May 9, 2023

What’s Happening at the Monastery?

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.

Three guests at the Vihara with Ven Canda and Ven Upekkha

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.

Several day-visitor supporters with two overnight guests

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!

Supporters with Ven Mahasena and Ven Tuan

Here are some fun photos of the day and you can click to listen to our five minute welcome and two minute blessing chant  captured on Manori’s mobile phone!

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhuuuuuuu!

December 26, 2022

Our New Monastery & The Ajahn Brahmali Retreat

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!
November 19, 2022

Welcome Back! Re-Opening To Visitors At Our New Oxford Property: “Anukampa Buddhist Vihara,” 12 November 2022

Dear friends,

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

Hello hello from the new Vihara!
Happy to see everyone
Ajahn Brahm speaking with devotees at the new Vihara
July 9, 2022

Important Announcement!

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.”

May 25, 2022

Developing resilience

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.

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