SuttaCentral

Merry Xmas to all the nuns who have made my life better


#1

In my life as a Buddhist monk for 24 years, I have met many wonderful and inspiring people. I was thinking the other day about how many nuns I’ve got to know, a little or a lot, and this feeling of gratitude and blessing came upon me.

I thought of Ayya Samacitta; a Taiwanese bhikkhuni who was one of the first nuns to stay with us at Santi and became a dear friend. Ayya Tathaaloka, a model of grace, intelligence, and leadership. Ayya Gunasari, who I got to know in Bodhgaya, and who was so very kind and loving. And many others—Ayya Sobhana, Ayya Sudhamma and more, all of who have been an inspiration to me.

There are some inspiring nuns out there who have been my students at some point in their path: Ayya Hasapanna, who, with her family, supported me for a year in Ipoh, and has become a steady leader of the Buddhist community. Ayya Pasada, an intelligent and perceptive nun of calmness and wisdom. Ayya Adhimutti, who helped me to understand how the patriarchy works, and gave me some of the tools I needed to cope.

There are plenty from outside the “Theravada” tradition, too. From the Tibetan tradition, I have been lucky to know Ven Tenzin Palmo, who combines the wisdom of deep experience with a wit and insight; Ven Thubten Chodren, always warm and understanding; Ven Lekshe Tsomo, a tireless worker for the Dhamma; Ven Jampa Tsedroen, a bhikkhuni of deep learning and wide compassion. And of course, how could I forget Ven Yeshe Chodren, my Dhamma sister for fifteen years, a true bodhisattva who has dedicated so much of her life to the spiritual welfare of the poorest and most deprived people in the world.

Bhikkhuni Dhammananda, who, with clarity, warmth, joy, and great strength and determination, has led the revival of the bhikkhuni order in Thailand. Ven Santini, the exemplary bhikkhuni of Indonesia, who helped us here at Santi, and whose practice is so very strong.

There is Chi Kwang Sunim, another of my long time Dhamma sisters, who has been a friend and support to me for more than ten years; Rev Miao You, with whom I have taught and who is building Australia’s first Buddhist University; and Bom Hyon Sunim, another Dhamma friend here in Sydney.

Ayya Munissara, Ayya Santacari, Ayya Anandabodhi, Ayya Santussika, Ayya Canda, Ayya Sammasamadhi, oh my goodness, too many to mention!

But I can’t forget Ayya Vimala, with whom I have worked so closely here on SuttaCentral for many years, and who has quietly made incredible contributions to the Dhamma. And our dear friend Ayya Vimalanyani, who has also been a tremendous help here on SC.

And finally I owe my current residence to the wonderful nuns here at Santi, Ayya Nirodha, Ayya Jitindriya, and Ayya Jayasara, who have made my stay here so delightful, and have taught me so much about how to create a warm and supportive community.

I can’t name them all, and I will surely be forgetting many! Please remember them in the comments for me!

All of these are amazing and powerful people, who have made incredible contributions to the Dhamma, and who have helped me personally, whether or not they realize it. To see the strength and resilience of those who have suffered so much, all of them, and have pulled through. And I know, as well as these, there are many who have disrobed, leaving the holy life, whether for personal reasons or because of the discrimination they faced. They too are special women, who in their stay in robes have enriched the Sangha and, I hope, have been enriched as well.

Thank you to all the nuns! I bow deeply to you all! May you find peace and joy, and may you realize the ultimate peace of Nibbana! :pray:


#2

Well said!!

:pray:


#3

Thank you, bhante! May I add Ajahn Vāyāmā, the pioneer who started Dhammasāra Monastery, and who spent a couple of years in a caravan all by herself to get things going. Then there are all the nuns at Dhammasāra who are all living an exemplary life as nuns. There is also Ven. Serī who has spent the last 8 years or so looking after Ajahn Vāyāmā as her illness has gradually been getting worse.

In Taiwan we have Ven. Dhammadinnā who is powerhouse of learning, but also a keen meditator. When I was in Thailand a couple of years ago, I met a large number of very impressive bhikkhunīs and sāmanerīs, including Ven. Dhammavijjānī, the abbess of a small rural monastery in the west of Thailand.

Then there is Ayya Upekkhā and the other nuns at Newbury Monastery in Melbourne, all impressive pioneers.

:pray::pray::pray:


#4

Sadhu, Bhante! :pray:

There are so many nuns who have made my life better as well (but to name a few) - the nuns at Sati Saraniya, Ayya Medhanandi, Ayya Nimmala, and Ayya Anuruddha, as well as the nuns at Amaravati, particularly Ajahn Candasiri.

I think I am most grateful for the global sangha that has formed around the world, and for the kindness and power that the nuns have held up their communities with - I know it is no easy task. Thank you, Venerables (including the bhikkhus), for your existence and for your dedication to the Dhamma and the Sangha. :heart:


#5

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
:anjal::anjal::anjal:


#6

Sadhu…sadhu…sadhu


#7

Thank you Venerables for being a great support to the nuns and nuns to be.
From my little position at the end of the line (and currently many kilometers away) I share the Buddhamas card from my beautiful big sisters.


#8

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu!


#9

Sadu! sadu!! sadu!!

Well said by the two great teachers of our times, Bhante Sujato & Ajahn Brahmali!

Just thought of giving a link to a very nice article on Great Arahant Sangamitta Theri who established the Bhikkhuni Sasana in Sri Lanka 2264 years ago.
Arahant Sangamitta Theri has arrived in Sri Lanka 6 months after the arrival of her brother, the Great Arahant Mahinda Thero who established the Buddha Sasana in Sri Lanka. We are very grateful to the Arahant Mahinda Thero & the Arahant Sangamitta Theri & to the respective retinues of Sangha who arrived in Sri Lanka with them. Without them, without their pioneering work, without their sacrifices, without their teachings, where would we be?

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/181223/sunday-times-2/make-sangamitta-day-national-womens-day-326146.html

May all being be happy & well!

With Metta,
Upasako


#10

Well my fave is Ayya Vimala. Ayya studied tectonophysics prior to ordaining. Tectonophysics includes the study of seismicity. Energy shifts in the Earth. For me she represents a seismic shift in the Sangha.
Merrry Xmas to the wonderful Tiloriens!


#11

Thank you, bhante, for this beautiful message and all you’ve done for the bhikkhuni sangha.

I would like to include Ayya Santacitta, co-founder of Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery. Usually it is her name that appears with mention of Ayya Anandabodhi. It might be possible that reference to her was intended where my name showed up. Given the similarity of our names, this happens fairly often. Ayya Santacitta has helped me tremendously. Her depth of practice experience and training are of great benefit to the bhikkhuni sangha and the many people she has taught over the years.


#12

Happy new year everyone… :fireworks::sparkler::tada:


#13

Thank you Bhante. I would like to add the most venerable Ayya Khema who first inspired me so many years ago and whose impeccable teachings I continue to rely on.

I was very fortunate to meet her when she visited Perth, a brief meeting that nourished and nurtured the tiny seed of dharma within me at that time. It was particularly inspiring for me to actually meet this formidable woman who was forging a path straight through the discriminatory bs that was so entrenched and which had proved to be so disheartening that I was questioning the value of the Buddhist tradition.

Ayya Khema laid a firm foundation for women in Buddhism and even now I continue to give thanks for her gutsy determination, her clarity of vision, insightful wisdom and her immense capacity for kindness and compassion.


#14

Bhante, I’m just coming back from a retreat with Ayya Visuddhi in Czech Republic, and she is such a great Bhikkhuni that should definitely be added to your list! Full of gratitude for a very fresh experience of deep kindness and wisdom! :pray: