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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Eight new Dharmacharinis in Australasia

Dharmanandi writes from New Zealand with news of eight recent ordinations there -

At the Public Ordination held at 2pm on Friday October 16th at Shambhala Retreat Centre, Golden Bay, New Zealand, the following Dharmacharinis were born:

Lynda Gill becomes Shamani (long 'i') 'The calming one/the one who calms'. Private Preceptor Chittaprabha, Public Preceptor Megha

Jennifer Jones becomes Carunalaka (long 1st, 2nd and 4th 'a') 'Red lotus'. Private Preceptor Megha.
Lea Richardson becomes Carunetra (long 1st and final 'a') 'Beautiful eyed'. Private Preceptor Megha.
Kath Dubout becomes Vimuttinandi (long final 'i') 'She who delights in liberation/freedom'. Private Preceptor Megha.
Yael Raz becomes Prakashika (long 2nd and final 'a') 'She who is brilliant/shining/bright'. Private Preceptor Chittaprabha. Varadevi was the Public Preceptor for the above

Bethwyn Malcolm becomes Amritaketu 'She who possesses the flame of the deathless'. Private Preceptor Varadevi.
Adele Chapman becomes Taralila (all vowels long) 'She who plays/sports with Tara'. Private Preceptor Varadevi.
Glyniss Cree becomes Akashamani (long 1st and 2nd 'a', long 'i') 'She who has a jewel of space'. Private Preceptor Chittaprabha.  Dharmanandi was the Public Preceptor for the above.

With Metta



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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Buddhafield New Zealand up and running, seeks festival...

The stupa at Sudarshanaloka, the FWBO's reatreat centre in the Coromandel mountains, New ZealandAkasadaka, an Order Member from the FWBO’s Sudarshanaloka retreat centre, high in the Coromandel Mountains of New Zealand, writes to say -

“Buddhafield is manifesting deep in the South Pacific in the land of the Kiwi.
Our mission is to build up a community of like-minded Dharma practitioners and create the first ever Buddhafield Festival down under. It's going to be an organic process thing!

“We are currently based at Sudarshanaloka in the Coromandel Ranges. Every year we attend Prana Festival so plan if you can to come, it’s 5 days of good people, good food and good vibes.

Loading up the Buddhafield New Zealand van before a festival“Recent News? Well, preparation for Prana is well under way, Jayaghosa has been working hard along with the help of Matt and Rosie. We have a full program of workshops planned, as well as Dharmamudra coming to lead Taiji. There’ll be space for Dharmavaca (Dharma Discussion) in the evenings”.

He ends by saying “If you are coming do not forget to bring a costume for New Years Eve, theme is masquerade but don't let that stop you from going a bit mental...”

You can contact Buddhafield New Zealand here - or find them on Facebook – go look for Buddhafield NZ.

The Buddhafield ‘family’ now includes Buddhafield itself; Buddhafield North, Buddhafield East, and more – on the web there’s distant fond memories of a Buddhafield Ireland… All share a love of Buddhist practice in the natural world; all delight in the magic that happens when like-minded people come together – and all are willing to put in the hard work it takes to make something happen out-of-doors…

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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Space in New Zealand

Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Space in New ZealandSudarshanaloka is the FWBO’s retreat centre in New Zealand – a most beautiful spot, set in 200 acres of native bush looking down the valley and out over the sea. It appeared most recently on FWBO News in February, when it hosted the ordination of Dridhamati.

The story of Sudarshanaloka’s creation is a rich and complex one – and is now the subject of a book-length study. Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Space in New Zealand , by Sally McAra. The book (available from Amazon or elsewhere) is an academic work, and not cheap – but you can read a review here, by Jayarava, who was himself involved in its creation and is a friend of the author.

And for those who’d like to visit, but don’t plan on flying – you can take a ‘virtual journey’ from Thames, the local town, all the way up the valley to the retreat centre, and on up through the site to the Stupa itself – and then look out over the bay… Just click here to begin…

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Death in India, fire in New Zealand

FWBO News is very sad to report the death of Dharmachari Amritavira, of Aurangabad, India. He died on Friday 7 March 2008, having been in hospital for several days, following a heart attack. The funeral took place on 8th March.

Amritavira was ordained in March 1993 and lived and worked in Aurangabad for the TBMSG centre there. He was well-known and much loved by many people.

Continuing the theme of bad news, Akasadaka from Thames, New Zealand, has sent news of a fire that recently burnt Satyananda’s house to the ground.

Satyananda is best known for conceiving and masterminding the construction of the FWBO's 'Sudarshanaloka' retreat centre and stupa high in the hills above Thames. Akasadaka writes -

"Around about 5pm, Satyananda’s house became a blazing inferno devouring everything he owned. To contain the bushfire 55 firefighters were called in, including volunteers, along with three helicopters with 'monsoon buckets'. Fortunately no-one was hurt.

"Satyananda is now residing back at Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre until he can sort out what he will do next. He can be called, in some ways like the monks of old, 'a man of naught' - except for the dirty laundry he had in the back of his beat-up old subaru pickup truck...

With this in mind, the Phoenix fund has been set up by some of his friends to collect donations for the purpose of helping him out. Donations of course do not need to be of the monetary kind, they could be donated goods or skills. You can email Akasadaka for any further information or to contribute to the appeal.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Ordination at Sudarshanaloka, New Zealand

On Sunday 17 February 2008, at Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre in New Zealand, Pierrick Parigot was publicly ordained. His new name is DRIDHAMATI (Sanskrit with a dot below the 'r' and a dot below the second 'd'). 'He who has a firm, resolute or persevering mind'.

Purna was the private preceptor and Buddhadasa the public preceptor.


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Friday, July 20, 2007

Lotus Realm Traders joins the ‘Vans’

Akasadaka, from Lotus Realm, sends FWBO News this report –

“After a lot of hard work, Lotus Realm Traders, the Sudarshanaloka Mandala’s largest Right Livelihood venture in New Zealand, has given birth to… a van!”

They thereby join the proud lineage of Windhorse van drivers, who over the years have between them raised many many thousands of pounds in the UK for Dharma work. He says “Well it’s a bus actually. Her name is Rosa and she’s a Mitsubishi. She’s a good 6.0m long and weighs in at 3.2 tonne fully loaded with product. Her previous life was a Tokyo Library Bus and she still has a rather snazzy Seiko Wall clock above the dash.

We have just completed our first trip (van run) around the Coromandel Peninsula and the Bay of Plenty, surviving cyclonic weather which caused havoc across the top half of the North Island. To her crew’s delight Rosa received plenty of compliments along the way and sales were way beyond expectations. It is hoped that this will continue as Sudarshanaloka requires a lot more funds to complete its Retreat Centre project.

Lotus Realm Traders currently consists of six people, and we’re attempting to become a Team Based Right Livelihood, in the process of making squillions of moolah (lots of cash). How exactly this will be manifested seems to be an ongoing process, but we do have as our core principles ethical trading, building spiritual community, generating dana and having some insane fun.

“How can you help? If you have any expertise or skills to offer for free, we would happily accept. The Sudarshanaloka Mandala needs more people in all ways, from helping to run classes and looking after he Retreat Centre to packing orders from our warehouse and keeping shop. Please feel free to contact me (akasadaka [at] if you have some interest in getting involved in what we are doing.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007


At the Public Ordinations held at 3pm on Friday May 25th at Shambhala in Golden Bay, New Zealand, the following Dharmacharinis were born -


Robyn Blackman becomes KAMALADEVI - pali and skt. "(She who is a) lotus goddess" (long final i) so Kamaladevii

Serena Ann becomes GAMBHIRAJA - skt. "(She who is) born of the depths" (long i and long final a) so Gambhiirajaa

Alison Mann becomes HRDAYAJA - skt "(She who is) heart born" ( dot under r and long final a) so Hrdayajaa


Sue Johnson becomes VIRYADANA - skt "(She who) gives energy in pursuit of the good" (long i and long second a and final a ) so Viiryadaanaa.

Victoria Bel becomes BUDDHANKAPALI - skt "(She who is) embraced by the Buddha" (long first a, long final a and dot over the n) so Buddhaankapaali.

Anita Hirshhorn becomes VIDYATARA - skt "(She who is) a protector of spiritual knowledge ( long first, second and final a) so Vidyaataaraa

Jane Beck becomes PADMADASI (She who is a) "Servant of the Lotus" (long final i) so Padmadasii

Maureen Nicholls becomes SARADARSHINI "She who sees/understands/knows the pith or substance or heart (of things) (long first a and long final i) so Saaradarshinii.


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Thursday, April 12, 2007

FWBO Sudarshanaloka

It is now 10 years since the stupa was built at the Sudarshanaloka Retreat Centre. On February the 17th a large group of Kiwi Buddhists gathered on the land near Thames to celebrate the anniversary. It was a colourful occasion, that included a banner carrying procession and circumambulations of the stupa in brilliant sunshine.

The stupa was built by a team led by Dharmamudra, and dedicated by Sangarakshita, and contains a portion of the relics of Dhardo Rinpoche.

image by Sally McAra

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