Tributes and reflections for Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni – Monastic community

Warm greeting from Canada. I am writing to you on behalf of our community to express our loving compassion to you and to all the close community around you who have been so faithfully caring for Ajahn Vayama these many years.

We just heard that she passed away peacefully. We have been chanting for her regularly and we will also chant for you and continue to hold you in our hearts. Such a life she lived creating boundless blessings and inspiration for this world – a truly noble legacy.  She will be deeply missed.

We shall continue to chant for her and make dedications for her. May she realise the highest peace, final Nibbana.

We deeply appreciate your unwavering commitment and loving service to Ajahn Vayama over these many years, providing for all her needs during a very long illness which for ordinary beings would be devastating. And yet you served in the most touching and impeccable ways with joy and courage, giving her the best of care. We have read the posts you kept up on the Patacara Hermitage website over the years describing your incredible life together and we have felt the profound example of both of you, her dignity and faith and your selfless kindness to your beloved teacher.

We are grateful to you and to all who surrounded her during her years of illness to offer joy, comfort and every conceivable medical support to create an environment of so much peace and calm.  

May all the good kamma of her life be fulfilled in freedom from all suffering. We wish for you through your strong Dhamma practice and the power of your refuge in the Noble Triple Gems great peace and equanimity at this time of separation.  May your heart abide in the clear stream of Dhamma, bearing witness to anicca and abiding in the faith of the Noble Ones.

With hearts of compassion and uplift, in the blessings of the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, mahametta-karuna,

Ayya Medhanandi

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I am Bhikkhuni Santini from Indonesia

I want to send a few words below:

The late Ajahn Vayama …

With samvegacitta may you continue your journey to go to the other shore. Anumodana for your wonderful inspiration in this life as a bhikkhuni. All your effort and hard work meant so much for so many beings.

With metta

B Santini

…………..

Thank you for the kind message. I feel sad hearing about Ayya Vayama’s

passing but think she has done what she wanted to do in her life. I listened to her teachings many times. 

May she attain ultimate peace and the happiness of Nibbana. 

Bhante Metteyya

New Zealand

…………..

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Tributes and reflections for Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni – Lay community

I have fond memories of Ajahn Vayama’s compassion and kindness in 2003 when Iwas very ill. She very kindly invited me to stay at Dhammasara for 10 days to rest.

She very kindly gave me her own private room with an ensuite in the Nuns Cottage and 2 of her anagarikas bunked in together and she slept in one of the anagarika’s rooms. She brought in breakfast and lunch to me on a pretty tray presented so beautifully by the now Ajahn Hasapanna. (who was an anagarika then).

The other Anagarika was asked by Ajahn Vayama to drive me to a medical appointment at the end of my stay and then to drive me home safely.  That Anagarika is now Ayya Seri.

I have never forgotten Ajahn Vayama’s  kindness and compassion along with her Anagarikas. 

Love

Chrissie Anderson

…………..

I am sincerely thankful that I was welcomed into the Circle of Sister Vayama during the latter years.

There are many qualities that I admired. I would like to mention two.

First, Consideration of Others.

Regardless of her own predicament, no matter how breathless or exhausted, there was always kindness and unwavering politeness.

There was consideration and interest extended to me, even though I was there to provide a treatment. I was always greeted with that genuine, whole face smile, followed by that questioning look saying “How are you?”

In the circumstances this was incredibly selfless.

Secondly, Sister Vayama’s positivity was unrivalled.  Despite her decline in health she would tell me that she felt 6 out of 10 in wellness, even in the last week of her life.  I think that she experienced a sense of well-being from the devotion respect and love that surrounded her, especially from Sister Seri.

Thank you for the privilege of knowing you.  I pray that every day now will be a 10 out of 10 day.

I carry your memory in my heart.

Lynn

Physiotherapist

…………..

I first met Ajahn Vayama when she was living in the caravan at Gidgegannup many years ago. She told us of her experience living in a forest monastery in remote Sri Lanka. Her resolve to establish the Buddhist Nuns’ monastery at Gidgegannup was so inspiring.  She will be remembered for her extraordinary mental strength and of course her kind smile. 

May she attain nirvana!

With Metta 

Aruni Jayasekera 

…………..

We were visiting Ayya Vayama for the last 15 years and kids love to talk to her regarding their achievements at school, outside school, and events in the future. When we visit Ayya Vayama next time, she remembered to ask how they performed and we were surprised to see her memory and how she remembers all the details, even after few weeks.

Years went by and Ayya Vayama could not speak much but she loved to hear from us about what we are up to and how girls performing in school. Her smile tells all the words she could not express in words and we really miss that smile and her presence. We were so blessed to associate such a wonderful soul and may she attain the supreme bliss of nirvana.

Dilini, Pubudu, Sadeni and Sathmi

Thank you kindly

Dilini Premachandra & Family

…………..

I want to express my gratitude for Ayya Vayama’s teachings. I listened to them via podcast and the teachings helped broaden my incremental understanding of Dhamma. She was and will continue to be an inspiration. 

Thank you from Ontario, Canada

Linda Taylor

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I have had many good memories and experiences with Ajahn Vayama in the early days. I find it hard to use Past Tense. Below is a short contribute to our dedicated, gentle and kind teacher.

A memorable feature of Ajahn Vayama is her beautiful smile. Her determination to be a fully ordained Bhikkhuni was unwavering. Ajahn Vayama’s words seemed to articulate truths and her ability to explain the Dhamma in such a way that I could understand it clearly. Thank you, Ajahn Vayama.

Poh Suan

…………..

Dear Ayya Vayama,
I live in Viet Nam. I have the good fortune to receive the signed book “Taking Refuge” from you which records your Dhamma talks.

How relieved I was to understand the true meaning of suffering and happiness according to Buddhism through your gentle and loving- kindness teaching.

I understand more and more about taking refuge in myself on the path to liberation, which you had experienced in your spiritual life. Those precious teachings have awakened me, helping me to have a realistic and optimistic view of life.
I am truly grateful to you for those Dhamma talks.

May you attain Nibbana.

Huynh Ngoc Diep

…………..

With heartfelt gratitude for the generosity, kindness, humour, and wisdom Ayya Vayama expressed to so many beings in immeasurable ways. 

Ian Percy

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I sought the comforting wisdom of Ayya Ajahn Vayama upon the sudden passing of my brother.
She not only consoled me in one of life’s darkest moments but used the opportunity to present a Friday night talk titled “Creating Inner Wealth” in the hope of helping others experiencing similar grief and turmoil.

Ayya Ajahn Vayama was truly a wonderful being who leaves an enduring legacy of teaching, care, compassion and espousing the Dhamma to help all.
With abundance of gratitude, respect, Metta and love
Lucky Kodituwakku

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A BYSTANDER …..

She spent the last few years in Jane brook. I met Ajahn Vayama in the 1990s. She was full of optimism, standing in the middle of the property that was to become Dhammasara Monastery: optimism tinged by the knowledge that everything is fleeting. She must have had an inkling? I do not know. There were so many things I wanted to ask her, but time was limited. Perhaps next time ?

But there was to be no next time. When, in 2004, I next visited Perth she was too unwell for us to disturb her and I missed her in Sri Lanka too.

So what makes this single meeting significant? Because it was not the first time I had met her. She had told me of how she donned the saffron robe in Sri Lanka many years ago. And she was surprised that I told her that on, that great occasion, I had been there, too.

My mind went back. It was at Parappu-duwa, in Dodanduwa. Word had got around that Ayya Khema had set up a centre for would-be bhikkunis. It was a rain-and-shine day, and we had to go by boat to the island. There was a lot of boat traffic. Anyway, we made it ashore, we saw the facilities provided, saw Ayya Khema’s “kuti” and then joined the crowd round the hall where she sat. The bhikkus from Polgasduwa were present and the so were the aspirants. There was a Sri Lankan aspirant and two young Europeans. One, with chaste, chiselled features emphasised by a shaven head,  was Vayama. We did not know her, then, but we had a few photographs and she was quite pleased to get them, when we sent them to her. It was just one footprint on her journey through Life and Samsara…….

Our paths first met on that day, but it was not by accident. Ayya Khema had been in Colombo. Sri Lanka, and I had been taken to meet her by Bhikkuni Kusuma. I had met her, had long talks with her and meditated with her. But I was not mature enough to realize that I had been privileged and to follow the path more assiduously. Ayya Khema later left Colombo to set up her hermitage in Parappa-duwa, and so, through Ayya Khema, I had my first glimpse of Ajahn Vayama.

So my meeting with her in the 1990s was not the first meeting. I had been a bystander witnessing a glorious procession: Bhikkuni Kusuma > Ayya Khema > Parappa-duwa> Ajahn Brahm > Bhikkuni Thathalokaa> Dhammasara > Ajahn Vayama.

Only a bystander, but a blessed one.

Dayadari Devendra of Sri Lanka

…………..

We got to know Sister Vayama around 30 years back. I still remember when she was the first nun to live at the Gidgegannup temple. Then it wasn’t built like now. She lived in a caravan all by herself. We took alms and served outside in the garden. It was a beautiful and peaceful place and sister Vayama always seem to be happy and smiling. She was so courageous and determined.

When the aramaye was built later we used to take the food and other requisites there.

After the Dane we used to go and talk with her. Many people came to get advice from her and sometimes about their personal problems.

She had been in Sri Lanka for 10 years. She said she could speak Sinhalese then.
I asked her to talk in Sinhala. She asked me to ask questions in Sinhala and she replied in Sinhalese. It was amazing!

We took Dane there and helped with other things she needed. Sister Seri is so wonderful with her, caring and looking after Sister Vayama.

We have good memories of her and will miss her. May she be at peace and attain nibbana.
Theruwan Saranai!
Shantha and Vasantha

…………..

I am sad to hear this news. And at the same time I am glad to know that she has spent a life dedicated to the Dhamma. Practising, embodying, and sharing the Dhamma with all who were interested.

I am fortunate to have known her. She was an inspiration and good kalyanamitta for me.

I will offer a meal (breakfast) here at the meditation centre in Switzerland (we are in the third week of the three-week meditation retreat) on Saturday, 27 November 2021.

The dedication is:

In memory of Ayya Vayama

A dear kalyanamitta and pioneer for the nuns in Australia

With metta

Ariya

…………..

I always knew that Ajahn Vayama was going to die, and likely soon, but I didn’t expect for it to happen when it did. When I first heard that Ajahn Vayama had died, I felt like someone was squeezing my heart, not because I was sad exactly for Ajahn Vayama, because I knew that whatever form, place or state she was in or not in, she would be ok, but because she was such a wonderful and inspirational person and selfishly I admit, I did not want to lose her. I have been so privileged to have known Ajahn Vayama this long – 15 years in fact, the entirety of my life, and it feels so strange knowing that she isn’t there anymore.

I think it is safe to say I speak on the behalf of many when I say that whenever you went to visit Ajahn Vayama, you experienced this all-encompassing peace. It was like a blissful blanket that settled over you whenever you were in her presence. When you were there, you could feel that the space was totally judgement-free, safe, and comfortable. That was the power of the kindness Ajahn Vayama held. But not only that. At least for me, being in Ajahn Vayama’s presence made me believe in the current and potential good qualities we all can develop inside of us. She inspired me to be better.

Some people say that Ajahn Vayama’s gradual deteriorating state meant that the loss wasn’t as sudden or without as large of an impact. That because coming to the end of her life, she couldn’t speak or communicate as clearly, she therefore couldn’t teach. But Ajahn Vayama didn’t need words to teach. She inspired anyone who knew her, with her actions and the way she conducted herself. Her perseverance, her generosity, her resilience, her determination. Even to the end, she had a sharp and clear mind, and her aura of compassion did not fade. And even now, thinking about her and what it was like to be in her presence, I can feel that calm settle over me now, lighten my heart and make me smile like she would have wanted. Everything Ajahn Vayama taught us, was to ultimately make us happy, and I have to say it was a true honour to know a person capable of such good.

Amisha Silva

…………..

Huge admiration and appreciation of Ajahn Vayama’s work in taking on the enormous task of establishing a wonderful monastery for Nuns to practice the precious Dhamma.

Bianca

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This short Dhamma piece is to recollect the virtuous qualities of Ven Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni

Maha Therī who has passed away on Saturday, 20 November 2021.

Ven Ayya Vayama Bhikkuni is a pioneer in many ways!

She was the first female Buddhist mendicant who made Dhammasara monastery her home!

She was the first female Theravada Buddhist mendicant in Western Australia!

She was the first fully ordained Theravada Bhikkhuni in whole of Australia!

She was the first female Theravada Buddhist mendicant who conducted a weekend

meditation retreat in Western Australia!

She was the first female Assistant Spiritual Director of Buddhist Society of Western

Australia!

So, in the true sense of the words, Ven Ayya Vayama Bhikkuni was a pioneer in many ways!

We recall with gratitude of her early days at Dhammasara. Her early days of existence at Dhammasara was an incredibly a harsh one. It was not for a day, a week or a moth but, the harsh life lasted for a number of years! Yet, Ven Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni has endured all that as a true Buddhist Mendicant, following the Lord Buddha’s advice! Lord Buddha advised HIS followers to eliminate some of the defilements by Enduring, (Adhivāsanāpahātabbaāsava in Sabbāsavasutta). She has truly followed that advice!

Her Dhamma Talks were simple, systematic & penetrative! Her chanting was precise, correct in pronunciation and pleasant to listen to!

Her service to the Buddhist Community in WA has been absolutely fantastic! She was a true daughter of the Lord Buddha!

When we recollect the qualities of Ven Ayya Vayama, we cannot end without mentioning, at least briefly, the tremendous service rendered by Ven Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni! She has been exemplary in attending to the needs of her teacher. We have never come across anyone either a lay person or a mendicant who has rendered such an untiring service purely on a voluntary basis. Ven Ayya Seri too has endured a long period of hardships hardships in attending to the needs of her teacher. As long term supporters of Dhammasara Monastery, right from its inception and of Patacara Hermitage also, from its inception, we have had the good fortune of firsthand knowledge in noticing Ven Ayya Seri’s commitment!

We are truly blessed to have had the opportunity to associate two such Bhikkhunis!

May Ven Ayya Seri be healthy, happy and peaceful!

May her practice be pleasant, attaining to wisdom swiftly, (Sukhā paṭipadā khippābhiññā)!

May the Ven Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Maha Therī attain Nibbana!

With Reverence, Gratitude and Metta,

Shamalee and Ananda Thilakasiri

…………..

LI CM ƠN

Tôi xin thành kính cảm ơn Ni Sư Vayama, người đã cho những bài pháp thoại quý giá này. Đây là món quà Pháp cao quý nhất. Bằng những dẫn dụ sinh động trong thực tế cuộc sống, Ni Sư đã mang đến những lời dạy sâu sắc và hữu ích cho những người đang tu tập chú trọng vào giây phút hiện tại theo truyền thống Phật giáo Nguyên thủy. Tôi rất vui mừng và hân hạnh được Ni Sư Vayama (thông qua Ni Sư Seri) cho phép tôi được chuyển ngữ quyển sách này sang tiếng Việt và phát hành miễn phí cho những người hữu duyên. Con xin được cúng dường quyển sách đã được chuyển ngữ này đến Ni Sư Vayama như món quà mừng sinh nhật lần thứ 69 của Ni Sư. Con thành tâm cầu nguyện cho Ni Sư luôn được bình an, hạnh phúc và sớm đạt đến Niết Bàn.

                   Tôi xin thành kính cảm ơn Ni Sư Nguyên Hương (Ayya Dhammananda Theri), người mà tôi có duyên may trong đời được một lần làm thị giả cho Ni Sư trong ngày Đại Lễ Dâng Y Kathina tại chùa Hương Đạo, Fort Worth, Texas, Mỹ vào năm 2018. Mặc dù rất bận với Phật sự cũng như sự an tĩnh tu tập trong mùa An Cư Kiết Hạ tại Mỹ, nhưng Ni Sư vẫn dành thời gian để cố vấn và chỉnh sửa những đoạn văn mà tôi lúng túng. Không có Ni Sư tôi không thể hoàn thành việc dịch quyển sách này.

                   Tôi xin cảm ơn người chị của tôi, Huỳnh Ngọc Thủy, người đã kết nối duyên lành để tôi được đảnh lễ Ni Sư Vayama và Ni Sư Seri ở Pactacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage, Tây Úc. Chị cũng đã kết nối để tôi có được sự cho phép từ tác giả- Ni Sư Vayama- thông qua Ni Sư Seri, dịch quyển sách Taking Refuge sang tiếng Việt.

                   Mặc dù tôi đã cố gắng hết sức cũng như được sự hỗ trợ trong quá trình chuyển ngữ quyển sách này, nhưng do khả năng bản thân còn nhiều hạn chế nên sẽ không tránh khỏi sai sót. Kính mong các bậc Tôn túc và quý đọc giả niệm tình bỏ qua.

Phước Tuệ Huỳnh Ngọc Điệp

TRANSLATION:

                        ACKNOWLEDGEMENT WITH APPRECIATION

                   I would like to respectfully thank Ayya Vayama, for her precious Dhamma Talks. This gift of Dhamma excels all gifts. Through vivid examples from real life, she brings profound and useful teachings to those who are now practicing focusing on the present moment in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. I am very pleased and honored that Ayya Vayama (via Ayya Seri) allowed me to translate this book into Vietnamese and distribute it for free to those who wish to read it. So I would like to offer this book that I have translated into Vietnamese to Ayya Vayama as a present for her 69th birthday. I sincerely pray for her to always have peace, happiness and soon attain to Nibbana.

                   I would also like to respectfully show my gratitude to Ayya Dhammananda Theri, who I had a good fortune to meet as her attendant once in my life at the Great Kathina Festival Day at Huong Dao temple, Fort Worth, Texas, USA in 2018. Although she is very busy in her Buddhist work as well as practicing meditation during the Rains Retreat in USA, she still took the time to advise and edit my translation passages that I was confused about. I would have not been able to complete the translation of this book without her support and guidance.

                   Finally, I would like to sincerely thank my older sister, Ngoc Thuy Ly, who made it possible for me to pay homage to Ayya Vayama and Ayya Seri in Pactacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage, in Western Australia. She also connected and allowed me to get permission from the author – Ayya Vayama – via Ayya Seri, to translate this book “Taking Refuge” into Vietnamese.

                   Although I have tried my best and received a great deal of support in the process of translating this book but due to my limited abilities, mistakes will inevitably occur. I sincerely hope that the readers will forgive any errors in my translation.

Phuoc Tue Huynh Ngoc Diep

…………..

I saw your blog post inviting anyone who wishes to share a few words regarding Ajahn Vayama on the occasion of her passing away, hence the email. Thank you for this invitation, it makes me feel a part of your community and celebrate Ajahn Vayama’s life even though I have never set foot in Australia or your hermitage. I am an Indian living in USA, and closely follow the Buddhist group associated with Ajahn Brahm. 

I never got to see Ajahn Vayama in person or much even in video/photos (very few of which are online), but I feel very connected to her. I take her as one of my teachers and guide. I have immensely benefited from her teachings. There are very few of her talks available online but even with that less material her teachings have been very powerful and impactful. Her teachings helped me through a difficult period of my life (that I brought upon myself due to poor choices I made). Her calming voice, clarity of thought, the silence in the pauses she takes make for beautiful and powerful talks. I am eternally grateful to her for that.

I do not want to say that I am saddened by Ajahn Vayama’s death. Given her long illness I was mentally prepared for it. Also, I am happy that she lived her life well, full

of kindness and compassion, practised the dharma with full dedication, and was well taken care of during the period of her illness. Thank you for dedicating the last ten plus years of your life to take care of her. I heard you speak for the first time at Ajahn’s commemoration ceremony, and it was nice to hear from you. The story of your rebellious streak at your first retreat was a strong reminder of my sense of ego acting up when I interact with my family and friends. The wall clock story served as a reminder for me to make mindfulness a daily practice. I was also inspired to hear how Ajahn related to her illness and was a reminder for me on how I respond to hardships in life. 

Although I cannot be there in person to volunteer, I promise to do my best to support you in your journey as nun. Please let me know how I can help. 

With metta,

Aparna

…………..

Ayya Vayama is the first Nun who came to Gidgegannup Western Australia. 

Ayya Vayama wanted to establish Theravada Buddhism, to encourage the teaching, practices and realisation of the Dhamma.

Ayya Vayama opened the path for ladies to practice Dhamma.  Her unconditional kindness and metta went on to spread the truth of Dhamma that helps us to practice Dhamma by keeping the five precepts or eight precepts.

May all of Ajahn Vayama teachings help her to attain Nibbana.

Anjali

Perth, Australia

…………..

by Divshah Muthuarachci age 8

by Divshah Muthuarachchi age : 8 , Perth Western Australia

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Recording of Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s funeral.

Link available for three months.

https://livestream.com/accounts/29307044/events/9952649

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Tribute and Reflections for Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni by Ayya Tathaloka Bhikkhuni

Blessings and Bliss – in Memory offered for 7th-day Memorial 27-28th November 2021 by Ayya Tathālokā

Back before internet, as a teenager meditating in the 80s, then as a new anāgārikā out exploring the world, these names were living legends for me: Ven Nyanaponika and the Forest Hermitage, Ayya Khema and Nuns Island, Anuradhapura and the sacred Bo tree….It was so encouraging to hear what Ayya Khema was doing with the Nuns Island, and the westerners who came there, living the brave and rugged forest/island monastic life. Sister Vayama was there, among them.

Later in the last years of the 90s, suddenly bhikkhunī ordinations started happening east and west, and the rumors started coming from afar of a lone brown-robed nun out in the bush of Western Australia, striving to make a first place in the west for dedicated women renunciates of meditative forest traditions – amazingly and uniquely, with the support of Ajahn Brahm and the Buddhist Society of Western Australia. That was Ajahn Vayama!

It seemed like there was possibility, things were opening up, there was hope for people with aspirations like me.

Ten years later, during the Bhikkhuni Seminar at Santi Forest in early 2008, I finally met Ajahn Vayama and Ajahn Brahm, and then got to visit the great forested land of Dhammasara that i’d heard of for so long. I can’t tell you how happy and pleased i was to find fellow women renunciates with such commitment to shared values of peace, living with love for the forest, animals and birds. Love for the Buddha’s way, for sīlā, samādhi and paññā, there in the Western Australian bush, amidst the wild bird calls and hopping kangaroos, beneath the deep, (and to me) upside-down and backwards, awesome dark and bright night sky of the bush.

Ajahn Vayama and the sisters had many questions about how to have a well-livable renunciate life of integrity, faithful to the bhikkhunī precepts—for days we met to discuss all the many accumulated important questions of special and unique interest to us, not in public forum, but amongst one another as dedicated practicing sisters.

Later, returning to the US, i too—encouraged and inspired by the time at Dhammasara, and with a better idea of “how such things can work”—moved ahead with launching Aranya Bodhi forest hermitage on California’s Sonoma Coast, and began giving sāmanerī pabbajjā to western women. We can see here the fertile inter-relations spanning the globe.

Then one day, by surprise, a phone call came from Ajahn Brahm, with an invitation to return after Vassa in 2009, for special purpose. A letter came in the post from Ajahn Vayama from Dhammasara, letting me know, in Ajahn Vayama’s respectful way, about her considerations and the unified decision of the Dhammasara nuns’ community to go ahead.

Ajahn Vayama and i had both entered monastic life in the mid- to late-80s. Ajahn had ordained as a ten precept nun in 1985, i had left home life and began entry into monastic life in late 1987-early ’88. Much shared territory and experience and one big difference: I, having received bhikkhunī ordination in 1997, by 2009, that Vassa was my 12th as a bhikkhuni, which allowed me, although younger than her, to be appointed and to serve as a bhikkhunī preceptor (pavattinī-upajjhāya) per Vinaya.

I cannot express how much of an honor it was to serve together with the first bhikkhunīs of Dhammasara, with Ajahn Vayama as first among them—together with the bhikkhu sangha of Bodhinyana, and with the BSWA—in offering the first Theravāda bhikkhunī ordinations in Australia. From the inside, i can testify to how faithful and considerate the process was from among the dedicated women renunciates, the bhikkhunīs. Different than what was being posted in the blogosphere. Faithful to the Buddha. To the Dhamma. To the Sangha. And to the Path, and its full living and fulfillment. I can also testify to how challenging it was.

Even from the time of the Bhikkhuni Seminar at Santi in ’08, Ajahn Vayama already knew her health was seriously awry. Me too: I had been through cancer treatment not long before, and felt this body marked with the sign of death. There is something about such Maraṇasati which can change one’s values, and give bravery and intrepitude. Knowing it is brief and impermanent, one wants to do what will be of value, blessing and benefit for oneself, and for those one loves, or the cause that one loves, with the brief opportunity that one has—like the turtle coming up, its head coming through the “life preserver,” piercing the waves of samasāra, seeing the Island of Nibbāna. It is hard to express with words the gratitude, and the dedication, to the Buddha’s Sāsana in the heart.

I commend Venerable Bhikkhunī Ajahn or Ayyā Vāyāmā Therī for giving the gift of her life to this most excellent and worthy cause. And Venerable Bhikkhunī Serī Therī for her dedication, courage, strength and support, unfailing in Dhamma.

Unwavering in Dhamma is certainly the most excellent and brilliant way to live, in this world of wavering conditions, like an undulating sea or flowing brook.

The stream of the Dhamma is the best of all streams, quenching taṇhā, craving, thirst. The ocean of Nibbāna is truly the best of all oceans, beginningless and endless, unqualified bliss and freedom.

Etaṁ santaṁ…etaṁ panitaṁ.

May our venerable Dhamma Sister, Ajahn Vāyāmā, enjoy this most excellent peace and happiness of Nibbāna, for which good women and men, good people, rightly go forth from the home life into homelessness.

2009 at Dhammasara Nuns Monastery
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Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri

Dear friends,

I would like to inform you that Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri passed away peacefully on Saturday 20th November at 4.25pm.

I will let you know regarding funeral arrangements after it has been finalised. Please do not contact me at the moment.

Thank you.

Metta,

Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni Theri

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Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri’s funeral service

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri (Sister Vayama) passed away peacefully at home at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage, Jane Brook, Western Australia on Saturday 20 November 2021.

Funeral service and cremation service on Saturday 27 November 2021

Her funeral service will be at the Bowra and O’Dea Chapel, 312 South St, Hilton, commencing at 8.30am AWST (viewing at 8.00am).

The cremation service will be at Fremantle Cemetery, Carrington St, Palmyra at 10.00am. Please assemble at the Carrington Pavilion from 9.45am.

Parking is limited, please carpool where possible.

The funeral for Ayya Vayama will be available by Livestream broadcast for friends and supporters elsewhere who are unable to attend in person.

Livestream https://livestream.com/accounts/29307044/events/9952649

Please note there are no logins or passwords required. Just click on the link and when the filming goes ‘LIVE’, the livestream link will automatically go live. A video recording will be made available for later viewing.

Please note:

In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage Inc, Bankwest account. BSB: 306 041 Account: 1013896

(For donations from outside Australia, please use Swift Code: BKWAAU6P)

Reflections: Ayya Seri is inviting anyone who would like to send her a few words of appreciation for Ayya Vayama, or to say how Ayya Vayama has touched their life. Ayya Seri will share these reflections on the Patacara blog.

Please send these by email: patacarabhikkhunihermitage@gmail.com

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The End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2021

Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage held the End of Rains Cloth Offerings ceremony on Saturday 23rd October 2021. About 38 people participated in the event.

This year Manel and Eddy Fernando offered the End of Rains Cloth to the bhikkhunis of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage on behalf the the Buddhist community.

We celebrated Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri’s 69th birthday after the ceremony.

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Entry into Rains Ceremony 25th July 2021

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Impermenance

by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni Theri

The Buddha talked about the three characteristics of all phenomena, impermanence (anicca), non-self(anatta) and sufferings(dukkha). We experienced just that in the recent events.

There are four residents at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage: Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri who is sick and disable, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni Seri, 77 year old Jacky and Subha the cat.

Life during covid-19 pandemic goes on as usual until Sunday 31st January 2021. Perth entered a 5 day snap hard lockdown at 6pm. Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni requires special diet because of her swallowing problems. I had to rearrange the dana for dana drop-off only as there is no visitors allowed into the house except essential workers. We also did not have any volunteers except support workers during the lockdown period. This means the pressure is on for the resident carer, Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni.

The bush fires in the area started on Monday around 12pm. We had been regularly monitored the fire situation since 4.30pm. By the time I went to take a rest at 1am on Tuesday morning, the bush fires’ situation has worsen. I was woken at 3.40am as the support worker needed to leave because her family was evacuated. The Hermitage was 8 km away from the bush fires’ emergency evacuation zone. I decided to leave early as last minute evacuation will be too challenging for us with Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s disability. I called the supporter and the maxi taxi and we left the Hermitage just before 5am with hoist and Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni in her wheelchair.

The bush fires’ situations had improved at the Hermitage on Wednesday 3rd February as the wind change took the fire away from direction of the Hermitage. We returned at 1.30pm that afternoon. We remain on alert with the changing bush fires situation. However, the bush fires continues to cause heartache and chaos in the community. At the same time the lockdown continues.

Our hearts go to the community members who suffer difficulties and losses. Our respect goes to all the firefighters and the emergency services. Our lovingkindness and good wishes goes to all beings especially to all those affected by the recent challenges.

May all beings be safe and at peace.

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The End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2020

Photos by Havindra and Sahan.

The End of Rains Cloth Offering Ceremony 2020 at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage was conducted on Sunday, 25th October. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and the practice of social distancing, only 38 people were invited to attend the event.

The committee members of Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage Incorporated, which was formed in 2011 offered the the robe cloth to the Bhikkhunis at Patacara Bhikkhuni Hermitage. The committee led by the current chairperson, Chrissie Anderson, consist of Jacky Lambert, Jo Bower, Karen Sprigg, Peace Weeks, and Ming Cassim.

At the end of the ceremony, we also celebrated Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni’s 68th birthday.

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