Support the Bhikkhunis

A few days ago I got an emails from a bhikkhuni that really made me sit up. she said that her center receives only about $2000 in donations each year. There is plenty of on-the-ground support through volunteers and dana, but that’s not much money to run a center…

This highlights the stark reality of the difference between the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis. Most bhikkhus never really know what it is like to go without. Even if we stay in a simple place, we know very well that if we want to go somewhere comfortable, we can any time. Bhikkhunis can’t. The places hardly exist yet, and unless we decide to support them, they never will.

Many of you may be aware of the Alliance for Bhikkhunis that has been set up in the US. One of their tasks is to help facilitate support for bhikkhunis around the world. Please do get in touch with them and offer what support you can for the bhikkhunis. We can’t build a four-fold Sangha without you.

11 thoughts on “Support the Bhikkhunis

    • i’ll send you the link privately. i didn’t want to mention the specific vihara in the post, as I don’t want to favor one or the other! i’m sure many of the centers are in need of support, and the Alliance can help make sure funds get used the best way.

  1. Bhante, how was it at the time of the Buddha? Did both assemblies receive equal support at the time of the Buddha? Any indication of this in the suttas or vinaya?

    • Dear Dania,
      From what little I have thus heard, the Buddha even kept extra robes that were offered to the Sangha and made sure those who had less eceived what they needed. It is mentioned that the women may have received a little less (we can each ask urselves why) and therefore the Buddha redistrubuted to the nuns to ensure each community had the chance to thrive – imho against prevailing social conditioning. _/\_

  2. Dear Bhante,

    Sadhu for your comment and support in posting this, what you say is true, and is the living reality many bhikkhunis are face to face with all the time ~ many wonderful things are happening, in the wider scene, just now, yet it can be a real struggle still on the ground for just basic support (though, the center i stay at isn’t the one that is referenced here, and our position i feel is *relatively* strong, and feel glad and deeply grateful to be there),

    even though there is so much more awareness vis-a-vis the bhikkhuni issue i have to say, at the end of the day its going to take a lot more actual tangible physical support for the bhikkhuni sangha to grow and to thrive, and there needs to be active support for the training and opportunities of those who are still at the beginning and aren’t great teachers yet. there needs to be long term vision and wide awareness for this.

    It always surprises me that even organisations like Sakyadhita who do so much good, and impact the lives of so many, almost run on thin air – specially compared to other organisations. . .

  3. It mirrors the situation of women in this world. Man still earn and possess most of the money. Women even in Western countries have significantly less money to spend freely. As it would be mostly women who support bhikkhunis (also easily visible here in the forum ;-)), they’ll have to get along with less. I like to really praise Ajahn Brahm here, because he often mentions the Centre of the Bhikkhunis and reminds on the possibility to support them… and thank you Bhante Sujato for highlighting their situation.

  4. Maybe this was mentioned and I missed it, but I just learned that the Women & Forest Sangha facebook forum has retired. See:
    http://west-wight-sangha.blogspot.com/2011/06/4-fold-sangha-group-to-close.html
    Thank you to the admins and participants of that forum, which served such an important role in providing a space to voice experiences that had been silenced or ignored for so long.

    Another role of the facebook forum was to help get the word out about the bhikkhuni revival and the requisite needs of the various bhikkhuni centers as well as the siladharas. There is still the Alliance for Bhikkhunis webpage and facebook page, but it’s great to keep up regular reminders here too.

  5. Dear Bhante:

    Thanks so much for shining a light on this vital but often overlooked subject. The Alliance for Bhikkhunis (AfB) is launching its first fund raising event for bhikkhunis on September 17, 2011–the 1st Annual International Bhikkhuni Day. We are asking individuals to visit AfB’s site at http://www.bhikkhuni.net to learn about this event. We are also asking individuals to register to receive our emails so that we can tell them how they can be a part of this global, grassroots effort. The day is devoted to honoring Mahapajapati Gotami, the founder of the Bhikkhuni Sangha, as well as honoring all of our spiritual mothers, women who have brought out the best in us. This meditation pledge-a-thon will be a day of meditation, telling stories, and deep listening. We are using the site Firstgiving to accept pledges. Please contact us to receive assistance in creating a one-day retreat at your temple, center. or home. Nothing elaborate is required. A living room or backyard can be perfect venues, especially for individuals not living near a temple or a lay center but who wish to be engaged in this effort. The AfB site has everything needed to create a transformative day.

    We’re more than happy to help individuals who have questions or need assistance in any way.

    With metta,

    Susan Pembroke
    President
    Alliance for Bhikkhunis
    spembroke@bhikkhuni.net

  6. Thats nice…Sister Nairoda has some pretty good jokes in her talks too ..as funny as than Ajhan Brahms umm …..

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