Remembering Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri on Her 70th Birthday – Story 28 : Equanimity and lovingkindness


by Ayya Seri Bhikkhuni

Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri was diagnosed with Multi System Atrophy, a degenerative neurological condition in February 2011. She needed high intensity care for her daily activities due to her disability especially during the last few years of her life. However, she was always equanimous and gracefully accepting her predicament.

I was her disciple for the last 23 years. Her only companion in monastic life and the full-time caregiver in the last eleven and a half years. I had not experienced or felt from Ayya Vayama Bhikkhuni Theri any ill will towards anyone. She was always polite and grateful for all the assistance that she received and patiently waited for the help. Even the physiotherapist was amazed by her equanimity and positivity. She told the physiotherapist she was feeling 6 out of 10 during the last week of her life.

She was also extremely considerate to others and full of lovingkindness.

One time, someone was taking me out to get a pair of shoes. She told me that she could not walk anymore and did not need any more shoes. She asked me to choose whatever was most suitable for me and not to worry about being frugal. She said I could get a pair of shoes for the both of us. I nodded. I paid respect to her before I left. When I turned around and walked out, I had tears in my eyes.


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