Ayyā Adhimuttī Ayyā Adhimuttī, born in Hamilton, educated at Waikato University and Victoria University, Wellington, first ordained as a mae chee at Wat Ram Poeng, Thailand 2005. She then went forth as a samaneri in 2008 at Santi Forest Monastery, Australia with Ayyā Tathālokā as preceptor and Bhante Sujato as her achariya, and had her bhikkhunī upasampada in 2010 at Aranya Bodhi Hermitage in California with Ayya Tathālokā as pavattini and Bhante Henepola Gunaratana as Ovadakacariya. She has spent about five years practicing in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Ayyā Adhi has returned to Aotearoa New Zealand to establish a centre in Hamilton and will be the first resident bhikkhunī. The vision is to preserve and encourage a depth and breadth of the concentration and wisdom practices available in the Theravada tradition. A guiding principle is to preserve a tradition that is wide as the sky, as deep as the ocean and as finely grained as the sand on the sea-shore.
Establishing and Preserving the Bhikkhunī Sangha in New Zealand
from Adhimutti Bhikkhuni
Throughout the ages, people have sought places of refuge to engage in deep meditative practice – quieting their minds and opening their hearts for the sake of others as well as themselves.
Some have sought to become monastics, to dedicate themselves to contemplative practice and a life of service. For example, in the time of the Buddha and for centuries afterward, men and women were ordained as bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs.
Unfortunately, full ordination for women in the Theravada (South East Asian) branch of Buddhism gradually died out. Consequently, the support that would enable them to give themselves full-time to monastic life and deep practice has been greatly restricted and often denied. There have always been women – both monastic and lay – who have, often against great odds, committed themselves fully to contemplative life. These ladies have often been extra-ordinarily accomplished, but these exceptional practitioners have been rare, compared to the numbers of accomplished female practitioners there would have been with proper support. Furthermore, their lives have often been unduly difficult.
To help remedy this situation, the New Zealand Bhikkhunī Sangha Trust (NZBST), a registered charity in New Zealand, has a vision to establish the first meditation hermitage for bhikkhunīs (fully ordained female monastics) in this country and to create an environment for bhikkhunīs and lay-people to develop their meditation practice to a profound level for full awakening.
It is envisioned this property will be a self-sufficient community to preserve the bhikkhunī sangha and an environment for Dhamma study and long-term sustained meditation practice for future generations. At our hermitage we will have a commitment to preserving the full range of samadhi and vipassana practices offered in the Theravāda tradition, in the service of awakening.
The NZBST believes that the Dhamma and full access to monastic life should be open to everyone regardless of gender,wealth, social status and ethnicity. Thus, the plan is to create favourable conditions for those who are often overlooked and neglected within traditional forms of Buddhism for them to be able to study and practice the Dhamma in New Zealand.
A special dialogue and Dhamma discussion with Venerable Canda and Venerable Adhimuttī. Question and answers. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HKYImw58BM
From the Global Mindfulness Conference 2018