2013 Invitation to Vesaka

Invitation to the Bhikkhinis' Vesaka at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage

Vesaka at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage
Join in Vesaka (Wesak/Vaishaka) Week Bhikkhuni Camp May 27-31 - Here and from Afar
scroll down to see how you can participate 

Warm Vesaka Season greetings, dear friends of our Bhikkhuni Sangha,

With balmy spring sunshine and blossoms abounding in the fresh ocean breezes at our hermitage,

'Tis the Season of Vesaka, where Buddhists around the world gather to celebrate the birth of the Awakened One, the Buddha, each according to the beauty and traditions of their culture.  Theravada Buddhists also celebrate the Mahabodhi--the Great Awakening of the Buddha, and his passing into Final Nibbana all on one day -- the Day of Vesaka.

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Vesaka Three Great Deeds painting | courtesy Georgia Buddhist Vihara

Here at our Aranya Bodhi Awakening Forest Hermitage, we too plan to celebrate Vesak in accordance with the beauty of human hearts meditating in the forest and the culture and traditions of our Sangha to gather together in peaceful harmony.

As Aranya Bodhi is a simple forest hermitage and our Sangha is especially one of bhikkhunis --
-- we are offering a Vesaka Week Bhikkhuni Camp May 27-31.  

Our Bhikkhuni Sangha will be gathering from as far east as North Carolina and as far south as the Mohave Desert, together with our hermitage and San Francisco Aloka Vihara bhikkhunis, samaneris, women aspiring to monastic life, and those who would like to join us in supporting and being a part of this special Vesaka Season gathering.

 ~ How You Can Participate ~ 

Below are listed 10 traditional ways of celebrating Vesaka along with what you can do to join in our Aranya Bhikkhunis' Vesaka this year:

(1) Join in cleaning, beautifying and preparing the space beforehand
(2) sponsor needed supplies for the gathering beforehand
(3) offer a special almsmeal (Amisa Dana) for the Sangha  
(4) offer useful supplies for the Sangha and campers
(5) offer transportation for monastics and friends to and from gathering
(6) visit the monastery for the day:
(7) undertake or reaffirm your refuges and precepts, 
(8) listen to and (9) discuss the Dhamma, and
(10) share blessings and goodwill with friends, loved ones, family & departed ones.

(1 & 2) People often join in spring cleaning and beautifying the space of their Buddhist temples, monasteries, hermitages and Dhamma Centers before Vesaka. 

~>> Welcome to visit Aranya Bodhi Hermitage to help in cleaning up and preparing before the camp.  Projects range from cleaning up around the stupa to clearing trails and campsites. Just send us an email at awakeningforest@gmail if you and your friends or family would like to come out to help us prepare.  We will find a good day, or welcome to join us on the 30th--the day beforehand.

~>> If you can't come to the hermitage directly, you can participate by offering or sponsoring needed supplies for preparations beforehand.  These include a new robe rack and fan in the sala, new shower tent and mini water heater, new robe drying line & rigging, etc.  Click here to see how you can offer helpful supplies to prepare for camp, or email us.  

(3) People often come to their Buddhist temple, monastery, hermitage or Dhamma Center to offer a special meal and all their Dhamma friends for the Sangha for Vesaka.

  You and your family and friends are welcome to come to offer Meal Dana to the Sangha and all gathered during the Bhikkhuni Camp.  Please email our hermitage Kitchen Manager if you would like to offer a meal for all Bhikkhuni Campers any day between May 27 & May 31.  

~>>  If you and your family and friends can't make it out to the hermitage in person, you are welcome to contribute to or sponsor one or more meals from afar, with local friends shopping and offering the food on your behalf.  Contact our Meal Dana Coordinator if you would like to offer or contribute to a meal for our Sangha in this way.  There will be ~10 monastics and 5 aspirants participating in the Camp.  Click for our Aranya Bodhi Volunteers site on Lots A Helping Hands if you are in our hermitage area and would like to participate by offering shopping or delivery of the groceries, cooking fuel, etc.

(4) People often offer needed requisites and supplies to their Buddhist temple, monastery, hermitage or Dhamma Center in support of the monastic community and aspirants for Vesaka.

~>> [before the Camp] To offer a gift pack of supplies to all monastics or all campers, click here. Let us know how many you would like to offer.
~>> [before the Camp] To offer something from our list of needed supplies for the camp, click here.
~>> [if you come during Camp] Our Hermitage Useful Things List is here.

(5) People often share in offering transportation to monastics and friends to gather together for celebrating Vesaka.

~>> To see ride offering opportunities for incoming and outgoing monastics and friends, click here, become a member, then see the bottom of the Welcome page, or simply email our Ride Coordinator.
~>>To loan or sponsor rental of a 7-passenger van or 2 SUVs to shuttle monastics and campers from Aranya Bodhi Hermitage to Spirit Rock Meditation Center and campers on to San Francisco May 31st, email awakeningforest@gmail. 

(6, 7-10) People often undertake or reaffirming the refuges and preceptslisten to the Dhamma, and join in sharing blessings.

~> Join us from 10 am to 1 pm at the hermitage any day of the Camp between May 27th and 31st to undertake or reaffirm your refuge in the Three Jewels and Five Precepts, join in the meal offering, request and listen to a Dhamma reflection and participate in Dhamma Discussion, and share in blessings and dedications together. We will begin with undertaking the precepts daily at 10:30 am

~> For those who wish to join us in this from afar, we plan to daily record and upload the refuges, precepts, blessings and Dhamma reflection on the 28th, 29th and 30th, and posting to the web, so you can join us from wherever you are around the world.

Let us know if you would like to participate in 1, 2 or all 10! :-)

 Important Note: 
If you have never been to our hermitage before, and would like to join us, either come together with someone who has been here before, or be sure email awakeningforest@gmail.com before you come to get directions and the gate code in order to enter. Let us know if you need a shuttle up. Email is checked once per day, so be sure to email early to leave yourself enough time to get a reply.  We are out of wireless range in a big forest and will not be online all the time during the camp!

Welcome to share around this email with Dhamma friends & family.  Email awakeningforest@gmail.com early before the Vesaka Week Bhikkhuni Camp begins with any questions.

Metta from all your friends & the women's monastic community
at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage
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Sri Lankan Vesaka flags welcoming all to the Awakening Forest

 ~ Happy Vesaka 

"Beautiful in the beginning, beautiful in the middle, beautiful in the end"