by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni
I would like to share with you some of the stories and teachings from Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on her 70th birthday which fell on 28th October 2022. Some of the stories and teachings may seem trivial, but it left a significant impression in my mind and heart.
I first saw Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri at the Kathina Ceremony at Bodhinyana Monastery in 1997. I did not know who she was. I just knew a nun was there. I never got to meet her as there were so many people who wanted to see and speak to her at that time. I was too shy to fight through the big crowd.
I attended a few of Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri’s weekend retreats at Safety Bay from 1999 to 2002, and finally met her formally during the pilgrimage to India in 2001. I had been practicing with Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri as my teacher for 23 years until she passed away on 20th November 2021.
Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri was a wise and compassionate teacher and kalyanamitta – noble companion in holy life, with an unwavering devotion and faith in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. She was funny, witty, humorous, gentle, warm, practical, considerate and full of lovingkindness. It has been my great honor to have had the opportunity to learn from her, to practice with her and to look after her through her illness.
I would like to take this opportunity to bow down to my teacher.
May Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri be at peace. May she attain Nibbana.