Category Archives: News from Santi

pindabata pictures

Dear friends,

it was a great event – the pindabata for the nuns in Castle hills – organized by Lalitha. Thank you all for joining in, either at the different stations where you were waiting for us to come along with our bowls, or at Lalitha’s house, where we finally went to have lunch and talk about meditation.

Although it rained and was cold, you were patiently waiting and meeting you all time passed so quickly that we found that we will do pindabata and meditation again.

Here are some pictures Lalitha took with her phone.

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Long time since

It is not that we renounced this page but I have to admit that I abandoned it for a while. Sorry for that. My simple excuse: We have all been busy.

March has passed. Quickly days ran by, filled with day to day business.

The saddest happenings:

Bundanoon’s postmaster Hugh passed away, we visited him in the hospital short before he was dying. It was good to meet with a person who was not afraid to die, who himself though he was ready to go.

We were invited by his family to chant the metta sutta at his funeral. A sutta that in a way describes what his aims in life were.

A friend, a meditator and supporter of Samaneri Canda, Una from Dublin, also passed away. Although we were far in terms of the physical world, we felt close to her and we performed some blessing chants while she was dying and a farewell service for her after she had died.

At some point it seemed that many friends and supporters were sick, so we went to visit some of them in hospitals or at home.

The best thing that happened: One friend in hospital who had the diagnosis that he would hardly ever be able to walk again without a walker started to walk without any crutch after our visit, to the surprise and amazement of the doctors. Not that I do believe that our blessing healed him, but the blessings might have given him the power in his mind to heal himself.

Our friend Damith Herath came to film interviews with the nuns at Santi. He met with Ajahn Brahm and Bhante Sujato, Ayya Nirodha and other people for interviews. On the last day of March he finalized his work and send it off to a film festival in Sri Lanka. It is a 28 minutes documentary about the transition at Santi, about Bhikkhunis, – well, actually I can’t really say  what it is about because I haven’t seen it yet. Most probably we will have a little monastery internal ‘sneak preview’. The documentary can’t be shown publicly because it needs to be unpublished to be eligible for the festival. We will keep you informed and invite you for a ‘docu-day’ at Santi when the film is official.

Vimala and Canda have been doing a looooot of paperwork for visas, the paperwork continues. But we also have some first good results! :)

Some wonderful Bhikkhunis, Ayya Nirodha and Hasapanna from Perth, Dhammasara monastery and Ayya Upekkha from Melburne, Sanghamitarama, came to visit Santi for some days after the Australian Sangha Associations meeting which was held in Canberra. My faith in the community of Bhikkhunis grew and I found new friends in the holy life. It was the first meeting of Theravada Buddhist Bhikkhuni abbesses in Australia. Great, auspicious.

The Easter weekend was quite crowded. Friends slept in a hotel and in the library just to be at Santi for a day or two. It is marvellous, it is wonderful how much interest the people show in being at Santi, in receiving meditation instruction and helping some nuns with chopping wood, clearing trails, cooking, cleaning etc.. A team formed last weekend to work on the first newsletter, Leeleng is preparing for a fundraising dinner/auction in her restaurant to sponsor Santi.

Tomorrow another bhikkhuni arrives for a two months stay, some others are packing their belongings to leave in a few days heading to Perth to Thailand … but more on that later. :)

May you all be well!

leaves

Dear friends,

farewell and departure is always a large part of the life of any Buddhist monastic. We are not supposed to become attached to one particular place. In the Buddha’s time, it seems, the monks and nuns have been wandering for most time of the year, except for the period of three months every vassa.

In modern times this has changed quite a bit and monastics are more bound to their monasteries. None-the-less there is coming and going, people we share monastic life with, who have been or who are guests in Santi have left and will leave.

Our brother and friend Thanavuddho Bhikkhu left after 2 months and heeded on to Wat Buddha Dhamma to stay with Bhante Khemavaro for some time. It is rare to have a monk happily accepting female leadership. It certainly requires a lot of non-self :)

Our longterm lay-guest-man Sangvaro left this morning. He needs to work on his career now and goes to America for a while. It was very lovely and inspiring to see him work with himself to become a better person while he was here. And yes, the world is richer, as there is now one person definitely better than he was before. He changed to the better hopefully for good.

To see people changing like this through the power of the Dhamma and meditation, is the most beautiful thing to see, for one who teaches the Dhamma.

In less than two weeks Ayya Yeshe will also leave Santi. She has her place the Bodhicitta Foundation where she, with her work for the people and the Dhamma is needed in the slums of India. She brings light to a place in the world where there is darkness. She is strong, not many can do what she does for the people in the slums. She lives with them and shares with the people what you share with her.

Here are some pictures of our friends who took or will take leave soon.