Yesterday morning I received most joyful news of 3 more women receiving the Samaneri Pabbaja into the Theravada monastic noviciate.
Former thilashin nun Therese Duchesne has gone forth again, and is again Samaneri Dhammapali. She is a Canadian, who was previously a nun in Burma – and who in 2007 gifted the use of a parcel of land in Yucca Valley for a Theravada Buddhist women's monastic community. The land, just 18 miles from Dhammadena, is joined on one side by 200 acres with caves (were bhikkhunis and bhikkhus have retreated) and Joshua Tree National Park land on the other.
Samaneri Dipa, an American, has lived with the eight precepts cumulatively now for more than a decade, leading meditation and sutta study groups in the Ozarks. She had previously ordained with Bhante G at Bhavana Society, where she trained for many years. Inspired by the current arising of the Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha in the USA, she recently visited Bodhi House and Aranya Bodhi Hermitage, and decided go forth again. She has received the Samaneri Pabbaja with abbess Ven. Ayya Gunasari of Mahapajapati Women's Monastery in California (in 2003, Ayya Gunasari became the first of two Burmese women to be fully ordained as a bhikkhuni in accordance with the Theravadin tradition via dual ordination by Ven. Dhammaloka Nayaka Thero of the Amarapura Sect in Sri Lanka).
Samaneri Nissara is Thai, raised and educated abroad and in the USA. She returned to Thailand not long ago to explore her heritage, and while there wrote several articles on Ajahn Brahm that appeared in the Bangkok post (prior to the Perth ordinations), including "An Uninhibited Monastic Life for Nuns" about Dhammasara Nuns Monastery in Australia. She has received the Samaneri Pabbaja with Ven. Nandayani Bhikkhuni at Nirodharam women's monastery in Chiang Mai.
Upasikas Dipa, Dhammapali, and Nissara join 42 known Theravada bhikkhunis, samaneris and siladharas who are now resident in or from/raised in North America.
May the four-fold sangha and all beings receive the benefits of the Theravadin Bhikkhuni Sangha. Anumodana!
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu!