Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Sunday, June 16, 2013
I returned to find that two new tent platforms had been built by -- us! -- while i was away :-). Several venerables and friends had their very first mentored experiences using power tools, as well as blessing the new platforms together. Friend Lee will be staying on one which is her new secluded spot of meditation. The other will become our temporary kitchen, as we are about to have an outdoor camp kitchen for a week or two of this fine weather while our hermitage's kitchen trailer undergoes much needed renovations.
we did it ourselves!
It brought joy for us to do it ourselves, and we also always very much welcome your helpful participation. Our 4th of July Volunteers Week at the hermitage is coming soon! Please do join us for all or any part.
Sunday, June 02, 2013
Saturday, June 01, 2013
On one evening, Ayya Dhammadhira chanted for us the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta--the Discourse on Turning the Wheel of the Dhamma--again, in English, in a beautiful rendition rendered during her past Winter Retreat time. It is so good to hear the Dhamma in one's native language so beautifully and well expressed.
Many thanks for the friend who has so generously offered the use of this beautiful Aranya land to us, our women's monastic community, its elders and new bhikkhunis, its aspirants and friends, and those who seek solace together in the forest recluse life. And deep, deep thanks and gratitude to friends Lee, Tess, Holly, Ashley, Jill, Ann, Jeannie, Ying & Hisayo, Maryann, Lal, Jocelyn and Amanda who, together with our Dhammadharini Support Foundation, were the team of supportive friends who made it all possible.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
We may compare this physical project to our right effort in the Dhamma practice: There is the decisive moment when we arouse energy to begin the work. Then we apply energy, stepping on the gas, but in a well directed way, balanced and sustained. Then, we don't give up. Although the body may need to rest, we sustain unremitting, seamless mindfulness, not stopping, not giving up and not turning aside until the goal is finally reached.
We will get a skilled builder to take care of the shingles on that steep roof, but there is still time for volunteers to help finish up this project in October and November, before the winter rains set in. Contact here if you are interested.
We have put a few items in our Kathina useful things list, coming on November 3.
Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
|Another meritorious work|
To all friends of Aranya Bodhi Hermitage,During the past few weeks, our Aranya Bodhi Hermitage has been blessed with the brief visits of several women who are exploring how to go deeper into the full practice of Dhamma, whether through bhikkhuni training or as upasikas, close friends of the monastic community. We have felt inspired and uplifted by Wink, Joan, Maheshi, Kitty, Nancy, Geri, and Teresa. Each one is glad to be here in the forest, appreciative of our Dhamma teaching, content to follow the daily rhythms of silence and courteous conversation, manual work and the internal work of meditation, accomplishment and doing nothing at all.
And at the very same time, Ayya Tathaaloka and the Dhammadharini Board of Directors, assisted by our Vassatime resident Sayalay Santacari, have been looking for Dhammadharini's next in-town monastery, envisioned as the place where we can more easily be in contact with our local lay friends, and provide a suitable dwelling for those bhikkhunis who are not physically well to spend the whole year in a primitive camp-style abode.The in-town monastery and the forest hermitage will then complement each other. Actually, the existence of a strong in-town monastery makes it possible for the hermitage to fulfill its role. In town, there may be the chance to serve and assist the frail or elderly monastics. In the forest, the chance to be alone among the elements. In town, the chance to offer teaching and ministry for many people and families. In the forest, the chance to teach one or two students at a time. In town, the chance for close, loving supervision of novices and new bhikkhunis. In the forest, the space for those who can practice on their own. In town, the chance to network with the world on high-speed internet. In the forest, the chance for a more ancient life-style.What a gift it is, and what an accomplishment that Dhammadharini is able to pursue this important new project without losing the momentum of our community life. We particularly appreciate that Ayya Tathaaloka and Sy. Santacari are subjecting themselves to many hours of computer work, driving around the Bay Area, and talking to many people, while we at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage have the pleasant chores of constructing a toolshed with our own hands, re-tapping the spring and building a natural filtration system.Recently the number of women coming to us as well qualified monastic life aspirants has increased from a trickle to a steady stream. Ayya Tathaaloka and our sangha have been considering, how can Dhammadharini welcome this next generation. What is best for sustainable growth of our sangha?
- Job one is to develop a mature monastic sangha, with numbers of well trained and well practicing bhikkhunis who see eye-to-eye on the way to practice our Dhamma and Discipline. This work takes time, but it is well underway.
- Then we need the ongoing sustained relationship with our lay community. For various reasons, during the past two years while the Aranya Bodhi Hermitage was getting established, Dhammadharini has had less presence than before in Fremont and East Bay Area. There was not the constant 24-7 availability to our lay supporters, as had been developing in the previous years. When we get into our new in-town center, this lack will be corrected.
- And finally, there is a need for a proportionate match between our practical needs and the available support. As it is now, a few large gifts have made it possible for Dhammadharini to carry on, with its town center at Bodhi House and forest hermitage at Aranya Bodhi. The construction of a simple infrastructure for the Hermitage and medical insurance for a growing sangha have been the major items, as our community grew from 2 to an average of 6 residents. To the extent that enough support is forthcoming, both for the purchase of the new center and for our ongoing expenses, we can open more opportunities for those women at our gate who wish to go forth as bhikkhunis.Then, when well-practicing monastic women and lay practioners are in constant contact, the inspiration is mutual. We all benefit. We fulfill the Buddha's plan for his Dhamma and Discipline to thrive for a long time.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
This year's ordination is meant to be simple and quiet, a normal event in the cycle of Buddhist monastic life. The first part of the ordination will be a sunrise ceremony at our Aranya Bodhi Hermitage. In accord with the ancient procedure, the candidates will first be questioned, accepted and ordained within the Bhikkhuni Sangha. The ceremony at Aranya Bodhi will begin at 5:00 a.m. with pre-dawn meditation, concluding at 7:30 a.m.
We will then take the new bhikkhunis, "ordained on one side," to the Bhikkhu Sangha at the American Buddhist Seminary Temple in West Sacramento. At 11:00 a.m. we will join the ABS Temple's Vesak Dana and Celebration honoring the Buddha's birth, awakening, and parinirvana. In the early afternoon, the new bhikkhunis will present themselves for acceptance by the Bhikkhu Sangha. This ceremony completes the ordination. Our sisters Marajina and Nibbida will then be established as full and complete members of the Dual Bhikkhu and Bhikkhuni Sangha.
All are welcome to attend.
The ABS Temple's Vesak Celebration and Bhikkhuni Ordination will begin with precept ceremony and meditation at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 6, at the ABS Temple, 423 Glide Avenue, West Sacramento, CA 95691. You are welcome to bring a cooked dish for the 11:00 a.m. Dana. For information about the ABS Temple, visit http://www.middleway.net. If you will attend the ceremonies at ABS Temple, please rsvp to Eunice "Samvaree" Cerezo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you will attend the early morning ceremony at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 6, at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage, please rsvp to email@example.com. We will email the driving directions. Those wishing to sleep overnight in our meditation hall (yurt) may bring their own sleeping bags and arrive after 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 5. The hermitage is located within a gated community, so you must have the gate code to reach us.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
- Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni at Awakening Truth, Colorado. http://awakeningtruth.org/
- Ven. Phalanyani Bhikkhuni at the Ekayana Magga Aranya, Sri Lanka. http://phalanyani.sirimangalo.org/
- Ven. Adhimutta Bhikkhuni, creating a new community under care of the New Zealand Bhikkhuni Trust
- Sister (soon to be Ven.) Nibbida, returning to Sanghamittarama, in Australia, where she will join with Ayya Upekkha Bhikkhuni (of Singapore) and Bhante Jaganatha in creation of a new Dual Sangha monastery. http://bsv.net.au/
- At Dhammasara Monastery, Australia ...Ven. Nirodha Bhikkhuni and Ven. Hasapanna Bhikkhuni ... Samaneri Gotami, Samaneri Upekkha, Samaneri Karunika ~ http://www.dhammasara.org.au/
- At Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage, Australia ... Ven. Ajahn Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ven. Seri Bhikkhuni ~ http://patacarabhikkhunihermitage.wordpress.com/
- At Awakening Truth, Colorado ... Amma Thanasanti Bhikkhuni ~ http://awakeningtruth.org/
- At Nirotharam Bhikkhuni Arama, Thailand led by Ajahn Nandayani Bhikkhuni ... where Ayya Tathaaloka gave Samaneri ordination to Ven. Munissara Bhikkhuni and several others ~ http://www.nirotharam.com/
- At Aloka Vihara, California ... Ayya Anandabodhi Bhikkhuni and Ayya Santacitta Bhikkhuni ~ http://www.saranaloka.org/index.html
- At Sati Sariniya Hermitage, Canada ... Ajahn Medhanandi Bhikkhuni and Ven. Nimmala Bhikkhuni ~ http://satisaraniya.ca/
- At Mahapajapati Monastery, California ... Ayya Gunasari Bhikkhuni ~ http://www.mahapajapati.com/index.html
- At Santi Forest Monastery, Australia ... Ayya Sudhamma Bhikkhuni ~ http://santifm.org/santi/about/
- Affiliated with the Minnesota Buddhist Vihara ... Ayya Satima Bhikkhuni ~ http://www.mnbv.org/
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
seasoned woodfire oak,
exhales into the gray ocean air,
the two entwine in
gray, tinged with space
tinged with salt
tinged with a memory of snow that rests on breathing
here a whale is breathing
here a slug is breathing
baby ant breathing
newt, salamander, frog breathing
sisters and brothers, mothers, all beings
words crumple in a damp newspaper ball,
damp fir twigs
cardboard toilet paper roll
the oak, a gift from her teacher
someone lights a fire
pīti softens the corners of the room.
March 26, 2012
Aranya Bodhi Hermitage
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
Friday, December 16, 2011
This is our first post to the Aranya Bodhi blog that is not made possible by a gasoline generator. I am writing from the Sangha Hall on the electricity provided by our newly connected solar electrical system. Though the sun has yet to shine upon the completely wired array, the batteries arrived fully charged and are providing the power right now. Eric, Mike and Rody from Pure Power Solutions made a lot of progress today. Eric (top photo) installed our inverter and charge controller in the battery room. Mike installed the rails for an additional four solar panels on top of the laundry shed. This will add 450 watts more to our hermitage solar electrical system, for a peak potential of 1920 watts of electricity. The batteries are strung together in six groups of four batteries each. The generator was filled with diesel fuel, tested and connected to the inverter. Tomorrow morning as the sun comes over the hillside, the battery bank will begin its cycle of charging on the sun's power.
Rody gave us the gift of an ac outlet directly on the inverter so we could have electricity right away. The Sangha Hall and kitchen trailer now have household ac electricity by way of extension cords until our ac electrician can install the proper wiring in January. For now, our cook can can make use of a rice cooker and the microwave oven.
Because the sun will not be able to provide all the electricity year round and we are presently experiencing the shortest days of the year, the diesel generator will be keeping the batteries charged. This means that we will be using diesel fuel instead of gasoline but rather than using the generator directly, we will be using it indirectly and far less often. Rody told us that red diesel is less expensive because it has no highway tax -the generator is strictly for off road use :) so we are asking our friends to help us look in our nearby cities of Santa Rosa and Petaluma for a red diesel provider.
Stack, our ac electrician is tentatively scheduled to help us on January 5th and 6th. With her help, we will have electrical outlets for each of our main buildings. So a lot has already happened to get us to this point from the very first thoughts of how to bring electricity to our remote forest wilderness. And still there is a little more left to do. A little more to plan on and wait on but for now we have silent light. There is no generator running. A little more on the horizon.