Here at Anukampa Vihara we have had many delightful comings and goings, with each and every visitor enriching the community. Guests notice the peaceful, harmonious atmosphere – ‘It feels like a sanctuary, a spiritual home,’ they say. Perhaps it is the silent afternoons, the regular meditation and Dhamma talks, or the faith of the guests who might have driven hours to offer a meal; whatever it is, Anukampa Vihara has become more than the house that was occupied in November – it has become an oasis of calm in a busy and fast-paced world.
There has been a growing stream of overnight guests and drop-in visitors. Venerable Upekkha has doubled the Sangha’s presence and Grace looked after us well for seven weeks. The years of community building through “Zoomi Bhikkhuni” are finally bearing abundant fruit, with the majority of our residential guests having first met us online and since developed a lasting relationship with the community. From Norway to America (and this coming month from Perth!), everyone arrives with a heart of service, united in their aspiration to see the Bhikkhuni Sangha flourish and thrive.
After years of a solitary uphill slog, Anukampa is bursting to life, like the blossoms and leaves on the trees of Iffley Village. Thank you for supporting us in every way, both seemingly small and large.
Finally, to start the month of May on a high, we had the fortunate opportunity to invite two of the Oxford Buddha Vihara monks for lunch dana with us – Ven Mahasena from the Shan state of Myanmar who is currently acting abbot, and Ven Tuan from Vietnam who is studying for his PhD. The meeting was informal and filled with joy (and delicious food!). After lunch we had a fascinating discussion with Ven Tuan about the historical context of the Sarvastivadin and Early Mahayana teachings. We look forward to meeting our Dhamma brothers again at Ajahn Brahmali’s Oxford events – and hopefully seeing you there too!
Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhuuuuuuu!