development - in a friendly, traditional atmosphere. All participants get their own room with shower/toilet.

The instructors Bhikkhu Ajahn Nitho and Bhikkhuni Ayya Canda have more than 30 years of experience, and have both led many retreats in different countries, and can inspire with high quality and safety. Both have British-Australian Ajahn Brahm behind them - one of the world's leading masters in meditation and spirituality.

All teaching is given in English, but Ajahn Nitho is Norwegian and can give guidance in Norwegian.

Beginner or experienced

This retreat will be suitable for everyone - a full introduction to meditation will be taught, as well as deepening in various areas according to desire or need. There will be teaching, guiding, questions/answers and individual guidance - and we will probably also have time for some yoga.

The meditation and teaching are carried out on comfortable chairs, but you can also sit on the floor with a mat and cushions or stools. Meditation can also be done lying on mats, or in bed in the bedroom.

All activities at the retreat are voluntary, you choose how many group activities you participate in, and how much you want to be alone and meditate/study in your own room."

Sounds like heaven?

To book your place on this unique retreat, please visit:


Upcoming Talks & Retreats With Ven Candā 

Sunday 19th March: Preparing the Mind for the Natural Breath

In person retreat in London. 19th March 2023, 10:00-17:00 GMT.

What is your relationship to breath meditation? Do you struggle to hold the breath in mind or find joy with the breath? 

This retreat is organised by London Insight Meditation. If you have queries regarding this retreat, please contact London Insight Meditation directly.


Sunday 26th March: Guarding & Quietening the Senses

Online day retreat. 26th March 2023, 09:30-16:30 GMT.

We all experience life through the senses: whether seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching or thinking about the sensory world. While the senses are usually a source of pleasure, they can also be a source of immense suffering. To not understand how the senses work is to risk not understanding life itself. During this retreat, Ven. Canda will draw on the timeless wisdom of the Buddha to discuss how we can relate to our sensory experience and get the best out of life.

The day will include Dhamma reflections; guided, silent and walking meditation periods; and an opportunity for Q&A.

To register please contact Gaia House

 Enlightening Times at Anukampa Vihara!


Venerable Upekkha arrives from Perth :-)

On 15th February, the last day of a two week "in-Vihara" retreat, my dear Dhamma sister Venerable Upekkha arrived. Erika, Camille and I had just completed our silent retreat and emerged from a beautiful closing metta meditation when Ven Upekkha and her good friend Indy peered through the kitchen window! Indy and the two delightful boys accompanying her offered many dishes of delicious food, and eyes welled with joyful tears as we chanted the anumodana blessings.

Ven Upekkha and I took bhikkhuni ordination together in early 2014 after many years already living monastic life. It was a joy to meet again after nearly four years of pandemic separation. She is now integrating into our little community and doing whatever she can to serve, such as helping with our guest bookings and needed items list, as well as hunting for venues for Ajahn Brahm's November tour! 

Ven Upekkha has already led a couple of chanting sessions and a beautiful guided metta meditation for Anukampa's online community. You can benefit from her wisdom and warmth at every Friday night sutta discussion whilst she is here, that we are usually both present for. These begin at 6.45pm GMT and Oxford (and other!) locals are welcome to join in person and for a cup of tea around 5.45pm beforehand, by writing to to arrange it. In June, Ven Upekkha will return to Australia to serve the Rains' retreat at Santi Forest Monastery, so hurry and visit whilst she is here!


A Trust Meeting at the Vihara

 ~by Thamali 


Thanks to an invitation to the trustee meeting, I had another opportunity to visit Anukampa Vihara this month. Stepping out from my daily life (as a mum, wife, daughter, employer and employee - the list goes on!), to simply surrender to the Dhamma in the presence of kalyanamittas is a blessing! 
It has always given me immense joy and peace to visit and serve Venerable Canda in person, and this time it was even more special with the presence of Venerable Upekkha. The Vihara was filled with metta and joy during the lunch offering. We couldn't help but smile throughout, as the food was delicious and made with love. A special mention to Malika here!
I joined the trustee meeting for the first time and felt blessed to be in the presence of Ajahn Brahm who joined via zoom with other trustees and volunteers. My contribution was to present an update on current volunteers and ongoing and new volunteer activities, and to engage with the trustees to find ways we might further collaborate to ease admin work for Ven Canda. It was a delight to observe that even this formal meeting was conducted with so much metta. 
Following the trustee meeting we had a relaxed walk to the river and headed back to some warm tea! Starting with Ven Upekkha, we openly shared life experiences and personal reasons for practicing the Buddha's teachings and supporting this amazing project. It was inspiring to hear the different ways we each apply Dhamma teachings to our daily lives.
I couldn't help but think how wonderful it must have been in the past, when women had the opportunity to gather in smaller groups like this to discuss the Dhamma in the presence of amazing Bhikkhuni teachers! A heartfelt guided metta meditation from Venerable Canda gave us an abundance of light, positive energy to end the day.

Thank you dearest Ven Canda and Ajahn Brahm for this amazing opportunity to strengthen our Dhamma practice and contribute in our own ways to support the establishment of the Bhikkhuni Sangha in the UK. It is truly an inspiration to see the amazing work that has been done so far. 
With much metta and gratitude,  
Thamali 🙏 


L-R: bookkeeper & co-host Manori; me (VC); Malika our treasurer; Ali our Secretary; Ven Upekkha; Thamali, volunteer; and Grace, Vihara guest and steward.

"Making Decisions" by Ajahn Brahm


Shared by Wei Li :-)

"Learn how to live a life in a world which is never perfect. The elevator goes wrong, the planes get delayed, things go wrong - that is life! It's not really that something's gone wrong; this is the world. It is always like this. Sometimes things go not as we expected, sometimes things are what we expect. To solve the problems of the world, we expand our expectations. After a while, we expect anything. Imagine if you could expect anything, so that whatever happens to you in your life, you can always say "Yes, I expected that!" In other words, don't ask from this world that which it can never give you. Look at life like an adventure - going to places where you don't know what to expect. As long as you have a peaceful and a happy mind, you tend to survive anything.

When people say they've got an important decision to make in life: "What should they do, which way should they go?", one of the things I encourage them to do is to make the decision - and then not be a person who worries themselves sick about having made the decision. Otherwise, they'll have no energy left to make sure that decision works. Make the decision quickly, commit to it, and then put your energy into making that decision work. A lot of times people are just so afraid of decisions. But it doesn't really matter whether you, say, turn left or turn right in life. What really matters is what you do after you've made the decision. You commit to it, you make it work, you give it everything you've got. Put a lot of energy into it and see what happens. When you do that, you don't have to worry so much."

Photo on the River Thames, courtesy of Nayeli Wickramasinghe aged nine :-)

Latest Inspiring YouTube Teachings


~With Ven Canda & Ven Upekkha


Ven Candā: "Developing A Soft Mind Retreat" Morning Meditation "Tilling The Soil" 28.01.23
Ven Candā: "Developing A Soft Mind Retreat" Afternoon Talk & Meditation: The Soil Remover 28.01.23

Ven Candā & Ven Upekkhā: "Sutta Discussion Group 32 "The Intentional Community" 17.02.23
Ven Candā: Guided Meditation "Mettā and Acceptance" 18.02.23
Ven Candā &Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 33 "Stream Entry & What It's Not!" 24.02.23
Ven Upekkhā: Guided Meditation "Thanking The Body With Mettā" 25.02.23
Ven Candā & Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 34 "The Formation Of Community" 03.03.23

Ven Candā: Evening Talk & Meditation "How To Enjoy Solitude" 27.02.23
Ven Candā: Evening Talk & Meditation "Together Into The Dhamma" 01.03.23 (English/Italiano)

Ven Candā & Ven Upekkhā: Sutta Discussion Group 35 "Four Ways Of Embracing Others" 10.03.23
Ven Candā: Guided Meditation "Benevolent Mettā" 11.03.23

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

May we all be safe, healthy, happy and free! 

With deep loving kindness,
Ven Canda :-)

Please Consider Donating To Spread Dhamma!
Copyright © 2023 Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project
16 Blenheim Close
Royston, SG8 6PT
United Kingdom

Add us to your address book

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp