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3-Day training for Buddhist Laywomen

Akkhara


This year Ven.Dhammananda continued training for laywomen again. It started as early 25 years ago, at that time ven.Grandma (Voramai Kabilsingh) was 84 years old. Annually Dr Chatsumarn Kabilsingh (her daughter) always brought out a book of collected articles by Ven.Grandma. But that year, Ven Grandma completed 7 cycles, she wanted to do something special for her. She went and informed Ven.Grandma that for a change she would start a training for Buddhist women.
As an academic, teaching Buddhism, it was clear that though Thailand professes to have the highest number of her population as Buddhists (95%) but in fact very few of the Thai Buddhists really know anything about the teaching of the Buddha. It is a tradition for men to be ordained for 3 months but for women they did not have such privilege.
So a short training would be both necessary and important to bring Thai women closer to the spirit of Buddhism.
Thus she started this 3-day training project on April 6,1982. There were impressive number of women 108 attended that training. This  project has continued on up to present. It is called Buddhasavika training.
This year 2017, there were three trainings offered. The first one focused on visualization, the second one focused on leadership and the third one focused on service mind.

In this latest training 12-14 Aug.2017 there were 34 participants. They enjoyed the training. Some of them had previous exposture to the temples led by the monks, they reported that mostly they offered only chanting and meditation. Meditation for them is only long hours of sitting without any guideance. Where as with Buddhasavika their still enjoy the chanting and meditation. But meditation is offered with clear guidance and there was no long boring hours if sitting.
They play games and at each interval, they understood what the game meant to teach them. So they enjoyed and had an opportunity of participation, full participation.

Ven.Dhammananda sat with them most of the time and they have access to her teaching and guidance.
Also because it is a female monastery, the participants get to experience first hand to assist the bhikkhunis going for alms round. Previously this was done only by young boys walking after the monks.

            When the three days ended, they exchanged their line ad. So that they can come back to help offering their service and keep their ears open for the next training in 2018. Already Ven.Dhammananda announced the next one, training no.76 will focus on How to handle anger. We all need it, don’t you think!
Apart from Ven Dhammananda, there are also Ven.Dhammavanna, Ven.Dhammaparipunna (Dr.Sireerat) and Dr.Kanjana Suthikul in her team.

 

 


 

Report on International Monastic Training

Akkhra

Ven.Dhammananda and her team at Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama has just complete offering one month course on International Monastic Training (IMT).
                The first IMT started in 2015 with participants from India and Vietnam, there were total of about 20 participants. The first training covered the whole vassa which was a little longer than three months. The participants received all the monastic training and also history of Buddhism particularly on the lineage of the bhikkhunis.
                The second IMT was given in June, just prior to the vassa, this is to allow the participants to return to their respective temple to keep the vassa. There were 10 samaneris and bhikkhunis from Vietnam. The training was successful and a good relationship was established for the two sanghas in Thailand and Vietnam. There were also laywomen from Germany, Italy and Korea apart from the local Thai bhikkhunis.
                This year, 2017 there were participants from 11 countries i.e.Australia, Canada, France, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar,Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and U.S.A. The material for the training was better prepared, apart from monastic learning and training there was also a counseling offered for a week by Ms.Low Miyen and Ms.Barbara Yen, both volunteers from Malaysia. The counseling was aim to better prepare the monastic to have some fundamental knowledge and experience of counseling. This is greatly appreciated.
                Participants had a good chance to learn the various chanting , even for funeral. They had a good experience of going for alms with the local bhikkhunis. They had a great opportunity to visit
The Summer Palace of King Rama VI in Nakhonpathom, and also a visit to Guan-In on the mount in Rajburi province.
                For participants who are bhikkhunis they also experience joining in Patimokkha recitation which for some of them, if they are staying alone, they will not have such opportunity. (There must be at least 4 members to recite Patimokkha) also they received Ovada (instruction) from senior monk prior to the actual recitation. The host bhikkhunis were also happy to have large attendance up to 17 bhikkhunis both from IMT and from local.
                Some of the participants stay on to further experience living among monastic community. On the last day of the training, participants who fully participated received certificate of their achievement and participation.
                The organizers are happy to plan for the next training, as the result of this year is very positive.
                During the training, there was also a discussion about the way to strengthen the network of Asian Theravada bhikkhunis. Many positive feedbacks were shared among the members, it confirmes that the Theravada bhikkhuni in Asian will be strengthen from their own commitment.
                As a reporter, I have total faith that the Theravada bhikkhunis in Asia will progress with the firm root in their spiritual commitment.

                Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.

 

 

 


 

 

 

Dear Friend in the Dharma,

We are reaching out to friends in the Buddhist, Mindfulness and Recovery communities to ask for support in funding and promoting an important upcoming event. Dharma teachers and leaders in the Buddhist-oriented recovery community from around the world are gathering on October 20-22 at the Buddhist Recovery Summit in Western Washington.

Keynote speakers will include Noah Levine (Refuge Recovery), Vimalasara (Valerie Mason-John, Eight Step Recovery), Vince Cullen (New Life Foundation), and Kevin Griffin (Buddhism and the 12 Steps).

Some of the questions we’ll be exploring:

• What are the defining characteristics of Buddhist recovery?

• How does Buddhist recovery intersect with the Twelve-Step model?

• What are the pros and cons of facilitated and peer-led recovery groups?

• How do we strengthen national and international networks (BRN)?

• What does sponsorship or mentorship look like in the movement?

Buddhist Recovery is gaining momentum, both in the U.S. and around the world. The Summit is a major gathering to advance Buddhist–oriented recovery as a viable path of healing from all forms of addiction or trauma. We need help in covering the administrative costs of the event. This is where YOU come in! Please consider making a donation to help us achieve our goal. If you are unable to do so, you can support us by sharing this letter on your social media, with friends and family, and with your Sanghas. Of course, you are welcome to go to www.buddhistrecoverysummit.org​ and register to attend the event if you would like to join in the discussion!

We are so grateful for any help you can give us -- thank you for your support! Donations made to the summit are tax deductible as charitable donations to 501c3 organizations supporting this event. If you would like more information about the event, go to our website at www.buddhistrecoverysummit.org With much gratitude,

Yours in Dharma Recovery,

Northwest Dharma Association

 

 


 

Temporary ordination of Samaneri in April,2017

Aksara

Sorry, I was doing everything else but the report. Ven.Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, my spiritual master, reminded me that I should write at least a brief report about the most recent ordination offered at  SDK (Songdhammakalyani Monastery). May be you are already familiar with our activities, annually we organized temporary ordination for female novices (samaneris) for 9 days.
This is fixed twice a year, in summer between 6-15 April, and in winter between 5-14 December.
Ven.Dhammananda just finished batch 18 on April 15. April is very hot season, so we are happy not to have it too crowded.
This batch 18 there were 24 candidates who received temporary ordination. The classes during the training went very well, all the three teachers, Ven.Mother, Ven.Dhammavanna and Dr.Kanjana Suthikul agreed that they enjoyed teaching this group. The samaneris were eager in their learning.  Statistically when we looked at their background, out of 24, 20 of them have at least B.A. and there were 2 candidates with Ph.D., two candidates with M.A. we agreed that level of education brings about the success of the teaching.
Among 24 of them, three of them proposed to stay longer. One of them was clear from the beginning that she is taking this ordination life long. This candidate has Ph.D. as her back ground thus, Ven.Mother is happy to have one more members to help her in her think-tank in the building of the bhikkhuni arama.
Presently we have 9 bhikkhunis, 3 sikkhamanas and 8 samaneris. A small sangha community which is finding their own space to grow. Each week they have a meeting to adjust  the members to fit the responsibility.
The next ordination is scheduled for Dec.5. If you are interested please look for registration form in our web. Also you can call direct 034 258270. Even if you cannot take it for a long time, temporary ordination is an experience, a rich experience for Buddhist women.
Modana Sadhu for the most recent batch of samaneris.  

 


 

International Monastic Training

Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama and Buddhasavika Foundation organize an International Monastic Training every year.
2015, the training lasted through the vassa. There were 5 nuns from Vietnam and 4 from India with one laywoman participating in this Monastic training programme.
This year, 2016, we have scheduled the training for 4 weeks in June. This is to allow the participants to return to keep the vassa in their home town.
Who can apply? If you are Buddhist and interested in the training in a monastic setting, then you might be interested to join.
The participants attend classes on Buddhism ,history of Buddhism, history of the bhikkhunis, important points on the Vinaya, and how the vinaya is put into practice.
With the monastic setting, one is expected to attend morning and evening chanting, and meditation.
On full moon and dark moon, those who are bhikkhunis will recite Patimokkha together. Recitation of Patimokkha happens only if bhikkhunis stay together as a sangha. This is a golden opportunity for newly ordained bhikkhunis to be trained with other senior bhikkhunis.
Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama is the first temple in Thailand providing a friendly space for international bhikkhunis to be trained together. Twice a week a group of 5 bhikkhunis will go for alms, candidates to the program can follow them. This is one of the highlight for the monastic training. We have been able to preserve this Buddhist tradition in a pristine manner.
There will  be sponsorship available for Indian  bhikkhunis  and women from other part of India. Also the Foundation will provide  travelling assistance to bhikkhunis from other Asian countries who need assistance.
The funding is limited, if you are interested kindly read the details of the program, then you can fill in the registration form on the next page.
If you cannot speak English, plan to come in as a group with at least one of you as an interpreter.

IMT Registration Form

 


 

Sending you all the good waves of energy
Sri Akkhara
Dec.31,2016


2016 is passing by, and we are now eager to welcome 2017. Let me report to you whatt we have done in 2016 which is now slipping by very soon. Ven.Dhammananda was very active in the first part of the year.

Ven.Grand Ma’s (Ven.Bhikshuni Voramai Kabilsingh) 108th birthday fell on April 6,2016. There was the usual temporary ordination of Samaneris. We brought out two books which were collection of Ven.Grand Ma’s own writings taken from her monthly magazines. It is a way to preserve her teachings and pass on to the future generation.

Also Ven.Dhammananda ordered the casting of 200 Buddha images, this is the miniature of the Buddha statue which Ven.Grand Ma casted exactly 50 years ago at Wat Rajapradit in Ayudhya. To give you a brief story, when Grand Ma found it, the head of the statue was just put on the body after the Burmese raid of the capital in 1767 A.D. The head did not fit the body neither the size nor the style. So she had the head removed, casted a new  body to fit the head and casted the head to fit the body. As a result we now have to 2 main Buddha statues in the Uposatha hall of the temple. We offered 108 small replica of the Buddha statues to the temple. All the newly ordained samaneris were there to witness the offering.....Read More


 

A Journey to be a Theravada Bhikkhuni
Dhammananda Bhikkhuni
November 12, 2016

When my mother shaved her head, I was 11 years old. In Thailand in 1956, if a woman shaved her head, it was to become a mae chee (white robed nun). There was no ordination, just receiving the eight precepts. My mother, Ven. Voramai Kabilingh, never thought of becoming a mae chee—she told her preceptor, Pra Prommuni of Wat Bavornnives, that she would be wearing light yellow—and so it was. She turned her house into a small nunnery where more and more young women joined her... Read More

 


 

The Network of Asian Theravada Bhikkhunis.

Sri Akkhara

Ven.Dhammananda requested that I work on this article as it is very important for the movement of bhikkhunis in Asia. Unless recorded, event will pass by unnoticed, and to write about it later, we definitely will miss out certain important details.

In this part of the world when we searched through scanty available reading materials, we have glimpses of women here and there searching to lead a monastic life as prescribed in Buddhist history.

In Sri Lanka, being a historical center for bhikkhunis from 3rd Century B.C. is also a center for Theravada bhikkhunis in the present era. The revival of Bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka started in 1998 with the assistance of Fo Guang Shan to start the international ordination for bhikkhunis successfully in 1998. The lineage of bhikkhunis in Sri Lanka started from this ordination.

In Thailand, the very first case of bhikkhuni emergence came in 1928, with the well known two sisters, Sara and Chongdi. But the story was soon made silent.

READ MORE

 

 


 

 

Temporary Samaneri ordination at Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama

Songdhammakalyani Bhikkhuni Arama has  organized temporary ordination since 2008. The bhikkhuni sangha here, offer temporary ordination twice a year, Apirl 6 and Dec.5. Thus the latest  one took place on April 6, it is 16th ordination given.

Each time there would be 30,40,50 women joined. Dec.5,2015 was a special one, there were 108 candidates. The occasion was to celebrate  the completion of Yasodhara Vihara.

Thus, Ven.Dhammananda has given Samaneri ordination to not less than 500 women. She was also invited to give the same ordination in Payao, northern part of Thailand and also Songkhla in the south.....Read More

 

Registration form (EN)

Registration form (TH)

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly Meditation

 

Every Saturday, Sunday at 8.00-9.00 A.M. meet Ven. Dhammananda for an hour of meditation.

For more info. call 034 258 270