Dhammasara Nuns Monastery

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Dhammasara Nuns Monastery
Information
Main School Theravada
Sub School Thai, Forest Tradition
People
Teacher(s) Ajahn Sister Vayama
Contact Infotmation
Address 203 Reen Road
Gidgegannup
Western Australia 6083
Australia
Country Australia
Coordinates
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Map
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Phone (08) 9574 6583
Fax (08) 6210 1131
Website http://cms.dhammasara.org.au/
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About

Beginnings to Now

Dhammasara Nuns’ Monastery was established by the Buddhist Society of Western Australia in 1998. We are primarily a training monastery for nuns in the Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism. The nuns are fully ordained Bhikkhunis (equal in every respect to Bhikkhu /Monks) in the Theravada tradition. The monastery in 583 acres of natural bushland in the hills outside Perth, is just a 45 minute drive from the city centre.

Initially the accommodation was temporary, including a modest caravan and a Dhamma shed. The first permanent facility, the Nun’s Cottage was completed in January 2001. This building provides accommodation, bathroom, kitchen and laundry facilities for residents. It is also the meeting place where supporters come to offer Dana (food and other requisites) and receive Dhamma teachings. Eight brick meditation huts and a separate amenities block for use by the monastics have since been built in the forest.

Although Dhammasara is not a meditation centre there are facilities for a limited number of female guests to stay at the monastery and practise with the resident monastic community. All the residents or temporary lay visitors need to have some basic in meditation practice and familiarity with the Buddhist principles in order to live in the monastery. We would like our guests to follow the daily routines of the nuns as much as possible and join in with all communal meetings and work activities.

The monastic life encourages development of simplicity, renunciation and quietude. It is a deliberate commitment to this way of life that create a community environment where people of diverse backgrounds, personalities and temperaments can co-operate in the effort to practice and realise the Buddha’s path to liberation (Nibbana).

Anyone who stays at Dhammasara takes the 8 precepts and follows the routine of the monastery. This varies throughout the year, but basically includes participating in the daily food offering, when supporters come to bring Dana and receive teaching, at least 4 formal group meditations some with teaching per week, and the daily work period before Dana. For visitors this usually means helping in the kitchen or any outside work around and in the forest. Some afternoon there is a group work period. There is still ample time for solitary meditation.

All overseas visitors must arrange and pay for their own visas and travel to and from Australia. The monastery also requires that you have Travel Medical Insurance that covers you during the time you are staying at Dhammasara.

The Sangha and the Lay Community

It is fundamental to the principles of Theravada Buddhism that monastics, as alm mendicants, are completely dependant on lay supporters for their material needs. The Buddhist community thereby becomes mutually dependant. The lay community offers material support, whilst the monastic community provides spiritual support in the form of Dhamma talks, meditation guidance, personal counsel and exemplary behaviour. Dhammasara in particular offers a daily Dhamma Reflection or Short Meditation at the time of meal offering. This two-way sharing of merits fosters an ever-deepening sense of community responsibility and compassion.


Seeking Ordination at Dhammasara Monastery

Dhammasara is primarily for the purpose of training women who are residents of Australia. Visas for candidates to stay for the minimum period of five years are costly and difficult to obtain from the Australian Immigration Department. That is why we encourage women who are interested in becoming a nun to find a place in their own country. However, you are welcome to visit Dhammasara to find out what is it like. In fact it can be useful to have 1st hand experience of various monasteries, so you can look for one that suits you.

But remember no monastery is perfect, or will suit you exactly. Being a visitor in a monastery can only give you an approximation of what it is like to live there fulltime and commit yourself wholeheartedly to the monastic life.

A core aim of Dhammasara is to provide the space for committed Buddhist women to taste the monastic lifestyle firsthand, and if they wish, to be enabled to undertake the training to become fully ordained nuns, realizing The Goal & Heartwood (Dhammasara) of this Holy Life.

First step, application and stay at Dhammasara as a lay visitor. After that you need to make the request in writing. All applicants need to first of all spend about 3 months as a lay visitors on eight precepts. After that if the Bhikkhuni Sangha find that they are suitable candidates and the persons themselves also ready to commit themselves then there will be a formal ceremony to take the eight precepts and shave and wear white monastic robes. After all together about 15 months as lay visitors and anagarikaas then the candidates can request to go forth and ordain as a samaneris.

The samaneris are expected to give up their control of money and keep the Ten Precepts as well as other training rules at the monastery. For all trainees, they will have their training rules being explained to them over time and they are expected to keep the rules and the precepts they have undertaken. Samaneris or novices will be expected to stay in the monastery and keep the training for at least two years before thay can request for Bhikkhuni Ordination. After the Bhikkhuni ordination they are required to stay at the monastery for further five years unless you have the teacher’s permission to go to another place to practice.

One little note on something that seems to be more of an issue these days: although everybody who comes here is surely generally inspired by the idea of ‘leaving it all behind’, many visitors who come with the wish to ordain carry a variety of electronic gadgets with them (laptop, telephones,cameras, etc). To maintain the spirit of a forest monastery, living in a simple, natural environment, we encourage all our newcomers to give up such items. E-mail and Internet in our monastery is not available for general use.

Women who are interested in finding out more about the monastery or wish to apply for residency should write directly to

Venerable Hasapanna

Dhammasara Nuns Monastery

203, Reen Road,

Gidgegannup WA 6083

Australia.

Phone No.: (61-8) 9574 6583

Fax No. : (61-8) 62101131

Dhammasara does not use e-mail for correspondance relating to ordination.