Year: 2019

Q & A FAQ Dhammananda

FAQ Dhammananda March 1, 2019

Why I am writing this? I have been giving interviews, so much so that I think I am born to do this. I enjoy talking to people who came all the way from the other side of the globe to meet me, to ask me all kind of questions. Indeed, some of the questions broaden up my own perspective and deepen my understanding, I am grateful for their input. Yet, there are questions which can be answered if they look in my previous written work. So my attempt to work on this FAQ is to weed out those common questions that I get all the time from people who came to interview me. Ah, I got a brilliant idea. If they ask me this question, and I know I have already answered it, I will simply say… please read answer to so and so. This would really help me a great deal. I spent 2 hours for each interview, if I have to give interview 3 times a week, that is already 6 hours of my time (considering my remaining time is becoming limited). At this age (date Feb.29,2016) I do get tired at the end of the interview. Yet I could not cut short knowing that you have come all the way from U.S.A. the opposite side of the globe and you have taken at least 22 hrs. of flying.

So before you see me, please browse through this FAQ and may be when you see me, you will need only to take a photo of us to prove that you have talked to me personally. Wouldn’t it be nice? I love seeing you all the same,

Activities Local Mental Freedom in Prison

The project with female inmates in prison

                It was around 2011 when we first came to the prison. It started in a strange way. Our temple is the first female monastics in Thailand. It started 60 years ago from Ven.Grandma Voramai Kabilsingh’s time. Ven.Dhammananda, the present abbot is a second generation.

                Being a temple for female monastics, people have been thoughtful, when they brought offering they also thought of the need for female, that is sanitary napkins. Our temple is small, and most members are past the fertile period of life. Sanitary napkins offered in a big pile began to claim space.              When we have surplus rice, we take it to old homes, or male juvenile detention center, but they also have no need of sanitary napkins. Then an idea came.. the provincial prison. Ah, yes.

                At that time the provincial prison was still in town near the famous stupa. The total inmates were 3500 and out of this number, 700 of them were women. We approach the officers at the prison and told them of our idea of sharing the napkins with their female inmates. They were very happy, as they have to set up annual budget to cover this cost, with our offering they could cut down on that.

                As conversation continued, the officer asked if the bhikkhunis can also give dharma talk to the female inmates. Of course, we would be too happy to do it, it is our duty.

                So that was the way we began, meeting the inmates. The straight dharma talk now developed into training programme. Attending the training and obtaining a training certificate would also help to reduce their sentence.

                We are now in our 9th year. We conduct the training twice a month, after ten sessions, each training draws to a close, the participants receive the certificate. Each year the training focuses on different practical topic, i.e. self-disciplined, honesty, etc.

                Each time a group of minimum 6 bhikkhunis and volunteers  handle the training, one young volunteer specially prepare songs to share with the inmates. Now, this training is the main training course for the Nakhonpathom provincial prison.