A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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I am delighted to share with you the remarkable and wholly unexpected news that Ajahn Thanasanti was ordained as a Bhikkhuni on Sunday, August 29th in Northern California! She will be sharing a much fuller version of the joyous and wild story herself soon, but I wanted to at least give you a little hint of how this came about.
I picked Sister up at SFO on Friday evening and Saturday morning we drove into a beautiful redwood forest along the Sonoma Coast. We had come to witness the first Bhikkhuni ordination of Western women in the Northern Hemisphere on Sunday afternoon. After the meal, we went to pay our respects to Ayya Tathaaloka, the founder of Dhammadharini and the Aranya Bodhi Hermitage where we were guests. She mentioned she had sent two emails to Sister a month earlier to which she’d never received an answer. The relevant one for this brief recap was a heartfelt invitation from all the Sisters for Ajahn Thanasanti to join them in the ordination! We were both in some shock and I teared up at the obvious warmth and depth of the invitation and the clear opening that it offered Sister (gaining, for example, the authority to ordain). After asking a few key questions and learning that Ayya Tathaaloka was herself the preceptor, that the ordination was conducted by the sisters for the sisters, and that the Bhikkhu contingent that would be in attendance would simply confirm the ordination, Sister excused herself to sit with the redwoods and await her answer. Shortly before the lengthy rehearsal was to begin, Sister returned, radiant and calmly excited, to say Yes, she would join them!
Happily, I was able to call her mom, who of course we wanted to be there (Santa Rosa is just about 1 hr away), and Gwyn Waterfield, her recently-arrived attendant, who were both as shocked, ecstatic, and full of questions as we were. I left a message for Awakening Truth Board President Kathryn Turnipseed and she requested I send the board and advisors a brief accounting myself as soon as I could.
This was an historic event. Among the 100 or so guests were respected lay Vipassana teachers Ruth Dennison and Sylvia Boorstein (representing Jack Kornfield and the Spirit Rock Teachers Council), beloved sisters from Saranaloka in the SF Bay Area (who were so thrilled that Sister would be among the ordainees), Awakening Truth Board member Priyan Guneratne’s beautiful mother (!), and Ajahn Passano, the abbot of Abhayagiri, a Thai Forest monastery in the lineage of Ajahn Chah, from which Ajahn Brahm was expelled for conducting the Bhikkhuni ordination in Australia last year. Ayya Tathaaloka sent emails to Ajahn Passano and the Saranaloka sisters informing them that Ajahn Thanasanti would be among the ordainees in case that might alter their plans to attend. The fact that they came was extremely heartwarming and positive.
There is much to tell and much to absorb.
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pilgrim wrote:Yup, it was 4 bhikkhunis. It seems that Ajahn Thanasanti made the decision to ordain on the day itself, just hours before the ceremony. Quite a dramatic development as narrated on FB's "Women & the Forest Sangha"..Topic: Letter from Terry Mandel re Ajahn Thanasanti's Bhikkhuni ordination.
Not the same day. According to the story you mentioned above, Ven Thanasanti came to the Hermitage on Saturday, 28th. She was then asked to consider to join the other 3 nun applicants for ordination. She accepted, participated in the rehearsal, and officially ordained in the ceremony on the following day, Sunday 29th.
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I nearly cried when I saw this!
I wish them every success!
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I wish them well. I hope that more will follow.
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.
mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments
If you see any unskillful speech (or other action) from me let me know, so I can learn from it.
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More bhikkhunis ordained in California 10.10.10
This past Sunday, October 10, 2010, an historical international ordination of bhikkhunis, Buddhist nuns, took place at Dharma Vijaya Buddhist Vihara in Los Angeles under the aegis of Ven. Walpola Piyananda Nayake Maha Thera.
http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2010/1 ... os-angeles
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Last edited by Hanzze
on Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just that! *smile*
...We Buddhists must find the courage to leave our temples and enter the temples of human experience, temples that are filled with suffering. If we listen to Buddha, Christ, or Gandhi, we can do nothing else. The refugee camps, the prisons, the ghettos, and the battlefields will become our temples. We have so much work to do. ... Peace is Possible! Step by Step. - Samtach Preah Maha Ghosananda "Step by Step" http://www.ghosananda.org/bio_book.html
BUT! it is important to become a real Buddhist first. Like Punna did: Punna Sutta Nate sante baram sokham _()_
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I think the "witches hats" are part of the normal pre-ordination costume for monks or nuns. My impression is that they symbolise being a well-dressed lay person, which one gives up to become a monk/nun.
At our Wat the about-to-be monks will be carried around the hall three times by their friends and family before the ceremony. I gather that sometimes in Thailand they do this on an Elephant, again symbolising what they are giving up.
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Happy to hear this good news of the latest ordinations -
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Congratulations to all involved
It's wonderful to see the fourfold Sangha continue to grow
"Complaining is finding faults, wisdom is finding solutions" Ajahn Brahm
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Just today I stumbled over this post ...
as one of the newly ordained Bhikkhunis on this peticular day I want to thank you all for your well wishes and your mudita.
a blessing to all of you
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