in this past Year of 2010 we saw and together participated in an uprecedented growth of activity and support of our women's monastic community here in Northern California and around the world.
our hermitage & bhikkhuni sangha for the vassa
Not only did we go ahead with the basic development of our women's monastic hermitage -- rerocking the road, tapping the drinking water spring and installing the water system, putting up our Dhamma/Dana Sala yurt, fixing trailers, building trails, clearing campsites, installing a seasonal solar electric system and building two [now three] new kutis (meditation huts) --
we also hosted the first time ever gathering of the Bhikkhuni Sangha for the three month long Vassa time retreat in North America, and we supported the first full ordination of four women as bhikkhunis, by the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha into the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha, ever in the Western Hemisphere of our world.
Even the readers of the Huffington Post (a mainstream American online newsmagazine) now may know the meaning of the word "bhikkhuni"
All of this was largely accomplished by the goodwill volunteer labor of friends, and both large and small donations of useful supplies and funds from nearby as well as as far away as Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Africa, Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Not only did this tremendous development of our hermitage and our women's monastic sangha happen this past year, but many other wonderful things as well.
community Dhamma resources
our San Francisco East Bay Bodhi House
For much of the first half of the year and its end, thanks to Liz Crisp's generous sharing of her beautiful and commodious home, we offered ongoing meditation classes and sutta discussion groups at the Bodhi House in Fremont as a community Dhamma resource, with distribution of free Dhamma books, Dhamma talks, and special gatherings supportive to a growth in knowledge of women in Buddhism...
worldwide dana helping those in need
Additionally, friends of Dhammadharini participated in networking and support to aid:
-- earthquake relief in Haiti
-- protecting the birthplace of the Buddha -Lumbini- in India with Sayadaw U Vivekananda
-- earthquake relief in Tibet
-- flood relief with the Mahabodhi Society in Ladakh
-- collecting clothing for Burmese orphans
-- flood aid in Vietnam with Ayya Dhammananda
and supporting Ven Bhikkhu Bodhi's work with Buddhist Global Relief
sharing the gift of Dhamma
Dhammadharini monastics have offered Dhamma teachings at utterly no charge to anyone both individually and to groups around the Bay Area and around the country and world with:
- Ayya Tathaaloka teaching in the Applications of Mindfulness series at Insight Meditation South Bay, Phillip Moffet's Sunday Sangha in Marin, Santa Cruz Vipassana and Vipassana San Jose, Nirotharam Vipassana Meditation Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and both Ayya Tathaaloka's and Ven Suvijjana's teaching at the Bodhi House and Aranya Bodhi Hermitage. Ayya Sobhana also led the Metta Retreat at Southern Dhamma Center. Ayya Sudhamma and Ayya Sobhana together with other resident monastics taught the Dhamma continuously, day after day to visitors and retreatants at our hermitage the entire three months of the Vassa.
Ayya Tathaaloka also:
-- offered research and art support for the making of "The Buddha" for PBS
-- spearheaded a USA/International team researching the ancient bhikkhuni monastery at Jetavana in Savatthi in India (ongoing)
-- participated as Dhammadharini delegate to the United Nations International Council on the Day of Vesak in Thailand on the theme of "Global Recovery"
-- participated in panel discussion on "Monasticism and the West" for Buddhadharma Magazine
-- served on the Organizing Committee for founding Sakyadhita-USA
-- served as Advisor to the Alliance for Bhikkhunis
-- participated in national Monastic Interreligious Dialogue
-- and participated in the publication of her chapter "Saffron and Green in the Clear Forest Pool" in the MID book Green Monasticism
In addition she, together with Dhammadharini Sangha and friends of Dhammadharini supported:
* the Inauguration of the Bhikkhuni Publications Series
* 2 anagarika ordinations, 10 samaneri ordinations, and 4 women for bhikkhuni ordination including Ayya Tathaaloka's longterm students Ven Adhimutta and Ven Suvijjana
* the hosting of 7 women monastic life aspirants at the Bodhi House and Aranya Bodhi
* the establishment of a sima for Patimokkha Recitation and ordinations at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage and at the Bodhi House (with Ayya Sudinna)
* the teaching of teenage girls and boys on temporary monastic life retreat at Wat Buddhanusorn
* the hosting of Dhammadharini Visioning Retreat with Ayya Tathaaloka and Ayya Sobhana with the Dhammadharini Board and Hermitage Committee
* the receiving of the Pali Canon at the Bodhi House
Additionally, considering the growth and longterm welfare of our Women's Monastic Community, Dhammadharini:
* investigated possibilities for a bhikkhuni monastery in Sebastopol at Green Valley Forest Refuge or another location.
For all of these excellent offerings to our local and greater community during this past year, Dhammadhairini would especially like to thank our women's monastic sangha; particulary:
Ayya Tathaaloka Theri
Ayya Sudinna Bhikkhuni
Ayya Sudhamma Bhikkhuni
Ayya Gunasari Bhikkhuni
Ayya Sobhana Bhikkhuni
Ayya Satima Bhikkhuni
Ven Madika Bhikkhuni
Ven Thanasanti Bhikkhuni
Ven Adhimutta Bhikkhuni
Ven Suvijjana Bhikkhuni
and Ven Phalanyani Bhikkhuni.
For their outstanding donation of their supportive time and energies, we would also especially like to thank our anagarikas:
Anagarika Marajina and Anagarika Kemanthie
together with those good women who stayed with the 8 precepts and offered enormous in-residence support to the Sangha:
Kate Drescher, Robin Church, Margaret Darby, Anagarika Aloka, Susan Pembroke, Ruwinie Delgoda, Tess Ann Sarbutt, Amy Boyer, Pamela Kirby, Maryanne Marks, Netkamol Hamm, Dominic McCarty, Soheil, Brenda Walsh and Shari Gent.
We would also enormously like to thank our Dhammadharini Board of Directors who were the shining stars behind online and at the forefront of it all in 2010:
Shari Gent, Sara Sacksteder, Brenda Walsh, Radhika Kapur and Rosslyn Wu
As well as our marvelous Hermitage Committee:
Ayya Tathaaloka and Ayya Sobhana, Jill Rayna Lippitt, Kemanthie Nandasena, Lal Senayake, Udana Ratanaburi, Gayan Pothuhera, Brian White, Liz Crisp and Jeannie Jullion.
We would also particularly like to thank the leaders and members of our local Insight Meditation communities and Buddhist monasteries who have been so wonderfully supportive in various ways:
* Bhante Seelawimala and the community of the Sacramento ABS Temple
* Bhante Amarabuddhi and the community of the Santa Clara Buddhi Vihara
* Ajahn Maha Prasert and the community of Wat Buddhanusorn
* Ajahn Pasanno and the community of Abhayagiri Monastery
* Jack Kornfield, Sylvia Boorstien and the community of Spirit Rock Meditation Center
* Ruth Denison and the Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Sangha
* Shaila Catherine and community of Insight Meditation South Bay
* Phillip Moffet's Marin Sunday Sangha
* Berget Jelane and Vipassana San Jose
* Stephanie Tate and Dharma Punx - Against the Stream
* Mary Grace Orr and Santa Cruz Vipassana
* Sharon Allen and her meditation groups
and * the Teachers of East Bay Meditation Center.
We would also particularly like to thank all of those who have regularly offered Meal Dana to our women's monastic community:
Khun Yome O, Warunee, Sutsanee Komalarjun, Mala Wijekoon, Meryl Landy, Shirley Kwok, Kim Allen, Dominic McCarty, Pi Jiep, J and Arthur, Niranji and Udana, Lal and Rasika, Goura Fotodar, Gayan, Khun Yome Jurasri, Risha Krishna, Brian White, Liz Crisp, Ross and Pitt, Barbara Meyers, and Carudhamma & Ron Browning, with special thanks to Shari Gent, Dominic McCarty and Lal Senayake for their special service as Dana Coordinators.
Those who have offered the Kathina robes:
Cloth, thread and dye: Lal Senayake, Family and Friends together with Sumana, Apple and Friends; Sewing Machine: Suruttama Ron Browning and Carudhamma Joanne Ferris
and All those who cut, sewed and dyed the robes together
Those who have offered medicines and organized support groups in time of medical need, particularly:
Liz Crisp, Jackie Barnes-Nako, Judith Levin, Brenda Walsh, Jacqueline Kramer, Kemanthie Nandasena, Sumana, Dr Tim Smith, Dr Ryan Taw, Dr Rabin Khetrapal, Sebastopol Community Acupuncture, and the anonymous donor of our bhikkhunis medical insurance through the Alliance for Bhikkhunis.
Those who have contributed to monastics, aspirants and retreatants lodgings, particularly:
* Liz Crisp, Jill Rayna, Kemanthie Nandasena & Family & Friends, Robyn Church
* for kutis: Bo Hyun Hwa Bosalnim, Nirotharam Foundation & Anonymous Donors
* All those who helped with cleaning up, renovating and refurbishing the trailers
* All donors of tents, tarps, mats, sleeping bags... and all those who cleared camp sites
There are so many more!!
It is thanks to each and every one of you, most of whom could not be named here, that all the joy and great progress of this past year has been possible. Thank you!