Vinaya Course 2018

Living Vinaya in the West

A Course for Buddhist Nuns of All Traditions


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

Ven. Master Wu YinVenerable 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).

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.


Before coming we suggest you look into the following:

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.


All monastics should bring a soft copy or hard copy of the booklet “Varṣā, Pravāraṇā, and Kaṭhina Rites”
All fully ordained nuns should bring a soft copy or hard copy of the booklet “Bhikṣuṇī Poṣadha and Rites to Establish the Territory”



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.

Dana deposit

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.

Please read this website to learn about our community and how we live. Read the Visit section to find directions, what to bring and not bring, our values and principles, and much more.


“If the Pratimoksha Sutra remains long in the world, the Buddhadharma will be widespread, and because it is widespread, nirvana can be attained.”
  – Buddha Shakyamuni

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.

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Founded by
Ven. Thubten Chodron

Endorsed by
His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Find a library of Ven. Chodron’s teachings on

Sravasti Abbey

692 Country Lane
Newport WA 99156 USA

Map & Directions