The Buddha established an order of bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs (monks/nuns) in order to support the dhamma-vinaya practice and to protect the teaching for the future generations. Up to this day, Saṅgha passes the teaching on to generations of monks and nuns as well as lay followers. The fact, that venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi resides and practices in Czech Republic in the heart of Europe, gives us an extraordinary and rare opportunity to obtain a direct mediation of the Buddha’s teaching through a representative and a member of the Saṅgha. Following an order is an essential part of a spiritual practice not only for monks and nuns but also for us, lay practitioners.
The Buddha kept reminding his followers that dhamma-vinaya
is the essential and fundamental part of the practice. If the practitioner follows the rules heedfully this will bring about a satisfying and full life and (will) provide conditions for higher attainment. Monks/nuns are instructed by the Buddha to
“live with yourself as an island and as a refuge.”
It is necessary to be familiar with the Rules of conduct of laypeople towards monastics prior to the meeting with bhikkhunī Visuddhi. Bhikkhunī observes 311 vinaya rules
so you should keep this in mind and comply with it.
See: Pāli Theravāda Vinaya - Bhikkhunī Pātimokkha
Bhikkhunīs do not use money and do not consume foods or drinks that have not been formally offered to them. We never address bhikkhunī by her name, instead we use the title “bhikkhunī,” “venerable” or “ayya.” If we want to make an offering to a bhikkhunī we should keep a close watch on the mind and our intentions we pass the gift with. It is good to be concentrated on the ritual of offering and be aware that we are gaining merit (puñña) by this action. It is essential to avoid flirting, flattery, and not expect any expressions of emotion and gratitude from the bhikkhunī. We hand the gift with both hands. It is fitting to avoid physical contact.
The most convenient expression of gratitude is with
joined palms (añjali).
“Therefore, Ānanda, live with yourself as an island,
yourself as a refuge, with no other refuge,
with the Teaching as an island, the Teaching as a refuge,
with no other refuge.”
Mahāparinibbāna Sutta, D.16
In the western cultures it has become a custom that people usually hug, kiss, shake their hands, and pat themselves on the backs and so on as a way of greeting. We never touch
a bhikkhunī and in Buddhist countries the common
form of greeting is with joined palms. Men need to keep their distance too, this is called “hatapasa” and it is a distance of
an arm stretched out sideways. We should touch neither bhikkhunī’s robe nor take or use her personal belongings
and requisites. Men should keep in mind that it is not fitting to arrange a meeting with a bhikkhunī in a private, confidential place and alone. Bear in mind that if a man wants to arrange a meeting he cannot come on his own but needs to have a female accompaniment. If a man talks to a bhikkhunī he should not court and flatter her, show off or pose. It is important to understand that bhikkhunīs are fully celibate and have renounced sensual pleasures. It is not appropriate
to discuss intimate relations with a bhikkhunī and ask her opinion on partners’ choice. The role of monastics is often mistaken for a role of therapeutic workers and lay people expect advice and help in their relationships.
Bhikkhunīs cannot travel on their own, the use of public transportation is tolerated. This is not something what a bhikkhunī should attend to herself though. Therefore, if anybody wants to invite a bhikkhunī, he should provide for the transportation and accompaniment (picking up at the railway station, airport). If this person happens to be a man it is necessary (to ensure) that another woman is present at the pick-up. Bhikkhunīs are not allowed to travel at night and walk the streets after dark. Thus, all the appointments and traveling should take
place in daylight.
Let’s have an open heart and cultivate mutual respect and regard, this is the only way we can learn from monks and nuns and understand their behaviour and way of life.
The contact to support projects and activities of the Association Karuṇā Sevena: 6855804001/5500, IBAN: CZ6755000000006855804001, SWIFT: RZBCCZPP - The funds are used to cover the basic monastic needs of the Venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi, such as - robe, food, medicine and abode (this also covers transportation, accommodation, air tickets, etc.). Distribution of books, construction of the meditation room, the furnishing of the monastery KS, insurance, utility bills, etc. Tax deductible in the Czech Republic. Please state the reason for the donation with the following note" For the Association KS."
The contact for the project Suriya Lamai: 6855679001/5500, IBAN: CZ4955000000006855679001, SWIFT: RZBCCZPP
- The intention of the project Suriya Lamai “The Children of the Sun” is to enable children from poor families to develop and educate themselves and to provide them with basic needs. The donation is tax deductible in the Czech Republic.
Neither of the above is a public collection, and therefore we ask all donors to add their contact information to their gift, so that we can issue a donation agreement contract or a donation receipt. We thank to all the donors.
Link to the Paypal for foreign donors: