A New Beginning
Saranaloka Foundation is a nonprofit stewardship organization that was started in 2005 by a group of Buddhist lay practitioners for the purpose of bringing Theravada Buddhist nuns to the United States to visit and teach, and to establish a training monastery for women. The video is a story of developing a place of respect and opportunity for nuns.
“This is a photo slideshow of a full monastic ordination ceremony of three Bhikkhunis. This ordination constitutes the cutting edge of Buddhism as it challenges the patriarchal attitudes and history present in many Buddhist lineages. There have always been places for women in the monastic community, but rarely are women given the same monastic ordination as men. This is a topic of great discussion in the greater Buddhist community and is met with a variety of opinions and ideas. This ceremony, which took place on October 17, 2011 at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre CA, had the support of venerable monastics from all the major branches of Buddhism, as well as the support of Bhikkhu Bodhi. It was an honor for me to be a part of this momentous occasion.” -Ed Ritger
The Buddha’s Vision for the Fourfold Sangha
“I Will Not Pass Away Until… Reinstating the Buddha’s Vision of the Four-fold Sangha” is about the history of Bhikkhunis (fully ordained Buddhist nuns) from the time of the Buddha until the present day. It uses the Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery nuns of Placerville, California, as an example of a group of pioneering women who are helping revive the lineage.
The presentation is a colorful and informative overview of the history of the Buddha’s vision of the four-fold sangha, and how women are an integral part of that vision. Because of political and cultural decisions, a strong female monastic presence disappeared for almost 1000 years. The revival of the bhikkhuni sangha began about 30 years ago and has spread throughout the world.