Friday, April 22, 2011

2011 Vassatime Retreat

We are delighted to announce the 2011 Vassatime retreat at Aranya Bodhi, from July 15 to October 12. Retreatants may arrive up to one month in advance and stay afterwards until October 17th.

This Vassatime retreat will be a time for individual practice in a wilderness environment. Our intention is to support a settled, quiet community where each woman will have the space to develop and sustain her own practice leading to liberation. Our local supporters would find a monastic sangha largely in seclusion, with the duty of teaching and speaking with lay supporters carried by more experienced Bhikkhunis.

Communal training will be focused around the formal transactions which define the Bhikkhuni sangha: ordination (upasampada), entering the vassa, confession (apatti desana), teachings from respected venerable bhikkhus (ovada), recitation of the monastic code (patimokkha), invitation (pavarana), and for those who can stay on in October, the robes ceremony (kaṭhina). In the past, we have seen how Ayya Tathaaloka's approach to Vinaya is both accountable and compassionate, bringing out the full meaning of the early Vinaya texts without necessarily subscribing to later customs and commentarial traditions.

In addition to Ayya Tathaaloka and Ayya Sobhana, all four of the bhikkhunis who ordained at Aranya Bodhi in August 2010 will be returning this year for further training. That is, Ajahn Thanasanti, Ven. Adhimutta, Ven. Suvijjana, and Ven. Phalanyani. We will have two samanerīs (novices), one or two anagarikās (postulants) and several monastic life aspirants.

Dhamma and meditation instruction will be determined based on the needs of participants.

There is still space for a few lay residents during the Vassa, who enjoy camping in tents and can stay for a month or longer. They would have special duties assisting the community with chores involving money, driving and cooking. Our aim is to have enough lay residents to keep the chores light and allow time for personal practice.

There are many opportunities to support this Vassatime retreat, by helping with buildings, trails, and painting in the weeks before July 15, offering local transportation, meal dana, or other requisites both before and during the retreat. If you wish to participate or support, please contact the Aranya Bodhi Prioress,Ven. Sobhana Bhikkhuni (bhikkhunisobhana [at] gmail [dot] com).

1 comment:

Westcoast said...

ajahn anandabodhi and myself are looking forward to visit your community this vassa on upsoatha days.
warm greetings from sr santacitta