There is space at Aranya Bodhi for one or more friends to take longer meditation and service time, in a quiet redwood forest on the Sonoma Coast of California.
Aranya Bodhi is a hermitage for Theravada Buddhist bhikkhunis (fully ordained monastic women), together with monastic life aspirants and their allies. We focus on formal meditation, studying the Dhamma and sustained mindfulness in daily activities. Aranya Bodhi is a project of the Dhammadharini, the first Theravada bhikkhuni sangha to be established in North America.
Your presence as a Land Steward at Aranya Bodhi would make it possible for our beloved, hard-working bhikkhunis to have times for more secluded practice, away from their regular work in promulgating the Dhamma. The Land Steward would also have opportunity for fully supported retreat.
Everything we do is voluntary; there are no fees and no paid staff. Donors have provided a beautiful, safe and comfortably rustic space for practice as well as the requisite of food. This leaves a few simple duties for our residents in preparing food and keeping the spaces clean and maintained.
It would help immensely if one or more will join our community, who have the skill and affinity for some of our practical needs: driving, cooking, building maintenance, landscape, trail work, and firewood preparation. (Not all on the same day!) Depending on your talents and interests, these would be your field for mindfulness between blocks of time for formal meditation and rest.
Interested? Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or complete an application to visit. We recommend a series of brief visits if you have not yet met our community … a few days, then two weeks, then a longer period. If it’s a good match, a residential stay of 6 months or longer is possible.
It is also possible to have residential visits at the Dhammadharini Monastery at the western foot of Sonoma Mountain in Penngrove, or to alternate your time between the two settings. More about Aranya Bodhi and the Dhammadharini bhikkhuni sangha here .