Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 11 : Did you ask for permission ?


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

In the early days of the monastery, Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni used to lead us in building embankments and re-enforcing the slopes with rocks to minimize erosion from the rains. We collected rocks from the bush on the property and then bought them to the area we were working on.

One time, when I was working next to Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri, I found a piece of very suitable size rock and excitedly put it into my bucket.

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri stopped me: “Did you ask for permission from the beings on the rock to be moved?” She demonstrated to me how to check the rocks and only pick those with a minimum number of insects on it. She also instructed me to put the rock back if it belonged to the dwelling place of other beings such as centipedes, lizards, and ants.

I learned about the connection between me and all the beings in the bush. I started to get in touch with not just ‘Me’ but also embracing all the beings around.


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