Vinaya Course 2018
Come study Vinaya with a well-respected Vinaya master.
Learn, discuss, live, and practice together in community with other nuns.
January 22-February 8, 2018
We have a unique opportunity to study Vinaya with a remarkable and respected master, Venerable Bhiksuni Master Wu Yin, from Luminary Temple in Taiwan.
A Vinaya teacher at the 1996 program, Life as a Western Buddhist Nun, she has accepted our request to again teach Dharmaguptaka Vinaya to nuns in the West.
Vinaya Course 2018
This 16-day Vinaya course is open to Western nuns or nuns who live in the West—no matter your level of ordination. The daily schedule will include meditation, teaching, and discussion. There will be time for private study and getting to know each other. We will also do posadha (sojong) together.
Ven. Master Wu Yin will teach the Skandhakas/Khandhakas, creating a curriculum tentatively titled “Thriving as an Individual in Community.” We will examine how to establish flourishing monastic communities within modern society. We will also look at the role of the individual within a monastic community, and the community’s place within society.
Teachings will include types of territories (sima) and how to set them, rains retreat (varsa), the ceremony to conclude it (pravarana), kathina, sanghakarman, ending disputes, rights and duties of individual monastics and of the sangha regarding requisites, administration, and culture.
Venerable Wu Yin taught the Prātimokṣa during the Life as a Western Buddhist Nun conference at Bodhgaya in 1996. Those teachings have been published as Choosing Simplicity, edited by Bhikshuni Thubten Chodron.
Venerable Master Bhiksuni Wu Yin
Venerable Master Bhiksuni Wu Yin received novice vows in 1957 and full ordination in 1959. Valuing the importance of monastic education, she founded the Luminary Buddhist Institute in 1980, where, over the last three decades, she has trained many outstanding spiritual bhiksunis. In 1984, she organized educational programs for the laity that have spread the Dharma widely in Taiwan.
Ven. Wu Yin is keen on both the study and practical implementation of the bhikshuni precepts. She has been repeatedly invited to speak on Vinaya in ordination platforms in Malaysia, Burma, India, and Germany. See the video on her life, in Chinese with English sub-titles.
Currently she holds the positions of President of Gaya Foundation, Abbess of the Luminary International Society, President of the Luminary Buddhist Institute, and Religious Affairs Consultant for Ministry of Interior Republic of China (Taiwan).
Before coming we suggest you look into the following:
- Choosing Simplicity, by Venerable Bhiksuni Wu Yin (Snow Lion Publications)
- Sisters in Solitude, by Karma Lekshe Tsomo (SUNY) (see bibliography in this book too)
- Karmans for the Creation of Virtue by Vinaya Master Ven. Benyin
- “Revival of Bhiksuni Vow” by the Committee for Bhiksuni Ordination. Download here
- Book of the Discipline by I.B. Horner. Download the complete text.
- Rules for Nuns According the Dharmaguptakavinaya by Ann Heirman, 3volumes
- The Dhamaguptaka Vinaya Skandhakas in English are here.
- The Monastic Life section on ThubtenChodron.org
- There is an extensive bibliography on the website of the Committee for Bhiksuni Ordination
Rarity & Value
As you know, it is rare to receive complete teachings on the Prātimokṣa and Vinaya. Many of the texts have not yet been translated into English, and our teachers are busy teaching other topics. In addition, there is not much published about Vinaya topics.
Nevertheless, learning the Prātimokṣa and Vinaya is essential for monastics to keep our precepts properly, live joyfully in our ordination, inspire others, and benefit society.
Sravasti Abbey, a resident community of 13 monastics—including 10 bhikshunis—is delighted to host this auspicious course to support nuns in your practice as well as the flourishing of the Dharma in the world.
Attendance & Daily Schedule
Space is limited, so we can only accept applicants who can attend the entire 16-day program. Participants arrive on January 22 and depart on February 8.
Since participants are coming here to learn and live Vinaya, we expect you to attend all events on the daily schedule, including meditation sessions, teachings, and discussions. See the Day in the Life page to get a general idea of the Abbey’s monastic schedule.
A light medicine meal will be served for those who need it.
To attend Living Vinaya in the West, download and submit the long registration form. Space is limited.
Applicants must be ordained as novice nuns, shikshamanas, or bhikshunis in one of the three existing Vinaya lineages. We will review the application forms and notify you of your acceptance.
There is no charge for accommodation or food during the program. However, we would appreciate it if you will let your supporters know of the precious opportunity to contribute financially and by offering service at this special course.
Since Sravasti Abbey does not charge for any events, we have seen hopeful attendees sign up for courses and then cancel at the last moment, when it is too late for someone on the waiting list to arrange to come.
For this reason, we request those accepted for the course to either submit a $100 dana deposit or a copy of your paid airline ticket to Spokane for the dates of the course to complete your registration.
This is the most compassionate way we have found to help people have a firm commitment to attend so that opportunities for others are not lost.
As nuns we have so much to share and learn from one another. We welcome you to this rare opportunity to study and practice with nuns of different Buddhist traditions, different countries, and different cultures.