by Ven Canda
The last month has been the most momentous time in eight years for Anukampa. Of course this was not really out of the blue, but the sudden and beautiful ripening of many intentions, so much hard work, and all your trust and support across the years.
If you are regularly in touch with us, you will know that I found a promising property whilst Ajahn Brahm and I were travelling back to Oxford from his family visit to Liverpool. I called for a viewing there and then, in the hope we could visit it together…
We both liked it a lot ~ for the location, seclusion and space ~ and since then we have engaged the support of the wider community. Dhamma friends locally and internationally pulled together to offer loans so that we can seize this rare opportunity. The energy and love has been heart-warming in a way that deepens faith. Since then we also welcomed three brilliant new trustees, two of whom, Manori and Elena, have been engaging with me late into the night to get solicitors, contracts, trustee approval etc. in place, so that we are in a position to make an offer.
We made our offer last week, whilst I was teaching a 6-day Loving-kindness (metta) retreat in Devon. The agent came back to us immediately to announce that our offer was one among four! He gave us another 36 hours to put in our “best and final, non-regrettable” offer. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to extend metta to nerves and the hard world of business! We couldn’t stretch much further and I thought we had lost it. Meanwhile, the retreatants continued pouring out metta and I felt held and embraced by the Dhamma. We called on the devas, the goodness of our intentions and the Ariya Sangha for support and “improved” our offer on Friday 8th December.
On Saturday 9th December I returned back to Oxford from the retreat, to an email. Our offer was accepted, subject to a meeting with the owners, surveys and contracts! I knew it was meant to be, by the peaceful joy that came over me. If everything goes smoothly from here, we aim to exchange contracts at the end of January.🤞
It feels slightly surreal and far more powerful than anything that could be willed into existence by a single person or even a group – thousands of millions of intentions coming to fruition. This is BIG STUFF that clearly must happen for the spread of Dhamma and the rooting of the Bhikkhuni Sangha here in the UK! 🙏
The monastery property is in a hamlet called Boars’ Hill, which is a preservation trust area just five miles from Oxford. Being close to Oxford means we can build on the existing relationships we have with students, supporters and monastic friends, and also have the appropriate seclusion for a “forest bhikkhuni” lifestyle. With over an acre of land bordering woods the monastery will provide a quiet sanctuary for our guests. Most pleasingly (for me!), there is a hut and a shed that could be turned into bhikkhunis’ kutis. The main house has five bedrooms, a large kitchen with dining for lay guests, a large dana sala (alms-receiving hall) for the monastics to receive alms and meet visitors, and a separate drawing room to serve as a quiet meditation hall. With two double garages and pre-existing planning permission, there is plenty of room to expand as our community grows. I will not be able to share photos until the monastery property legally belongs to Anukampa, but below are some photos of the land from above and nearby views from the hill.
So, how am I? The body is tired but the heart is inspired, in a state of awed disbelief. The gratitude in my heart is overflowing and the only way to express this is to “Open The Door Of Our Monastery!” (to coin Ajahn Brahm’s favourite metta phrase) ~ if everything goes smoothly, we hope to move at the end of March and welcome visitors from April onwards.