It is the Asalha full moon,
the 2600 year lunar anniversary of the Buddha's first teaching, the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, Setting into Motion the Wheel of the Dhamma. The coming into existence of the jewel and refuge of the Dhamma. Some of you will be chanting or reciting that this evening, under the misty moon.
And with this first gathering to listen to the Dhamma, and the venerable Kondanna's "opening of the Dhamma eye," while listening, it is also the lunar anniversary of the coming into existence of the treasure and refuge of the Sangha.
Tomorrow we will be coming together for Entering into the Vassa -- Vassa Aradhana -- in the Awakening Forest, our hermitage loving cleaned and prepared by its residents and friends these past weeks for our Three Monthlong Retreat.
Many thanks to all the friends who have come by with Useful Things and supplies both to the Bodhi House and to Wat Buddhanusorn today and in the past few days in support of the ten of our retreat time. It is so good to be able to do this. I feel its goodness for our country, our world, our quantum universe...
not to mention our own hearts.
We will have five bhikkhunis -- a Bhikkhuni Sangha -- together for this vassa, together with two samaneris sisters, one anagarika and a series of two or more laywomen friends who will be sharing together in this retreat time in the great forest.
I hope that if you have the dream to come join us, that you will think to, and be able to. I hope that friends will remember us, and give the support that will be needed, not just in the beginning, but throughout the vassa -- and trust that this will be so, as the Dhamma and the goodness of human hearts and sharing with one another in generosity and kindness provides miracles.
The first year -- last year -- that we gathered as a Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha in North America for the vassa together, it seemed a rare and precious miracle. This year, i am glad that it begins, at least in my feeling, to move towards being a more ordinary miracle -- not such an incredible rarity, but just the goodness of what is possible, and is happening, and is being fully lived.
What a miracle it is to have growing numbers of wise woman sages being planted, cultivated, and grown on our land, in our forest garden :-). What a miracle it will be to have the growing presence of such be a part of the fabric, the mind, the heart and the body of American society. And society everywhere. For where are we not in need of wisdom, both feminine and masculine, and transcendent.
Thank you all for being a part of this amazing happening. Thank you for your own practice, and for the benefit that it has brought, and is bringing. Please care well for this garden, as if there were nothing more precious in this world than the health of the heart - for yourself and for each other. All of our human endeavors are rightly meant only for our wellbeing, our peace, and our happiness. We must never forget this, so that we do not get lost -- so that this does not get lost.
With the best of all good wishes,
and great loving kindness,
Ayya Tathaaloka Bhikkhuni