Sunday, January 29, 2012

What's Cooking

Dear Dhamma Friends,
The kitchen trailer work was completed last week and we were able to resume cooking inside a building. We had been cooking outdoors. Walls to protect from wind and cold, and a roof to protect from rain are very welcome during our winter season. Everyday when we return to our kutis, the monastics reflect on the wise use of shelter. "Wisely reflecting, we use shelter only to protect from heat and cold, merely to ward off the touch of gadflies, mosquites wind, sun and reptiles; for the enjoyment of seclusion." On the Sonoma Coast during winter, our shelters also protect from frost and forest beings seeking warm, dry places. Though buildings require maintenance, they enable us to stay here - the only Theravadin bhikkhuni hermitage in the United States and one of only two hermitages for bhikkhunis on the American continents.
The kitchen now has a dehumidifier that has been collecting up to two gallons of moisture from the air everyday. By reducing humidity and increasing air circulation, two conditions for mold growth, it helps to ensure a healthier environment for all of us. There is also a freezer to keep perishable food for longer periods of time when cold and rain prevents our family of supporters from visiting.
We are very grateful for your loving attention and generosity. Without you, there would be one less place for Buddhist women to find refuge in, one less place in the world for the benefit of all sentient beings. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
Rejoicing in your merit
and with Metta,
the Aranya Bodhi Monastics

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Challenges of Winter

Dear Friends,

I hope the holidays brought you and your families joy and the happiness of being together. Thank you for the lovely support you've provided to our monastics during these winter months at Aranya Bodhi. It is because of your generous gifts of such things as heaters, electricity, shelter, food and clothing that they are able to live the Holy Life, a rare and priceless opportunity.

This winter has brought a few unforeseen challenges. The wonderful kitchen trailer, recently purchased has been found to have structural deterioration which allowed mold to grow inside a couple of walls and possibly the ceiling. Minor renovation must be undertaken to eliminate the mold and replace the deteriorating wood. To provide the proper conditions after the repair, a dehumidifier, which provides air circulation and moisture removal from the air is very important. In addition, we were unable to repair our hermitage chest refrigerator and it has become necessary to purchase a small freezer for food storage in our remote forest. The freezer would be very helpful when friends make the long trip and bring larger quantities of grocery dana.

These essential repairs will cost about $2500. Your generous support of this emerging bhikkhuni hermitage is essential and gratefully appreciated by all of us.

Much gratitude for your friendship and support,

Shari Gent, President
Dhammadharini Board of Directors