Thursday, October 07, 2010

Kathina at Aranya Bodhi — Saturday October 30

Please mark your calendar and come for Kathina observance
at our hermitage on the Sonoma Coast of California.

Saturday, October 30

 R.S.V.P. and obtain driving directions at
For those who would like to arrive on Friday, October 29, 
there will be some space for visitors to camp out or to sleep in our Dhamma Hall yurt.

Kathina is one of the most important events in the Buddhist Calendar — a time of charity, a time for good works, a time to offer and receive blessings and forgiveness. 

For the monastic Sangha, Kathina comes after the three-month Rains Retreat (Vassa), during which time the monastics put aside their normal duties and travels and commit themselves more deeply to practice.  The Kathina ceremony marks the time when the Sangha re-engages with the world, resuming their usual travel and teaching activities. 

In the Buddha's time, the monastics' robes were muddy, wet and worn by the end of the rainy season.  Seeing this, lay supporters obtained the Buddha's permission to offer new robes and other requisites at this time. He made Kathina one of the significant ceremonies in the Buddhist calendar, an occasion for monastics and lay devotees to gather together in mutual respect and harmony.

Following the ancient procedure, our donors will offer plain white cotton to the Sangha.  The Sangha will then elect one knowledgeable Bhikkhuni who has stayed at the Hermitage for the entire Vassa, to receive the Kathina cloth.  Once they receive the cloth, the Bhikkhunis must measure, cut, sew and dye the Kathina robe — all in a single day!  The day ends with a ceremony called 'Spreading the Kathina', which refers to dismantling the robe-sewing-frame.  Now Vassa is complete and the Bhikkhunis will soon depart for their work in the world.

This will be the first Kathina celebration for the Dhammadharini community of Bhikkhunis.  It is the first time we have in residence the five bhikkhunis needed for the formal Kathina transaction.

Tentative schedule:

The day begins with overnight guests offering the Kathina Cloth and Breakfast Dana at 7:30 a.m.

9:30 - 10:30 a.m.       Arrival for day visitors
10:30 - 11:00 a.m.     Buddha Puja Chanting
11: 15 a.m.                Lunch Dana
2:00 - 4:00 p.m.        Dhamma Talks
4:00 p.m.                  Tea
Around 4:30 p.m.      "Spreading the Kathina"

For a list of requisites useful to our Hermitage, please see the sidebar on this page.