Hair for Care Fund Raiser 2017

Hair  For  Care  Fund  Raiser

by Ming Cassim

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Chandrika Perera before the head shaving at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Friday 9th June 2017. Photo by Ming

On the evening of 9th June 2017, with the full moon slowly appearing,  courageous Chandrika watched with joy and equanimity as Ayya Seri began to cut off her long, beautiful locks of hair .

Being the Full-moon Poson Poya Day, (the day which commemorates the introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka by Arahat Maha Mahinda, son of King Asoka of India, in the third century BC), the Head Shaving Ceremony had more significance.

When Ayya Seri cut off the first lock of hair, she gave it back to Chandrika and she asked her to contemplate and reflect on why she was doing it.

With her supportive husband Mohan behind her Head Shaving,  Chandrika’s delightful eyes were filled with tears of joy as her head was shaven clean.

Her “Hair For Care” intention to raise funds for Ajahn Vayama’s Care was so sincere and spontaneous, that she felt so much joy doing this meritorious deed.

At the end of the Head Shaving ceremony, performed so dexterously by Ayya Seri, stood a beautiful being … all in white with a countenance radiating peace and joy!

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! Chadrika.

A letter of appreciation from a supporter

“Hair for Care”

Thank you for inviting me to support the brave and wonderful thing that Chandrika has undertaken to do for Ajahn Vayama’s ongoing care.

While it is sad to know that Ajahn Vayama now needs 24 hour care, it is with joy that we remember her guidance in all aspects of the Dhamma, which all of us were fortunate to receive and benefit from. Her wonderful voice in chanting the Loving Kindness Sutra has given us a calmness of mind many a time. May all that she has done stand her in good stead through this difficult time.

May Ajahn Vayayama be well and be happy in both mind and body.

posted by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Chandrika Perera pays  respect to the Buddha in the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage before head shaving on 9th June 2017. Photo by Ming.

Chandrika Perera pays respect to Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni before the head shaving in the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 9th June. Photo by Ming

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni, Chandrika Perera and the committee of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage Incorporated inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage before the head shaving on 9th June 2017. Photo by Mohan.

Head shaving under the Bodhi Tree on 9th June 2017 outside the Sala of Patacara bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Mohan.

Head shaving of Chandrika Perera by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni under the Bodhi tree on 9th June 2017 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

The bright and joyous Chandrika Perera with her hair shaven on 9th June 2017 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni, Chandrika and Mohan Perera at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage after the head shaving on 9th June 2017. Photo by Ming.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni, Chandrika Perera and the committee after the head shaving at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Mohan.

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The End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016

By Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage conducted The End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony on Sunday 30th October 2016. About 40 invited lay supporters participated in the Ceremony. The day was a bright and beautiful day and everyone enjoyed a lovely time together.

The ceremony included Paritta chanting, and then the Cloth was offered by Merry and Trevor Taylor to the bhikkhunis at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

A week before the End of Rains Ceremony, a group of volunteers came to the Hermitage to clean, dust and tidy the Sala of the Hermitage and the surrounding area in preparation for the Ceremony. Our youngest volunteer is a ten year old young lady. We had another small group of people turned up a day before the Ceremony to do the final preparations. Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu to all our volunteers!

The Bhikkhunis

 

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage during the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony on Sunday, 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage during the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony on Sunday, 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni at the End of Rains Clothing offering Ceremony 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Zor.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni at the End of Rains Clothing offering Ceremony 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Zor.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni entering the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage before the start of the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony on 30th October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni entering the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage before the start of the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony on 30th October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni cut the birthday cake after the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni cut the birthday cake after the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

 

 

Before The Ceremony

A glorious and joyous occasion at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

A glorious and joyous occasion at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Before the start of the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havndra.

Before the start of the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni's mother, Sau San Teh made an offering to Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni on the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni’s mother, Sau San Teh, made an offering to Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage during the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage during the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The Ceremony

preparing for the chanting of Paritta at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

Preparing for the chanting of Paritta at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Merry and Trevor Taylor at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Merry and Trevor Taylor at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Merry and Trevor Taylor before the offering of the Cloth at the End of Rains Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor.

Merry and Trevor Taylor before the offering of the Cloth at the End of Rains Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor.

The cloth offerings was handed around the participants to join in the merits of offering. Photo by Zor.

All the participants at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Cremony were invited to join in and to share the merits of offering of the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 30th October 2016.  Photo by Zor.

Everyone at the ceremony joined in the joy of the offering of the Cloth at the End of Rains Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016

Everyone at the ceremony joined in the joy of the offering of the Cloth at the End of Rains Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016

Merry and Trevor Taylor offered the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis at Patacata Bhikkhuni hermitage 2016. Photo by Zor

Merry and Trevor Taylor offered the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis at Patacata Bhikkhuni hermitage 2016. Photo by Zor

Meery and Trevor Taylor offered the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30tj October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Meery and Trevor Taylor offered the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30tj October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Offering of the Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

Offering of the Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

The Chanting of blessings after the offering of the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016. Photo by Havondra.

The Chanting of blessings after the offering of the End of Rains Cloth to the Bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016. Photo by Havondra.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni , Merry and Trevor Taylor at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni , Merry and Trevor Taylor at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Zor

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Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni tied a blessing string around the wrist of her mother, Sau San Teh, after the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016. Photo by Merry.

 

 

The Dana

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni's birthday cake at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th Ocober 2016. Photo by Zor

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s birthday cake at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th Ocober 2016. Photo by Zor

Dana at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Dana at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Dana at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016.

Dana at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 30th October 2016.

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Dana at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Dana at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Friends at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Friends at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

The Volunteers

The volunteers on 22nd October 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

The volunteers on 22nd October 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra

The volunteers inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 22nd October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The volunteers inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 22nd October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The volunteers at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 22nd October 2016.

The volunteer at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 22nd October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

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The hard working volunteers at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 22nd October 2016. Photo by Havindra.

Hello, come and join in the fun! photo by Havindra.

Hello, come and join in the fun! Photo by Havindra.

 

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Vesak Celebration 2016 – Vesak Meditation Day

The beautiful lights and candles at the end of Vesak Meditation Day 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

The beautiful lights and candles offered at the end of Vesak Meditation Day 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage conducted a Vesak Meditation Day on Saturday, 21st May 2016 to celebrate the birth, enlightenment and the passing away of the Buddha. It was inspiring to see all 22 participants attend the Vesak Meditation Day despite the severe weather warning on the day.

We would like to have  bright and warm weather for the Vesak Meditation Day. However, life is unsatisfactory-dukkha, changeable and unpredictable – anicca and not me, not mine and not myself – anatta. The severe weather is like “Death and Dying”, the theme for the Vesak Meditation Day this year. It came unannounced, unwanted and at the wrong time. The severe weather is the perfect teacher for all of us on Vesak Day.

It was delightful to leave our busy  world behind and practise together to honour the Buddha; to follow in the footsteps of the Buddha and to dedicate our effort for our own liberation and freedom.

Happy Vesak to all of you from Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage!

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni on Vesak Meditation Day 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni on Vesak Meditation Day 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni with the lights and candles inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Vesak Meditation Day 2016. Photo by Ming.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni with the lights and candles inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Vesak Meditation Day 2016. Photo by Ming.

Offering of lights and candles at the end of Vesak Meditation Day 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

Offering of lights and candles at the end of Vesak Meditation Day 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

The participants reading the obituaries outside the Sala of Patacata Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Vesak Meditation Day 2016. Photo by Ming.

The participants reading the obituaries outside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Vesak Meditation Day 2016. Photo by Ming.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the participants on Vesak Meditation Day 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

The group photo at the end of Vesak Meditation Day 2016 inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Karen.

The Vesak lights, lantern and flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016.

The Vesak lights, lantern and flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016.

The beautiful lights and lantern at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016.

The beautiful lights and lantern at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016.

The Vesak lights, lantern and flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016.

The Vesak lights, lantern and flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage 2016

 

 

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Vesak Celebration 2016 – The Preparation

By Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage was very grateful to the two groups of volunteers who came to prepare for the celebration of Vesak 2016.

The first group came on Sunday afternoon, 15th May 2016. They cleaned, vacuumed and  dusted the Sala and swept the compound of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. The Volunteers also put up the Vesak lanterns and lights as well as the Buddhist flags that afternoon.

The second group of volunteers came on Friday, 20th May 2016, one day before the Vesak Meditation Day. They helped with the final preparations which involved cleaning and vaccuming, arranging the furnitures and seats, and  putting the final touch in decorating the shrine and arranging the flowers.

We appreciate all the help and Sadhu, Sadhu and Sadhu to all the volunteers.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the volunteers inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 15th May 2016 Photo by Manora and Havindra

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the volunteers worked inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 15th May 2016 Photo by Manora and Havindra

The volunteers inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora nad Havindra.

The volunteers worked inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora nad Havindra.

The volunteers decorating the Bodhi Tree outside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 15th May 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The volunteers helped to decorate the Bodhi Tree outside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 15th May 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The Volunteer out up the Vesak lanterns, lights and Buddhist flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora and Havindra.

The joyful volunteers put up the Vesak lanterns, lights and Buddhist flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora and Havindra.

Why are they laughing? If you want to know, you need to join the V Team at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Manora and Havindra on 15th May 2016.

Why were they so happy? If you want to know, you need to join the V Team at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Manora and Havindra on 15th May 2016.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the V Team at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the V Team at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the Volunteers at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the volunteers at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday 15th May 2016. Photo by Manora.

The result: The colourfull Vesak lanterns, lights and Buddhist flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the end of 15th May 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The result: The colourful Vesak lanterns, lights and Buddhist flags at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the end of 15th May 2016. Photo by Havindra.

The beautiful Vesak lanterns, lights and Buddhist flags like the gratitude, delight and joy in our hearts towards the Buddha. Photo by Havindra on 15th May 2016

 

 

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March Meditation Day 2016

by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Offering of incense and candles at the beginning of the Meditation Day on 19th March 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

Offering of incense and candles at the beginning of the Meditation Day on 20th March 2016 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Ming.

On Sunday, 20th March 2016, Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage held a Meditation Day to mark Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s ordination anniversary on 17th March. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni went forth as a nun in Sri Lanka on 17th March 1985.

Twenty two invited lay supporters participated in the March Meditation Day to honour our teacher, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni. The theme of the Meditation Day was “Sickness and Aging”.

 

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 19th March 2016. Photo by Ming.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 20th March 2016. Photo by Ming.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the participants at the Meditation Day on 19th March 2016. Photo by Ming.

Group photo (1) : Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the participants at the Meditation Day on 20th March 2016. Photo by Ming.

Group photo [2] of Ayya Vayama bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the participants at the Meditation Day on 19th March 2016. Photo by Ming.

Group photo [2] of Ayya Vayama bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni and the participants at the Meditation Day on 20th March 2016. Photo by Lay Har.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni at the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage after the Meditation Day on 19th March 2016. Photo by Ming

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni at the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage after the Meditation Day on 20th March 2016. Photo by Ming

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End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015

by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

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Copperplate  written by Christina and framed by Jacky.It hangs on the wall of the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage marked the end of the Rains Retreat 2015 with an End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony on Saturday, 31st October 2015.

The Volunteers at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 24th of October 2015. Photo by Havindra.

The happy volunteers at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on Sunday, 24th of October 2015. Photo by Havindra.

Two separate groups of volunteers came to the Hermitage on the afternoon of Sunday, 24th October and Friday, 30th of October to clean, polish, dust, and tidy the place to get ready for the ceremony. They also hung up some Buddhist flags around the Sala of the Hermitage. Everyone was enthusiastic, happy, energetic and worked very hard. We were like Tom Sawyer’s friends, willingly offering our time and energy to join in the work for fun, for happiness and to honour the Buddha and Sangha.

The End of rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st October 2015. Photo by Havindra.

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni paid respect to her teacher, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, at the beginning of the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st October 2015. Photo by Havindra.

Paritta chanting inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015. Photo by Zor.

Paritta chanting inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015. Photo by Zor.

Phalinee Sawangying offered this year’s the ‘End of Rains Cloth’ to the bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. We were delighted Phalinee had the opportunity to offer the End of Rains Cloth in front of her family and friends especially her first granddaughter, Matilda.

Phalinee Sawangying and her family offered the End of Rains Cloth on 31st October 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage.

Phalinee Sawangying and her family offered the End of Rains Cloth on 31st October 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Havindra.

Phalinee Sawangying and her family at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st October 2015

Phalinee Sawangying and her family at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st October 2015. Photo by Zor.

This year was Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni’s 5th Rains Retreat and the 5th End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. When Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni moved into the Hermitage on 26th of November 2010, we especially chose the name, ‘Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage’. We especially used the word Bhikkhuni Hermitage to signify the establishment of the Bhikkhuni community in Australia. We called the Hermitage ‘Patacara’ because we were inspired by the Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara during the Buddha’s time. Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara was an exceptional female role model. She attained the highest goal of the monastic life – liberation and freedom, Nibbana.

Life is full of endings and beginnings. Today, we marked the End of Rains Retreat 2015. The period outside the Rains Retreat begins. Patacara ended her life as a daughter, a young girl and became a wife and a mother. After the shock and unexpected sudden death of her husband, children and her parents and brother, Patacara ended a life of security and ‘certainty’ , and entered the life of the Sangha and began her journey as a Bhikkhuni. Both Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and myself resonated with her journey, especially the impermanence and the removal of a security blanket in life. We were also inspired by her. Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara ended her journey in Samsara, Nibbana.

Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara was a great female teacher who helped  and guided a lot of people, especially women and nuns on the path of practice. It was like Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, who had and has been a great teacher to many of us especially the female practitioners. Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara was named by the Buddha as the foremost bhikkhuni in Vinaya. I am personally very interested in Vinaya. Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara was indeed an excellent role model for us.

Lighting of Incense and candles at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage, Photo by Havindra.

Lighting of incense and candles to start the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage, Photo by Havindra.

Inside the Sala at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Zor.

Chanting of blessings inside the Sala at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. Photo by Zor.

The following are the verses by Arahat Bhikkhuni Patacara from ‘The Verses of the Elder Nuns’:

PLOUGHING THE FILED WITH THEIR PLOUGHS,
SOWING SEEDS UPON THE GROUND,
MAINTAINING THEIR WIVES AND CHILDREN,
YOUNG MEN ACQUIRE WEALTH.

THEN, WHY, WHEN I AM PURE IN VIRTURE,
PRACTICING THE MASTER’S TEACHING,
HAVE I NOT ATTEND NIBBANA—–
FOR I AM NOT LAZY,NOR PUFFED UP?

HAVING WASHED MY FEET,
I REFLECTED UPON THE WATERS.
WHEN I SAW THE FOOT WATER FLOW
FROM THE HIGH GROUND DOWN THE SLOPE
MY MIND BECAME CONCENTRATED
LIKE AN EXCELLENT THOROUGHBRED STEED.

HAVING TAKEN A LAMP, I ENTERED MY CELL.
I INSPECTED THE BED AND SAT DOWN ON THE COUCH.
THEN,HAVING TAKEN A NEEDLE,
I PULLED DOWN THE WICK.
THE LIBERATION OF THE MIND
WAS LIKE THE QUENCHING OF THE LAMP. ( THIG 112-116)

In order to celebrate the 5th End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony, a special cake with the theme,’The story of Patacata’ was especially made and offered by Purnima and Dilusha and family on that day.

The Bhikkhunis at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage were very grateful for the supports, generosity and lovingkindness that you offered over the years, to allow us to continue to practise on the Eightfold Path for the attainment of Nibbana.

Sadhu, Sadhu, Sadhu.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni were cutting the cake offered to mark the 5th Rains Retreat and Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st of October 2015. Photo by Zor

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni cut the cake at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st of October 2015. Photo by Zor.

The cake offered to mark the 5th Rains Retreat at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st of October 2015. Photo by Zor.

The bright and delicious cake offered to mark the 5th Rains Retreat and the 5th End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st of October 2015. Photo by Zor.

 

Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony, 31st October 2015. Photo by Zor.

Inside the Sala of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage at the End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony, 31st October 2015. Photo by Zor.

The dana table at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st October 2015. Photo by Havindra.

The dana table at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on 31st October 2015. Photo by Havindra.

 

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In-House Hermitage Retreats 2015

By Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni and Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni entered the Rains Retreat 2015 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on the 31st of July. The Rains Retreat will finish on the 27th of October.

There will be two In-House Hermitage Retreats during the Rains Retreat 2015 for the residents of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage which includes Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni, Jacky and the resident cat, Subha. During the In-House Hermitage Retreats, Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage will be closed to visitors. We will not be checking the emails during the In-House Hermitage Retreats. If you need to contact the Hermitage urgently, please send a text message to the Hermitage’s mobile phone:         +61 459 471 047. We will be checking the phone messages twice a day.

We wish you happiness and peace during the Rains Retreat.

In-House Hermitage Retreats 2015:

1. Friday, 14th of August to Wednesday, 19th of August.

2. Friday, 2nd of October to Wednesday, 7th of October.

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