Sunday, April 13, 2008

a gathering of clouds

a "gathering of clouds" is an ancient expression for the coming together of the Sangha which holds the Dhamma Rain, a rain, a moisture to nourish all good roots and their fruits, and, to end all thirst.

Welcoming the Theravadin Bhikkhuni Sangha to the land

With the proposal of a women's monastic community on the land, Ayya Tathaaloka suggested the idea of welcoming Theravadan bhikkhunis and samaneris from around North America to retreat there, to see if they felt to practice there and whether it seemed a good place to establish a permanent women's monastic hermitage.

This idea was met with warm enthusiasm.

At the first gathering of the Theravadan Bhikkhuni Sangha in North America at the Carolina Buddhist Vihara in November 2007, the bhikkhunis had called for a follow up gathering, perhaps somewhere on the West Coast.

Several bhikkhunis had also mentioned their interest and support for Anagarika Carol Porter's novice ordination or samaneri pabbaja then tentatively scheduled for sometime in the first half of the year 2008.

Additionally, upasika friends had expressed the wish to be able to participate in the meritorious deed of being able to offer Sanghadana to the Bhikkhuni Sangha on the North American West Coast for the first time.

Thus, for these four good reasons, with Jill's blessings and the support of the Dhammadharini Support Foundation, the follow plan was hatched and invitation sent:

North American
Bhikkhuni Sangha Theravada:
Wilderness Retreat on the Sonoma Coast
June 15-21, 2008

Dear friends on the Path ~

Warm greetings to you all. We are planning Anagarika Suvijjana (Carol Porter)'s samaneri ordination in June. A good number of the bhikkhunis in North America who know her have expressed their interest in coming together for that.

We've also thought about having a special Bhikkhuni Sangha camp retreat on the land that has been offered here... laying the sima stones up in the meadow...reciting Patimokkha....ordaining Suvijjana there.... having a chance to spend some good time out in nature meditating, walking, talking and communing together. it would be a very nice, relaxing, peaceful and beautiful North American follow up on the International Bhikkhuni Parisadh upcoming in Maharashtra, India in February and the Bhikkhuni Seminar at Santi Forest Monastery in March, as well as on our last year's first gathering for Bhikkhuni Patimokkha recitation on the east coast at the Carolina Buddhist Vihara.

i can think of no better way to bless the space that has been offered us in Northern California for forest retreat. Friends tell me that the spring wildflowers are at their peak in the high meadow called 'the Saddle' between the peaks where we plan to lay the sima stones then. i think this would be very good for our hearts, as for the lovely present and developing future of our women's monastic community.

the June full moon is the 18th. we have scheduled the retreat from the 15th to the 21st~ with an option to stay and camp longer for who would like a limited number of spaces are available for lay women who would like to camp on the land during this time to offer support and for their own retreat. Everyone is welcome for Suvijjana's novice ordination on the 21st.


Please let me know if you think you may join us there then.

in the great love of the Path,

Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni, Theri

The proposed monastic hermitage site is located on more than 200 acres of mountain forest, meadows and waterfalls directly on the Northern California Coast north of San Francisco. It is 1 and 1/2 hours drive north-west of Dhammadharini Vihara.

RSVP to Ayya Tathaaloka by email or telephone: USA (510) 791-2331.

Here is the basic calendar schedule:

(June 6-15: Monastic Retreat at Spirit Rock with Ajahn Sumedho)
June 11: begin Bhikkhuni Sangha arrival
June 13: visit Ajahn Sumedho at Spirit Rock
June 14: to the land
June 15: being Bhikkhuni Sangha camping retreat
June 17: establish sima at the high meadow (the saddle)
June 18: Patimokkha recitation
June 21: Samaneri pabbaja for Anagarika Suvijjana
June 22: day to honor bhikkhuni Sangha at Dharmapala Institute, Milpitas
June 23: arrival day for Western Buddhist Monastic Conference at Shasta Abbey
June 27: end day of WBMC
June 28: return to Dhammadharini Vihara