7th International Bhikkhuni Day Celebration
Last weekend we taught a Friday night and a non-residential two day retreat at Against The Stream, in the Mission of San Francisco. Jason, the manager of the center invited us back for a monthly afternoon teaching on 3rd Sundays, starting on September 17, 1:30 – 3:30 pm ~ please visit Against The Stream website for more info.
Further dates for 2018: October 15 / November 19 / December 17 ~ our flyer
Group photo from yesterday’s Bhikkhuni Ordination for Ayya Ahimsa at Buddhi Vihara, Santa Clara
Much gratitude to Alliance for Bhikkhunis for supporting the ordained Sangha to come together from far and wide.
Photo slideshow by Emily Carpenter
Ayya Gunasari (left) was preceptor for the ceremony, supported by Ayya Sudarshana, currently the most senior bhikkhuni in the U.S.
Happy Ayya Ahimsa during the ceremony
‘A Little Welcome Note for the New Bhikkhuni’ ~ by Ayya Sudhamma at Aloka Vihara on August 27.
Almgiving Ceremony 2015
When: Sunday, October 22, 2017, 10:00am – 3:00pm
Location: Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery, Placerville, California
Directions: click here
Sponsors: Susan Ford & Julie DeHart
For more information, please visit the Friends of Aloka Vihara website or contact us via email.
Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery is a rural monastery located in the Sierra foothills where women can live and train as nuns and the lay community is invited to stay and practice. An opportunity to offer support to the monastery is coming up with the Kathina Ceremony on October 22.
This Kathina Ceremony will be a unique opportunity for us as laypeople to reflect deeply on the interdependent relationship between the monastic and lay communities and to follow that reflection into action. Just as the monastics dedicate themselves to sharing the teachings with us both in word and through their way of life, we lay practitioners have the opportunity to offer what it takes to help the Bhikkhuni Sangha thrive.
A Kathina Ceremony is a traditional Buddhist ceremony in which the lay and monastic communities gather so that the lay community can express their support and gratitude by making formal offerings of financial and material support to the monastics.
This year bhikkhunis from Dhammadharini Monastery and Karuna Buddhist Vihara will be joining us for this special day. We look forward to spending time on the land and with each other, celebrating the continued development of Aloka Vihara.
Donations to the 2017 Kathina Ceremony
With current building projects now funded, financial contributions made at this year’s Kathina Ceremony will provide for the basic requisites of Aloka Vihara’s bhikkhunis, samaneris and anagarikas, allowing for the continued growth and flourishing of this vital Dhamma community. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
Visit the FAQ page on the Friends of Aloka Vihara website for more information about this year’s ceremony.
We are looking for volunteers to help out with the event! Please contact us via email if you are interested.
With much gratitude,
Susan & Julie with the Friends of Aloka Vihara
Ayya Gunasari, who serves as preceptor at Ahimsa Samaneri’s Bhikkhuni Ordination tomorrow, visited us at the vihara. Ayya Gunasari has dedicated her life to open & smoothen the path for women who aspire to full ordination. She was accompanied by Parayana Siri Samaneri (1st on the left).
We invite you to come and join us on Saturday, October 21 for our Fall Community Work Day at Aloka Vihara – and please bring a friend!
Work from 8:30am – 3:30pm with a break for lunch at 11:45am (please bring a vegetarian dish to share)
You are invited to arrive for 8:30am or for the meal at 11:45am.
At 8:30am we will begin with a short meditation and Dhamma reflection to set the tone for the day. There will be all kinds of work, heavy & light, outdoors & indoors ~ in preparation of the Kathina Celebration the next day, Sunday, October 22. No special skills needed!
If you plan to come and have any special skills you would like to offer on the day or on the long term, please RSVP to An. Shannon at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
We hope to see you at the vihara on Saturday, October 21!
With metta ~
Our community will be in Silent Retreat from August 29 – September 5.
If you wish to offer a meal, please click here.
Besides the meal time, the vihara will not be open for day visitors during this retreat.
During retreat we come together as community to support each other in our practice, consciously letting go of the past and opening to the New Year with whatever it may bring. We create a monastic environment during our time together, and we offer you this opportunity to explore the Dhamma in a setting that differs somewhat from a typical meditation retreat.
In the spirit of the monastic lifestyle, we will be following the Eight Precepts, taking only what is offered, participating in the daily routine mindfully and with awareness, and attempting to reflect on our every activity as part of our practice. This will include Noble Silence, morning and evening chanting, sitting and walking meditation, and daily Dhamma teachings. There will be opportunities for group interviews along with Q&A during the retreat. An optional daily period of Qi Gong will be offered by Meg Gawler.
The Eight Precepts
To refrain from…
1) taking the life of any living creature
2) taking that which is not given
3) any intentional sexual activity
4) false and harmful speech
5) consuming intoxicating drink and drugs which lead to carelessness
6) eating at inappropriate times
7) entertainment, beautification and adornment
8) lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place (not indulging in sleep)
Accommodations are single or double rooms with shared bathroom facilities. The retreat center is wheelchair accessible. We are unable to accommodate any special dietary or environmental needs.
We will offer a light breakfast and, in keeping with this monastic tradition, the daily meal (vegetarian) is eaten before noon. In the evening, hot tea is available and “monastic allowables” are served, e.g. dark chocolate, cheese, ginger, soymilk. At meal times we offer vegan and gluten free alternatives. We are unable to accommodate other dietary needs.
Each retreatant will also participate in one hour of work each day. The smooth running of the retreat depends on everyone’s daily contribution to the retreat community. Retreat jobs should be done in silence as much as possible, maintaining your quiet and attentive state of mind.
Retreatants should commit to stay for the entire retreat and to fully participate in the retreat schedule including the daily work period. Please make travel arrangements accordingly so that you arrive in time for registration (3:00-‐5:30) on opening day and are able to stay through the closing ceremony and activities on the final day (approx. noon). Please allow two hours of travel time to/from Oakland or San Francisco airports. If you have any questions or concerns during the retreat, the retreat manager, Kathy Cheney, will assist you. Note writing should be minimized, and notes to the teachers need to go through the retreat manager.
Continuing in the ancient Buddhist tradition, the retreat and teachings are offered freely. In turn, retreatants are afforded an opportunity to support those transmitting the Dhamma by offering donations (dana) to the teachers, retreat manager, and cook. Operating and food expenses are paid from dana previously received by the Saranaloka Foundation. At the end of the retreat, you can donate so that retreats can continue to be offered to future retreatants on a dana basis.
In order to confirm your place in the 2017/18 Saranaloka New Years Retreat you must complete a registration form and submit a deposit in the amount of $150. Deposits may be made through PayPal or by check.
If you attend the retreat or cancel before November 29, 2016, this check will be returned to you upon request or can be offered as a freewill donation to Saranaloka. It will not be returned if you register and do not attend the retreat or if you do not cancel by the November 29 cancellation deadline. Registrants who do attend the retreat may request a refund of the deposit after the retreat is over.
Please email the completed registration form to the registrar/manager Kathy Cheney. Click link below to open the registration form, download and save to your desktop, then fill in all spaces and attach to an email and send to: email@example.com
Deposits may be made through PayPal, click below:
The receipt of registration form and the $150 retreat deposit will confirm your place in the retreat and you will be contacted by Kathy. Please be sure to put her email address in your contacts. firstname.lastname@example.org
With very best wishes for peace and ease,
Saranaloka Retreat Coordinator
2017 NY Retreat Registrar/Manager
On Monday we had the good fortune to meet Luang Poh Sumedho, who visited Abhayagiri Monastery. Ajahn Sumedho has been Ayya Anandabodhi & Ayya Santacitta’s preceptor & teacher during their 17 years at the Amaravati & Chithurst monasteries in the UK.
We were very happy to have an opportunity to express our gratitude & respect and introduce Sister Ahimsa & Anagarika Shannon to Luang Poh.