What is the status of the nuns in the The Mahamevnawa tradition? Are these 8/10 precept nuns or are there fully/higher ordained Bhikkhuni's as well. Personally, I strongly support the revival of the Bhikkuni tradition.
Good question. I know of a Dhamma friend (girl) who went to one of their centers for a month last November. She was lucky as they had a Canadian girl there getting ready for ordination so she had someone who could translate for her. A recent youtube video which you can find here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amGlsry6GBY
, is from an ordination ceremony. I did not see the whole thing, but it looked like a real samaneri ordination. It might still be that they are "officially" regarded 10 sila nuns, but could be that they themselves practice full bhikkhuni sila. I have seen similar approaches in Sri Lanka before. But again, I don't know exactly, but I could ask someone and let you know. If you head over to this website (which seems to bit out of date, but still interesting) you can find some more pictures from their nunneries: http://www.buddhavision.com/asapu_main.html
(at the bottom of the page there is a navigation bar).
To see such focus on the Buddhavacana in a country where it has been so badly neglected fills me with joy...Sri Lanka has now produced two awesome Nananandas.
Could not agree more! Thanks for the kind words... BTW, you will probably be not surprised, that both Nyanananda's know each other personally. And that the Gnanananda sent me to the Nyanananda when I met him and asked for a good teacher. Even though they might not agree on everything a 100% both of them have done an incredible service for the Buddhasasana...
I just found out they have a branch within 20 miles of where I live. I'll have to go check it out sometime. Although they do seem to be rather lacking in the multicultural department
Yes. Language (and culture) are a formidable barrier
Luckily I was told that Ven. Gnanananda has realized that the foreign branches which started due to demand by Sri Lankan expats are turning out to be a training center (slowly) for the monks as other countries are interested but the monks, obviously, cannot learn all language of the world. So the emphasis is now on training the monks to speak English to communicate the Dhamma well. This means that anybody who is interested to help out is highly welcome even though it means a lot of patience and work at this point. The best thing of course would be to eventually have foreigners ordain, go through their rigorous training in Sri Lanka and start Sangha's in their native countries - similar to what was done in the Ajahn Chah Sangha. Humble beginnings, I guess. If you need a contact for the Californian branch, let me know, I could get you in touch with a Dhamma friend of that group.
BTW, The best English Dhamma talk collection from monks of Mahamevnawa (Toronto, their oldest foreign branch) can be found here:http://mahamevnawa.ca/index.php/dhamma-talks
(you can actually see the progress of English, over the years, of these monks as they deliver the Dhamma talks)
I like their style of teaching though so I'll just have to deal with being a foreigner in my own country I guess
So very true. I guess that is how the first Chinese Buddhists must have felt as well,