Ayya Jayati is a newly ordained bhikkhuni from Aloka Vihara. The Aloka Vihara nuns trained for many years as monastics at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries in England before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2009, where they established Aloka Vihara. They have a long-term vision to create a rural monastery for bhikkhunis and samaneris to develop and flourish. What follows is Ayya Jayati's story of her earlier monastic life and her recent bhikkhuni ordination.
|Bhikkhuni and Bhikkhu Sangha|
|Bhikkhuni Sangha with Aloka Vihara friends and supporters|
I must here make a special mention for Sister Sumedha without whom I don't think I would be here today. Thank you dear sister for your boundless patience and truly noble friendship. Also Sister Thitamedha, whose kindness and tender care were truly a blessing. There are so many others I could name here, but these two stand out, both for what they did for me and by the deep impact it had on my sense of things when they, along with many other sisters, decided that the only way to maintain their deepest sense of integrity was to take leave of the nuns’ community. Some chose to return to lay life, others decided to continue to practice alone elsewhere, with the support of kind lay friends.
It was during my third year as an anagarika (eight-precept novice) that there was an insistence at Amaravati for the nuns to agree to a mandate (the five points) which would cement their position as subordinate to the bhikkhu sangha and deny even the possibility of considering full bhikkhuni ordination. As much has been said on this matter already, it is not my intention to go over it all again, I merely wish to offer a personal reflection on why I chose to make the step to join the sisters here in the U.S.
|The ceremony is about to begin . . .|
|A new bhikkhuni is born!|
With love and blessings,
Photos courtesy of Marina Kocherovsky
Ayya Jayati Bhikkhuni
2409 Tolowa Trail
Placerville, California, 95667