Newsletter # 51 ~ January-February 2023     

Dear <<First Name>>,

Belated New Year Greetings!

We are delighted to share our latest news from the new Anukampa Buddhist Vihara here in Oxford, where we are slowly making the Buddha’s vision of a monastic Sangha that contains both fully ordained bhikkhunis and bhikkhus a reality!
In this edition, we are excited to share updates on our recent activities, as well as teaching programmes that we hope you will join us for, that include Ajahn Brahmali’s many additional UK events! We hope that this newsletter also offers a glimpse into the life of our budding community and provides inspiration and guidance for your own spiritual journey. Zoom and registration links for an array of teachings, and plenty of news, follows below :-)

Zoomi Bhikkhuni ~ Meet Regularly Online With Ven Canda :-)

From 1st to 15th February, Venerable Canda will be on personal silent retreat. Ven Canda will not be available for to receive visitors, emails, or messages during this period.
Whilst there will be no change to our silent sitting or chanting groups, the Friday sutta discussions and Saturday metta meditation sessions will resume after 15th Feb ~ please check dates below.

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: Feb 17th & 24th; March 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, etc...
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: Feb 18th & 25th; March 11th & 25th; April 1st & 15th
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 Brahm and Ven Canda on their December trip to Norway, with (L-R) Ajahn Ajito, Ajahn Nitho and the resident Tibetan Buddhist Monk at the temple where Ajahn led a weekend retreat.

 Ajahn Brahmali's Full UK Tour Schedule!

Between 10th and 24th May, 2023

In addition to Ajahn Brahmali’s residential retreat, we now have an exciting and varied series of talks, debates and mini-retreats, either side. The events that require registration are open for bookings, whilst there are other sessions you can just come along to, without needing to register in advance. We hope that there is something for everyone - including you - so please register and/or make a note in your diary so you can join us throughout or for some some of the tour!



We need help at all these events, on the ticket desk and/or with leaflets and donation collection and also with video recording and taking photos at the events. Please write in to to offer your help for any of the above events, and we will get back to you in a couple of weeks.

Why the gap in the middle of this schedule?! Ajahn Brahmali will be teaching a residential retreat from the 13th – 20th May at The Nightingale Centre, Derbyshire, and there are still a few twin rooms available. Click here for more details and how to apply.

Upcoming Talks & Retreats With Ven Candā 


1. Evening Sessions (Meditation, Talk, Q&A)


Monday 27th February: "How To Enjoy Solitude"

An in-person evening talk for Northants Buddhists (details to be confirmed).

Wednesday 1st March, 18:30 - 20:00 GMT:

Online Dhamma Talk for Italian Group "Together Into The Dhamma"

Monday 6th March and Monday 3rd April, 19:00 - 20:30 GMT:

In-person talks with Ven Canda and a guest bhikkhuni for Oxford Insight's sitting group. Meet us at Oxford Quaker Meeting, 43 St. Giles’ Street, Oxford, OX1 3LW 


2. Day-Retreats


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? 

In our eagerness to practice meditation, we might direct our mind to the breath before attention is refined enough to stay present to such a subtle and delicate object. As a result, we can reap weariness and frustration, or perhaps the breath becomes unnatural and forced. But it doesn't have to be this way! The Buddha taught a step-by-step approach to breath meditation that includes cultivating wholesome qualities and training our perception, to bring a sense of brightness, softness and joy to the mind. Once mindfulness is established in this way, breath meditation becomes effortless and takes us on a journey towards increasing clarity and calm.

In this day-long, Ven Canda will share her understanding of Anapanassati (the Buddha's teaching on breath meditation) drawing on her 27 years of practice and comprehensive understanding of the Early Buddhist texts, to help us strengthen the foundations for meditation and perhaps approach it afresh. The retreat will include guided meditation, Dhamma reflections, periods of walking meditation and an opportunity for questions and answers. The schedule will be spacious and relaxed, allowing for maximum enjoyment and ease.

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.

This retreat is organised by Gaia House. If you have queries regarding this particular retreat, please contact Gaia House directly.

What's Been Happening at the New Vihara 

By Ven Canda

Buddha Statues and Curtains

On Tuesday 17th January, a very special gift arrived. Giles Barton, a former trustee at Santi Forest Monastery and a disciple of Ajahn Brahm, sent some Buddha statues with a unique history to help get the first Bhikkhuni Vihara in the UK off to an auspicious start. Packaged up carefully in New South Wales, Australia, they fortunately cleared customs just in time, before they may have been sent back! 
The taller one is from 17th Century Thailand whilst another used to keep Ajahn Brahm company in his office at Dhammaloka City Centre (from where his Friday night talks are live-streamed). I received these in the presence of visiting supporters from Slovenia and Norway, and we all felt great joy setting up the little shrines.

With the presence and contributions from so many good people, it is starting to feel like a real Vihara. Last week we replaced the dark grey curtains with yellow ones that were kindly offered by a Singaporean supporter (among many other items). They give a welcoming golden glow to the south-facing dana-sala (dining/reception room), where the aforementioned ancient brass Buddha-Rupa is now presiding. A day or so later we received a beautiful wood-carved Burmese Buddha offered by Richard Pe-Win, giving us even more cause to rejoice!

Our deep gratitude and anumodana to Giles, Richard, Wei Li, and everyone who has contributed so far.


Big Dana & Deep Questions from Sri Lankan Supporters

Last week at Anukampa Buddhist Vihara, we also had our biggest meal dana yet, with three families who are all friends and our two guests joining in. Yet a fourth family who had hoped to come along unfortunately got sick, yet still sent food along with their friends. Two little boys, five and six years of age, were particularly delighted to offer dana to a "Real Sadhu!" ("sadhu" means renunciant to children of Sri Lankan heritage) and were extremely eager to offer each dish by their own little hands.

After the abundant meal offering, we had some deep Dhamma discussion on topics like Enlightenment, the relationship between the three characteristics, and how to develop insight into non-self whilst going about our daily lives. It was a very uplifting and inspiring occasion. Not only that, but continuing on the theme of curtains, the families offered to co-organise new terracotta coloured ones for our first-floor Dhamma Hall.  Big "sadhu-anumodana's" all around, for the colour this expanding community is bringing to the Vihara ~ and to our hearts!


Takeout Dana & Dhamma Questions


Recently, Seb took us all out for dana and asked many probing Dhamma questions, feeding not only our bellies but also his hunger for Dhamma discussion. Devoted Stroud supporter Chandima drove two hours each way to join us for evening tea and meditation. Local supporters Chloe-Mae, George, Stefano and Sarah graced the Vihara with their gentle energy and presence ~ having "Dhamma neighbours" is a wonderful beginning! Because we are completely conditioned by our experiences, and particularly by those who we see regularly and most influence our lives, wise friendship is the vital ingredient in the recipe for peace. As ever, we warmly welcome you to quench your thirst and soothe your heart by tapping into the kindness and wisdom of our community, whether in person, or online.

More Ways to Be Involved: And What's Next!

As we explained in the last newsletter, because monastics cannot grow or prepare their own food, they accept and reply on food freely offered by laypeople. Lay practitioners support monastics with material requisites so that they can dedicate themselves to the Path leading to Enlightenment, whilst monastics share the Dhamma and provide spiritual sanctuaries to help and inspire lay folks to deepen their Buddhist practice. This reciprocal care helps everyone grow in the Dhamma in a well-rounded way (forgive the unintentional pun!) and brings in a measure of  "quality control" ~ monastics lacking integrity may not be fed! 

Since last month, we have been thrilled to see growth in the number of people coming to offer the midday meal, (including Manori who has come twice already), and also growing numbers joining our WhatsApp groups to provide shopping and helping hands. Our Needed items list indicates what we need at the Vihara. You can schedule a meal offering in person or from afar, send shopping, (including anything on the needed items list), or join our WhatsApp groups by emailing

Now that the Vihara is getting better established, we offer an opportunity to join the Friday night Sutta Discussions in person (arriving 6.30pm), and to join us most evenings for Dhamma questions over tea at 6pm (followed by an optional hours' silent meditation). This will be possible after Ven Canda's February retreat, from around 17th February ~ excluding Tuesdays which are our weekly silent retreat days. Email to request to join us!

Unfortunately, in the absence of a lay steward or anagarika, Ven Canda still struggles with her heavy admin and organisational load, on top of running the Vihara, which means her energy for teaching is more limited than she would like. In order to free her up ~ to meditate and teach ~ we are recruiting volunteers with lots of time available to take on a significant role, especially in the area of volunteer management and events organisation. Please keep on writing in to us, indicating your available time and skills and kindly be aware that whilst we are aiming to include you, there will be delays. This is because it is dear Ven Canda who has to bring newbies on board, and her time is in high demand!

Bhikkhunis and bhikkhus at Santi Forest Monastery, Bundanoon, NSW.

Lastly, to finish on a high, we are delighted to announce that we have a visiting Australian bhikkhuni, Ven Canda's ordination sister Ven Upekkha, coming to stay at the Vihara as a guest for a few months soon. Please come and meet this lovely, warm-hearted bhikkhuni and bring a meal to share!

Between now and June there are just a few weeks' left available for residential lay supporters ~ we are almost full! However, if you do wish to come to meditate and serve for a few days at the Vihara, the pretty 'Tree Hotel at Iffley' has accommodation and is just a gentle ten minute walk away.

An Open Day is in the making, as well as Ajahn Brahm's UK this space!

The nearby tow path along the River Thames

Latest Inspiring YouTube Teachings


With Ajahn Brahm & Ven Canda 


Ajahn Brahm "Kindfulness Rules," Meditation & Talk, Stroud, 23.11.22

Ven Canda "Time To Love The Breath" New year Retreat, 29.12 - 31.12.22
 (full playlist of 12 videos)
Ven Canda "Developing A Soft Mind" Day Retreat, 28.01.03 (partial playlist of two videos)

Ven Canda "Who Are Our Role Models & Why" Sutta Discussion 06.01.23 
Ven Candā: "Good Friendship Leads To Liberation" Sutta Discussion 13.01.23
Ven Candā: "The Good Person; Householders & Monastics" Sutta Discussion 27.01.23

Please note that we frequent upload new videos to our YouTube channel, so you may wish to subscribe to get announcements!

Wishing you happiness and a peaceful heart,

With much mettā (loving-kindness),
Ven Canda & the Anukampa Community :-)

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

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Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project
16 Blenheim Close
Royston, SG8 6PT
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