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Topic Summary

Posted by: Johann
« on: April 26, 2013, 07:29:57 PM »

Welcome to the Alliance for Bhikkhunis, a clearinghouse for information on bhikkhuni news, activities, challenges, achievements and history.

About Us

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in others. -Gandhi


Susan Pembroke is a practicing psychotherapist, and founder and guiding teacher of Insight Meditation of Ventura. She began meditating in 1986 and has studied with a number of teachers within the Buddhist Theravada tradition. Susan was drawn to the jhanas (states of concentration) and studied these meditative absorptions with Ayya Khema. One of Ayya Khema's enduring concerns was the revival and support of the bhikkuni sangha—this organization is a continuation of her efforts. Founding the AfB, an organization that specifically supports monastic Theravadan women, is Susan's way of showing gratitude to Ayya Khema and honoring her memory. Susan was the recipient of an Outstanding Women in Buddhism Award in 2009.


Founded in 2007, the Alliance for Bhikkhunis is a US-based 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization committed to supporting fully ordained Theravada Buddhist women (bhikkhunis). Our focus is to support and protect the development of the international Bhikkhuni Sangha through education, sustainable economic empowerment, provisioning of health care, and organizing and mobilizing for a gender-balanced approach to Theravada monasticism.


What We Do

    We educate lay practitioners about the essential role bhikkhunis play in protecting and spreading the Dhamma.

    We raise funds to support bhikkhunis as they assume leadership roles and develop skills that enable them to be of service to their communities, both practically and spiritually.

    We uphold the indispensable role monasticism plays in preserving the Buddha’s teachings.

Mission Statement

    Work diligently toward the establishment of a thriving Theravada bhikkhuni sangha in the U.S. and abroad.

    Encourage the emergence of bhikkhuni Dhamma teachers and support them as they enter communities new to the Buddha’s teachings.

    Develop community-based viharas which address the practical and spiritual needs of families and individuals, enabling lay practitioners to integrate the Dhamma into every facet of their life.

Actions to Achieve our Mission

    Foster spiritual dialogue, teaching, and counseling between monastics and the lay community.

    Assist viharas and fourfold monasteries that are already in existence and donate funds for the development and construction of new temples and monastery.

    Assist viharas and monasteries that are dedicated to training female monastics in preparation for full ordination.

    Develop community-based viharas which instruct lay practitioners in the Dhamma and provide opportunities for practice. These viharas help educate children and adolescents on morality and skillful living, offer hospice care and other needed services to the ill and to aging populations, and provide services which enable lay practitioners to place the Dhamma at the center of their lives.

Current Activities

In 2012, funds are being allocated toward the following:

    Ordination and monastic training-related expenses.

    Paying medical and dental expenses, including contributing to health insurance costs for bhikkhunis.

    Construction and maintenance costs of viharas and monasteries.

    Paying transportation costs and related travel expenses to enable bhikkhunis to attend monastic conferences, teachings, retreats, and to undertake teaching tours.

    Costs associated with Buddhist studies including purchasing books and computers for viharas.