Archive | March 2012

Khmer Women in Divine Context

One of the best websites out there about the Angkor civilisation is also dedicated to understanding the role of the feminine in its history.

Angkor Wat Apsara & Devata: Khmer Women in Divine Context seeks to research into the following questions:

  • Why do images of women dominate the largest religious monument on Earth?
  • Who are the women of Angkor Wat?
  • Why are images of women immortalized in the largest temples the Khmer civilization ever built?
  • What did these women mean to the Khmer rulers, priests and people?
  • How does the Cambodian dance tradition relate to the women of Angkor Wat?
  • Do the women of Angkor Wat embody information important to us in modern times?

Here are some photos I took of the Apsaras at Angkor in 2010. More can be found on the Angkor Wat page of my Photo Dharma website.

Apsaras

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Dhammananda Bhikkhuni – Empowering Our Potentiality

Dhammananda Bhikkhuni talking at a TEDx talk given in Chiang Mai in which she talks about gaining power through connection with our roots.

In her case this means connecting with her lineage root, Ven. Mahapajapati Gotami; and her Mother Voramai Kabilsingh, who was the first Thai woman to take higher ordination.

She also talks about our physical roots in the elements, and the interconnectivity that gives us to everyone else.

The talk is full of good advice about living in a positive and useful way, by using skilful means to put aside the burden of negativity.

Bhikkhuni Hall in Wat Thepthidaram, Bangkok

When I was in Bangkok recently I visited Wat Thepthidaram which was built by King Rama III for his daughter Princess Wilat.

It has a rather unique Bhikkhuni Hall, which has a podium with 52 Bhikkhuni statues on it in front of the main Buddha Statue.

Forty-nine of the statues are seated, while three are standing. They were built in bronze and the sitting ones are roughly 11 inches wide and 21 inches tall.

The whole Temple seems to have been dedicated to celebrating the feminine, and even some of the Buddha statues have feminine features.

Here are some of the photographs I took in the Hall. More photos from here and the rest of the Temple can be found on my Photo Dharma website.

For those who would like to visit the Temple here is a map showing its location in the center of Bangkok:

 

Bhikkhuni Hall
Bhikkhuni Hall

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Photographs from the Recent Bhikkhuni Ordination at Dhammasara in Perth

Here are some photographs of the recent Bhikkhuni ordinations at the Dhammasara Nunnery in Perth, and its confirmation by the monks at Bodhinyana. They are provided courtesy of Ayya Tathaaloka, who acted as pavattini at the ordination.

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Opening of Gotami Vihara in Malaysia

1. Announcement of the Opening of Gotami Vihara

The Support Network for Women Renunciants in Malaysia and Singapore (SNFWREMS) is pleased to announce the formation of Gotami Vihara Society and the official opening of its centre by Venerable B. Sri Saranankara Nayaka Maha Thera, (Judiciary) of Malaysia.

Ven. Bhikkhuṇī Dhammanandā from Thailand will also be gracing the event, as well as Ayya Santinī from Indonesia and Ven Bhikkhuṇī Bodhicittā from Sri Lanka.

We wish to invite you and your organization to join us to rejoice in this auspicious occasion. The Vihara will be for both local and visiting nuns to stay either on a short term or longer term basis.

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