Dear ones in Dhamma, benefactors and supporters of our Bhikkhuni Sangha,
As the crispness in the air ushers us into our winter retreat season, all of us with Dhammadharini Support Foundation, together with our Bhikkhuni Sangha, would like to express our "anumodana!" with deep gladness and appreciation for all your support, generosity and kindness this past year. In reading the recent newsletter of all that was accomplished in 2023 my heart is full of awe, joy and pure gratitude.
We are so blessed to have the Bhikkhunis as a part of our lives and as we benefit greatly from this, as does the world at large. Increasingly, Bhikkhunis internationally are moving towards having the opportunities and support that the Buddha envisioned for them, as we work towards the revival and restoration of our Fourfold Community in Buddhism for the benefit of all. Thank you very much and “Anumodana!” for this great gift to them, to ourselves, to our whole Sangha, and to our world.
In the Dhammadharini Monastery meditation hall, the night of entering retreat
As I draft this letter, the monastics are in their very final preparations to enter their winter retreat (January through March). And I am reminded of the many ways to offer support during this upcoming time.
It’s lovely to recognize and appreciate that there are many types of Giving: the gift of mental and moral support, words of support, physical acts of support– all are important and blessed forms of Generosity. We are supported by all of these!
Our monastics gathered before winter retreat
at Dhammadharini Monastery
"The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well... who have practiced straight-forwardly... who have practiced methodically... who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types [of noble disciples] when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world."
— Anguttara Nikaya, 11.12
The benefit of generosity is that it not only brings well-being to others, but is also the cause of our own happiness, both in the moment,we feel good when we give, and in the future when we reflect upon the giving.
Encouragement to all to join in dāna, sīlā, and bhāvana together during the winter retreat time. Dāna means giving generously, sīlā our precepts, ethics and moral virtue, bhāvana our mental cultivation and development of Mindfulness, Mettā, and Samatha & Vipassana meditation.
There are many ways to support our important work and the Bhikkhunis as they enter winter retreat.
Winter morning sunrise at Aranya Bodhi Forest Hermitage
Opportunities to offer support for Winter Retreat
Practice along with the community during winter retreat
During winter retreat, regular weekly Zoom teachings on Sundays and Tuesdays will continue, and there is a plan to offer Uposatha teachings on the full moon days: Thursday 1/25; Sunday 2/25; and Monday 3/25. The Dhamma teaching and practice theme for the retreat this year is “Practicing for Stream Entry.”
Sign up for a monthly donation
Monthly donations of any size are an amazing way to help add stability to the lives of the monastics and planning activities of the support foundation. Monthly donations can be made to offer meals, the monastic 4 requisites, our mortgage or whatever is needed. The size of the gift doesn't matter. Even $5 or $10 a week or month is a valuable dāna offering of support. As long ago, and also today, all those small gifts of support from the community add up - this is how Buddhism has worked on the grass roots level for millennia.
Drop by drop is the water pot filled..
Offer a onetime donation
Donations to the general fund can be made to offer meals, the monastic 4 requisites, our mortgage or whatever is needed. Combined with gifts from those who are able, according to their means - the whole community joins in supporting the Sangha, and all its treasures, together. This generates and supports a great field of merit and virtue for the world for our generation, and ensures it is passed on to the next generation.
Offer hot meal or grocery dana
Over the past many years, our supporters have been diligently providing essential groceries and hot dana meals to support the well-being and sustenance of Bhikkhunis. Your support is invaluable in maintaining and expanding this program. Those who are interested to learn more may contact the Retreat Manager (email@example.com), to be put in touch with our Dana Coordinator.
At Aranya Bodhi Forest Hermitage
May the energy of this retreat ripple out into the world, touching the lives of those around you with compassion and kindness. May the merit generated during this time contribute to the well-being and happiness of all sentient beings.
With a determined heart,
Dhammadharini Support Foundation
Director of Development
P.S> Dhammadharini Monastery is a non-profit organization that only exists through the generosity of our community. If you have already made a tax-deductible contribution this year, on behalf of our whole community of supporters and participants, I offer deep bows of gratitude. If you have not given yet, please consider doing so today.