It has been a long time since I wrote to you personally, and I am so happy to be back in touch.
In this letter, I share photos, memories and videos from Ajahn Brahm’s tour; upcoming regular teachings and special events; registration links for Ajahn Brahmali’s May 2023 retreat; and of course, more about Anukampa Buddhist Vihara – how you can be involved and come and stay in our sanctuary of spiritual friendship!
Welcome Back! Re-Opening To Visitors At Our New Oxford Property: “Anukampa Buddhist Vihara,” 12 November 2022
It has been more than two years since we temporarily limited visitors to our former Bhikkhuni Residence, but with the improvement of the global health situation worldwide, we are glad to announce that we are able to re-open to both residential and non-residential visits, now that Venerable Canda is back in the UK after her Rains Retreat!
Not only that, Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project has managed to secure our first property, near the River Thames in the beautiful University city of Oxford. Owning our very own Vihara (small monastery) rather than being in a rented location will provide more stability to the Project and provide a wonderful base from where to practice, gather together and grow community.
This purchase is a culmination of all the support from well-wishers around the globe in one way or another, and we are very inspired and grateful. Our aspiration is that Anukampa Buddhist Vihara will also be a solid foundation from which to continue building a supportive environment for women to practise monastic Buddhism in the UK, as fully-fledged bhikkhunis, in the manner laid down by the Buddha himself. This is yet another step towards our goal of establishing a permanent “Forest Monastery” in the UK.
You can write to team@anukampaproject to make arrangements to visit, offer food, or stay as a guest and find out how to be part of this wonderful, diverse and international community.
We look forward to welcoming you at our new Vihara soon. Sadhu x3!
The Anukampa team
Dear friends and supporters,
We are delighted to inform you that we have just completed the purchase of our first Vihara (monastic dwelling) in Oxford. After seven years’ hard work in bringing this to fruition, Venerable Canda has a place to deepen her meditation practice, train Bhikkhunis, and teach the Dhamma; and the lay community now has a place to gather and practice – a Dhamma sanctuary.
Our Spiritual Advisor Ajahn Brahm sent us this wonderful congratulatory message:
“The Buddhist Society of Western Australia started in a small house, 4 Magnolia Street in North Perth, over 40 years ago. It is now a huge Buddhist organisation with many monasteries for nuns and monks, state-of-the-art retreat centres and lay city centres. Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project has just purchased our very own Bhikkhuni Vihara in Oxford. This may seem a small achievement to some but, having personally seen all the hard work and sacrifice of those who made this event happen, it is a major milestone that we have reached. Bhikkhunis now have a home in England. Of course, this is not the finale in our quest for equity for women in Theravada Buddhism in the UK. From the comfortable house in Oxford, we intend to eventually purchase a larger property, in a quiet location, on which to build a Bhikkhuni Monastery similar to those monk-run monasteries in the UK. As Buddhists, we are patient, but your generosity and support will see our dream appear sooner. With Mega Mettā, Ajahn Brahm.”
We are pleased to share the second episode of a new podcast with Venerable Candā is available now called “Developing Resilience”. With thanks to Sol at the Buddhist Society of Western Australia for making these available.
In this episode of Sage Advice, we have Bhikkhuni Candavisuddhi, known as Venerable Canda, the pioneering nun blazing a trail for women monastics by striving to establish the Anukampa project, a monastery for fully ordained nuns in the United Kingdom. Those who previously listened to Venerable Canda’s story in a previous episode of Treasure Mountain will know that she has a lot grit to practice in challenging circumstances, and now to lead the way to establish a community of practice, and eventually a monastery in the UK. One quality that she has demonstrated in large measure is resilience, and she joins us today for this episode of Sage Advice to discuss the topic of resilience and determination.
We are delighted to share this Treasure Mountain podcast with you:
In this episode of Spirit Stories our guest is Venerable Candavisuddhi, also known as Ayya Canda, who first encountered meditation and the spiritual path when travelling through Asia as a young woman. This led to several years of going on and supporting retreats in India and Nepal. Whilst the yearning to live the Buddhist monastic life intensified, she found that opportunities for women to lead a meditative monastic life were few, until finding out about a chance to ordain with Sayadaw U Pannyajota in rural Burma. The meditative life suited Venerable Canda very well, but four years of the Burmese climate, diet and parasites took a toll on her health, and she decided to return to the West. A chance encounter led Venerable Canda to the teachings of Ajahn Brahm, and the opportunity to practice and take higher ordination at Dhammasara Monastery in Western Australia in 2014. Now she is blazing a trail for women monastics by leading a project to start a monastery for bhikkhuni sangha in the country of her birth, the United Kingdom. Venerable Canda joins us now to share her Spirit Story.