Buddhist monasteries benefit the world!
If you haven’t been to a place such as Aloka Vihara Forest Monastery, go for a visit! Monasteries are oases of generosity, joy, wisdom, and profound inner transformation. People spend time at monasteries – be it for a few hours, days, weeks, months, or years – and they actually become more patient, generous, kind, and wise.
Monasteries operate within a gift economy, which means that voluntary, reciprocal giving is a necessary condition for their existence.
Women deserve opportunities to take full monastic ordination.
There are many places where men can train as Buddhist monks but few where women can train as nuns. Buddhism is unique among religions in that, from its earliest days, full participation of women in monastic life was permitted. And yet today, over 2,500 years later, there is still broad institutional resistance to women’s full ordination. Supporting Aloka Vihara is a way to honor the original and visionary blueprint for what is one of the oldest living institution on the face of the earth: the Buddhist Sangha.
The nuns of Aloka Vihara have courageously stepped forward as pioneers.
They are meeting the challenges of breathing new life into this ancient, noble, and beneficial institution despite the obstacles on their path. We value these women–who they are, what they represent, and what they are teaching. We are inspired by their generosity, integrity, wisdom, and commitment to living in community. We have learned so much from them simply by being in their good company. The nuns’ efforts depend on lay people like us helping to support them materially.
There is a growing worldwide movement to reinvigorate the lineage of fully ordained nuns (bhikkhunis) that dates back to the time of the Buddha. This is happening in our lifetime. By supporting the establishment of Aloka Vihara, we can help hasten the end of gender inequality in Theravada Buddhist monasticism and provide women the precious opportunity to explore monastic life in America – a life focused on the development of wisdom, kindness, and compassion – all qualities that our world desperately needs.
Now is the time.
It’s time for us to dig into our resources and support opportunities for women to train as monastics in the Theravada tradition. Women deserve opportunities to take full monastic ordination to support their aspirations to awaken.
The financial stability of the Saranaloka Foundation and the nuns will go a long way in their important work. Please contact us to learn more about how you can help.