Archive | April 2012

Bhikkhuni attempts to build Nuns Forest monastery in Sri Lanka

Ven. Bodhicitta Bhikkhuni

Ven. Bodhicitta Bhikkhuni

In the early period of His ministry, the Buddha did not lay down any regulations regarding dwelling places. The monks lived in the forests, at the roots of trees and in caves.

After 2600 years, however, the Order of Monks is well established and is well supported. They do not lack dwelling places or educational facilities to pursue their path to enlightenment.

Unfortunately, however, the Order of Nuns, at least of the Theravada Order, had much lesser support, such that in the present time, they have few aramas of their own. According to the Vinaya (Code of Discipline for the Monks and Nuns) Nuns are not allowed to live in unsafe places, but have to live in enclosed places such as monasteries that ensure their safety.

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Sanghamitta Bhikkhuni arriving in Sri Lanka

A large section of the walls in Wat Pho in Bangkok illustrate the Sri Lankan Theravāda Chronicle, the Mahāvaṁsa. The story is a long one, from the Buddha’s lifetime to around 1,000 years later in the original section of the story, written in the 5th century CE.

One of the major events during that period was the introduction of Buddhism by the Arahant Mahinda; and the introduction of the Bhikkhunī Sangha and the bringing of the national palladium, the Bodhi Tree, to Lanka by his sister, the Arahant Bhikkhunī Sanghamittā.

The latter events are found illustrated on the walls of Wat Pho. As is typical for the style of the paintings, stories are presented side by side, within the same space. The first photo below shows the whole scene:


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Bhikkhuni and Samaneri ordinations in Vaishali, India

This is a repost from the Khemarama website, reprinted with kind permission. For more information visit the website, and also please inform friends via Facebook, etc.


There will be ordinations for Bhikkhunīs and Sāmaṇerī in the Theravāda tradition in Vaishali on July 28th, 2012.

The candidates for bhikkhunī ordination must have completed 2 years as samaṇerīs and are requested to spend the vassa after the ordination to receive training for 3 months.

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Tenzin Dadon: An Outstanding Woman in Buddhism

I am very happy to say that one of the nuns who has been involved in our Support Network from the beginning has just been named as a recipient of an Outstanding Woman in Buddhism Award. Here is a full report by Ven. Karma Tashi Choedron, and we all say a big sādhu to our friend Venerable Tenzin Dadon (Sonam Wangmo) on this memorable occasion.

Ven. Sonam

A Bhutanese nun was among thirteen women who received the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards on 2 March 2012 at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Venerable Tenzin Dadon (Sonam Wangmo), 34 from Zhemgang, Bhutan received the award for her contribution to Vajrayana Buddhism, especially Buddhist women in the Himalayan region. Also honoured at this year’s awards ceremony was the Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, renowned Buddhist scholar and activist Prof. Dr. Hema Gunatilake from Sri Lanka and Buddhist nuns and laywomen from Austria, Taiwan, Thailand, and Switzerland.

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