Dhammadharini Vihara History

First Days of the Dhammadharini Vihara in Santa Rosa 10 August 2013

Warm greetings from the quiet sunshine of Santa Rosa afternoon, dear friends of our Sangha,

I write to you now deeply relieved. Our Dhammadharini BOD, acted quickly and greatly dedicatedly in facilitating the lease of the space for our new temporary vihara in Santa Rosa when a suitable space was found, just in time. 

Yesterday amazing Shari came with friend Jurasri to visit our hermitage to offer lunch in the morning and see how things are progressing there, then came across to Santa Rosa to meet with the realtor for lease review and signing in the afternoon. She then went on together with all of us monastics over to the new place where the doors were opened to us as a vihara for the first time and the key's put in our hands. Shari's photo that she shared earlier shows these moments of entering. 

Three of our monastics are abiding there now at the new vihara in its great emptiness, reminding me of when we began Dhammadharini and our first Dhammadharini Vihara in Fremont, nearly exactly 8 years ago. I too then stayed in the quiet emptiness of the space, glad for the very little i had. One mat and a quilt borrowed from Wat Buddhanusorn, my robe, bowl, sitting cloth... Such a beautiful time. Every single thing that came to be there; every single thing at our hermitage, and all of it-- all are the manifestation of kindness and generosity. Our house was built of the path's stepping stones for so many friends, as we live awakening together.

I would like to share with you a little about the new place.

first --


There are plans for a New Vihara Housewarming / House Blessing on Sunday, August 18th.
(Program here, Vihara Useful Things List for housewarming gift ideashere.)
The new vihara's address is: 5010 Grange Rd., Santa Rosa, CA 95404
(note: sorry, our lease does not allow pets on the property)
Phone: 707-583-9522
Email: santarosa.vihara@gmail.com

Just as the coast is cool and the redwoods deep and dark at our hermitage, this space of our new vihara is clean and bright; full of light, openness, dryness and spaciousness. It seems a very good place for the healing of those who have sickened from mold-exposure. Thank you to those who have made this possible.

Our new vihara is up on a little hill in a valley with a mountain towering out across the front door. The mountain used to be named Yulupa (Yoo-loo-pah), which means "sacred" in the language of the native Miwok and Pomo peoples who lived here long ago. These days it is called Bennett Peak and the valley is a farm and ranch area. Our new vihara used to be a ranch house with horse barn and horses. It is between a lama and goat ranch, a horse ranch and a cattle pasture. It is nearby the oldest Grange in the United States (you can see the old west dedication painting from the grange), with motto of: "faith, hope, charity and fidelity".

For those coming from points south, the exit is the very same as often used to come to our hermitage: the last Petaluma exit of off Hwy 101, Old Redwood Hwy/Penngrove.

Rather than going west (as to our hermitage), going east and north, it is only 6+ miles to our new vihara. Friends who wished to go to both in one super pilgrimage day-trip could easily do so. Our vihara is just about half way between our old abode to the south in Fremont and Abhayagiri Monastery to the north. For friends from Santa Rosa, it is just 5 miles out of town -- still a part of Santa Rosa.

We are happy that this makes us more accessible to our friends and supporters than at the hermitage. The new vihara is an easy drive in on a good road and paved driveway. The steps to enter are few--just fine for venerable elders and those not strong in health. We hope that it will make the seclusion of the hermitage all the more appreciated for exactly what it naturally is.

moving in
If you and/or friends would like to help with moving things from the old vihara storage locker in Santa Rosa to the new vihara, just phone the number above. Many thanks to the local friends in Santa Rosa and those from points south who are already helping with moving and set up today and tomorrow. There will be more to do this whole next week.

establishment of sima & first bhikkhuni patimokkha recitation at new vihara
On the full moon, the 21st, Ayya Sobhana will come in from the hermitage and Ayyas Anandabodhi and Santacitta will join us from Aloka Vihara to establish a sima (sacred boundary) for the first recitation of our Bhikkhuni Patimokkha at the new vihara. Phone the number above if you would like to offer dana and be present for the sima consecration on this day.

vassa aradhana - entering vassa
It is just the right amount of time to be able to enter into "Second Vassa" (the Late-date Vassa) on August 22nd, the date after the full moon. This year, it will truly be an autumnal three month's of vassa for us. We will be ending on the full moon of November -- just in perfect time for thanks-giving.

Metta to you all,
with deep gratitude, gladness and appreciation,
heart bright in the Path,
loving-kindness touching the world,

Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni
for all our monastics at the Santa Rosa Vihara

recap on important dates
this week moving in & getting set up
18th new vihara housewarming + blessing (welcome to all)
21st establishment of sima and first bhikkhuni patimokkha recitation
22nd entering the vassa
22nd aug. - 17th nov. vassa

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