January 14, 2019
Winter Retreat Message from Aloka Vihara
Dear Friends in Dhamma,
Warm greetings; we hope you had a smooth transition into 2019! We taught our annual New Year’s Retreat at Applegate Jesuit Retreat Center again this year and we are very happy with the venue and the kindness and helpfulness of the staff there. Ven Dhammadipa was part of our teaching team for the first time, giving the sangha a chance to get to know her and listen to her sharing the Dhamma. We enjoyed working together and are very pleased with the positive and encouraging feedback we received from the yogis.
On New Year’s Eve we shared a statement and blessings in memory of Jakelin Caal Maquín, who died in ICE custody at the southern border on December 8. This was read in three languages: in Spanish by Ven Dhammadipa, who is of Latin heritage, in Portuguese by Anagarika Carol, who grew up in Brazil, and in English by Ayya Ahimsa from Canada. You can read the whole text here and find a resource list.
This time 10 years ago, we had just recently arrived at Aloka Vihara in San Francisco for a two-month trial period, to see whether it might be viable to establish a nuns’ vihara in California. At the end of December of that same year, we returned to put down roots in California and now we have a budding forest monastery in the beautiful setting of the Sierra Foothills. On October 27, 2019, we will be celebrating Aloka Vihara’s 10th Anniversary at our Kathina Ceremony ~ we welcome you to come and be part of it.
We are delighted to be entering our three-month Winter Retreat tomorrow with the great support of Shannon, Linda, Matty and Maria.
They will take care of the cooking and much of the daily running of the monastery during this special time when we can put down our duties and deepen our practice.
Visitors are welcome to join us for evening pujas on Lunar Observance days, and to offer meal dana throughout the retreat, please click here for more info.
During the last nine days of the retreat the nuns will head down to Spirit Rock, where Ayya Anandabodhi will be co-teaching on Anapanasati with Ven Analayo, Shaila Catherine and Dawn Scott. We will return to the Vihara for the formal ending of the Winter Retreat on April 15 ~ our next newsletter will come to you on April 19.
Sharing blessings of our Winter Retreat with you all ~
Ayya Santacitta & Ayya Anandabodhi & Aloka Vihara Nuns’ Community