Bhikkhuni Path

Forest Traditions,  Mindfulness and Insight,  Dhamma and Vinaya

Our Dhammadharini bhikkhunis' path of practice or patipada is inspired and informed by the Theravada forest traditions of Thailand, Sri Lanka and Burma.

It is also very much inspired and informed by various mindfulness and insight vipassana teachings of the Mahasai traditions as well as the vipassana tradition passed on by the late venerable Ayya Khema. And we are very much inspired directly by the Dhamma and Vinaya teachings and practices of the Pali Canon and those who teach directly from it such as the venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi, the venerable Bhikkhu Analayo, Bhante Gunaratana and others.

Our Dhammadharini Bhikkhuni Sangha is a community of the greater Theravada Buddhist forest traditions and mindfulness and insight meditation traditions coming home together.  Our Sangha is inclusive not exclusive; not limited by the bounds of sectarianism.

Our Aranya Bodhi Hermitage -- the Awakening Forest -- is a place of forest mindfulness and insight meditation practice together with training for monastics in the monastic discipline of the Vinaya, as so well exemplified by both the monastic forest and vipassana teachers and traditions.  The same is true for our rural bhikkhuni vihara, although it is closer to the world, and more accessible.


Although we have great respect for Ajahn Chah and the monks of his lineage, neither Aranya Bodhi Hermitage nor Dhammadharini are legal affiliates of the contemporary Wat Pah Pong group of affiliated Thai forest tradition monasteries. We do however share in ordination lineage, as our pavattini-upajjha Tathaaloka Theri's ordination lineage is that of the Siam Nikaya (Siam Upali Vamsa) as was that of the Venerable Ajahn Chah and all of the monks of his tradition. This is also the ordination lineage of all of the Thai Mahanikaya and Sri Lankan Siam Nikaya monks. But this ordination lineage is not related to being of the forest traditions (Aranya Vamsa) or not, which depends purely upon one’s way of practice and monastic livelihood, not upon ordination lineage. But we do not care so much for lineage in this way, caring more about the practice of the Dhamma and Discipline that is a part of the Buddhavamsa, that is, this Buddha's lineage.

Ven Tathaaloka Theri's own late preceptor Ven Havenpola Ratanasara Nayaka Thera often spoke of his vision of America as the melting pot, not only for all people, but for the Sangha -- long spread throughout the world in diaspora -- coming back together again. Ayya Tathaaloka has often spoken to us of the nature of water being like the streams and lineages of Dhamma-Vinaya. As one stream may branch off into many; also many streams can be tributaries to one great river. Ayya Tathaaloka's personal experience has been one of several streams of Dhamma coming home together again into one flow. 

Loving Kindness, Friendship and Communal Harmony

Looking upon one another with kindly eyes....

As the Buddha so beautifully and wisely said:

Sukho buddhānam uppādo 
sukhā saddhammadesanā; 
Sukhā saṇghassa sāmaggi 
samaggānaṃ tapo sukho.

Happy is the birth of Buddhas,
Happy is the teaching of the sublime Dhamma;
Happy is the unity of the Sangha,
Happy is the discipline of the united ones.

     -- The Buddha, Dhammapada, Buddhavagga 16

We share in friendship, in community, and in inspiration and practice of the Path with our brothers and sisters of the Thai and Sri Lankan forest traditions and the Burmese vipassana traditions, as well as those of other traditions with similar path of practice. We hold these things as most important.