Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Basic Information for lay practitioners


Ārāma Karuṇā Sevena
was founded as a monastic dwelling and a refuge for bhikkhunī Visuddhi. The Ārāma Karuā Sevena runs in line with the Buddha’'s teaching and a firmly set discipline (Dhamma-vinaya). The Ārāma Karuā Sevena is a place of contemplation, meditation and a training for living in seclusion. It is a space free of the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is a suitable environment for those who seek refuge in the Triple Gem and a space for one’s spiritual practice for anyone who wants to spend some time developing tranquility and meditation within a protected environment.

The Buddha established the sagha, an order of bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs (monks and nuns) in order to provide the optimal conditions for the development of the noble eightfold path and the realisation of Nibbāna, and to keep the Dhamma-vinaya alive for the benefit of the future generations. Up to this day, the sagha has been passing the teaching on to generations of monks and nuns as well as lay followers. The fact that venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi resides and practices in Czech Republic, in the heart of Europe, gives us an extraordinary and rare opportunity to come into contact with the Buddha’s teaching as embodied by the practice of an experienced member of the Sagha.

Some monasteries enable lay practitioners to become female and male novices (sāmaṇerī/sāmaṇera) for a short period of time. In our ārāma, visitors cultivate themselves to be lay practitioners (upāsikā/upāsaka). Thanks to staying in this environment, everyone can have a taste of disciplined and orderly lifestyle trying out the way of the life led by the monks and nuns for centuries, at least for a short period of time. This presents an opportunity to change our old unwholesome habits and tendencies for the better and to learn how to live in a skillful way.

Cultivation of noble relationships and friendship forms an integral part of our spiritual practice. A life in a community sets a good example and provides favorable conditions; this is yet another benefit that a stay in the ārāma can offer.  People often come to monasteries broken-hearted from dysfunctional relationships, seeking a place of refuge and support. A taste of monastic life may help lay practitioners to realise the drawbacks and the unsatisfactoriness of relationships in general and at the same time to understand what the foundations of a well-functioning relationship are.

The venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi focuses mainly on the meditation practice of mettā and satipaṭṭhāna, thus the running and structure of the monastery also serve the purpose to facilitate the practice, as a complement to the formal instruction she provides. For this reason while being at the ārāma it is not suitable to combine different practices, do yoga or other exercises, or consider the stay at the ārāma a vacation or therapy time. Everybody who wishes to stay here for meditation and seclusion should think this over, to be clear on what her/his intention is, and to take the opportunity for practice that the ārāma offers very seriously. Most of us are used to meditation retreats where group meditation and fixed timetable are common. Venerable Visuddhi prefers an individualised approach to each practitioner and offers her/him an opportunity for a dedicated practice according to the person’s needs and inclinations. This is very rare. Everybody can arrange a meeting during his stay and ask the venerable for an interview, especially those who are new to meditation and need guidance.

Daily schedule
Following a disciplined and orderly lifestyle is an essential part of a spiritual practice not only for monks and nuns but also for us, lay practitioners. During your stay, we expect your natural involvement in the way the ārāma runs. The daily schedule is basically similar in all Theravāda Buddhist monasteries. Mornings begin with a group meditation, then the mid-morning activities include shared cleaning activities, cooking, washing the dishes and doing smaller household chores cultivating a feeling of lightness and being joyful. The rest of the day is dedicated to contemplation, studies and meditation practice.

is voluntary, it covers basic necessities of life of the Sagha. Inevitable part of our practice is taking care of the bhikkhunī and occasional visiting sagha members and providing for their basic needs. If you want to make an offering to bhikkhunī Visuddhi (or other members of the sagha residing in the ārāma) of particular items, we advise you to make an appointment with bhikkhunī Visuddhi and consult with her or the committee members of the Karuṇā Sevena Trust Society first.

Overhead expenses
Meditation retreats are accessible to lay practitioners thanks to the generosity of the previous donors. In the same way, your generosity will enable other practitioners to practice here. These overhead expenses are a suggested price that comprises all ārāma costs, both in summer and winter season, various equipments for the ārāma, energy, floor heating, air conditioning and water use. The amount of the contribution stated is a recommendation, it is up to every person what she/he can afford and offer. Lay practitioners visit the monastery solely for the purpose of getting to know and practice the Buddha’s teaching, study, meditation practice and a spiritual progress. Venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi observes the Rains Retreat (vassa) and the ārāma is closed to the public during this period. Please send your requests and inquiries after the retreat is over, i.e., the end of October. Thank you.

Meditation seclusion dates and other events
You can NOW register for your meditation and seclusion period in November - December 2016. Please contact us via email: As the next step, information about the daily schedule and terms of stay at the ārāma Karuṇā Sevena will be sent to you on request. Long-term meditation seclusion is for now possible in the following term:
26. 12. 2016 – 1. 1. 2017 – New Year’s meditative seclusion
This is one upcoming event that we would like to invite you to:
12. 11. 2016Kaṭhina ceremony
We wish you a good stay. It is an extraordinary and rare opportunity to practice in the ārāma Karuṇā Sevena. Only wise people seize the opportunity wholesomely. This place is indeed beautiful and pure and meets all the conditions for a good practice. Places like this are rare in the world. We wish you to attain nibbāna soon.

May all beings be happy and well
Karuṇā Sevena

News from ārāma Karuṇā Sevena, information for meditators

Dear friends,

our summer is quickly coming to an end, with that, also a vacation time and fun summer activities. We are left with plans for the new school year, along with the responsibilities and worries of everyday life. Therefore, it is good to get grounded in our practice. Let’s not forget that the spiritual life is an important "food" and nutrition of our hearts as well.

Bhikkhunī Visuddhi sends many regards from her meditation retreat in her monastic dwelling in the Czech Republic. She is now observing vassa, and will be available again after the end of October. If you have any questions, please email us after this period.

During the three months meditation retreat, we provide food for the venerable by a company that delivers vegetarian meals to the ārāma Karuṇā Sevena every day. One lunch costs CZK 90 CZK (about USD 4,5). If you would like to donate food dāna for venerable Visuddhi for a few days, weeks or even for the whole month, you can send any amount to our bank account or via PayPal (look for our email in PayPal). Email us too to let us know about your donation.  

We have prepared news we would like to share with you and give you brief information for visitors and practitioners in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena (see attachment). In June and July 2016, the first meditators stayed in our beautiful, newly reconstructed ārāma. Karuṇā Sevena received a very good feedback from these practitioners. You can view the photogallery here.

video of the inauguration of ārāma Karuṇā Sevena in late May is also available for viewing. We wanted to give the opportunity to those of you, who were unable to attend, to experience a little of the friendly atmosphere that prevailed here via this video. It was carefully shot and donated to us by a retired neighbor, who once worked in the movie industry. We think he did a good job.
We wish you a nice rest of September and we look forward to seeing you after the vassa. You can NOW apply for weekend stays in the ārāma. Those who are interested, please sign up on our email address. Per your request, we will send you information about the operation of ārāma and conditions of stay. There you can find the Basic information for lay practitioners. We would like to offer, for whose, who seek longer stay, the following dates:

26. 12. 2016 – 1.1. 2017 - New Year’s meditation stay

Also come celebrate the End of the Vassa ceremony (Kaṭhina) with us on the 12.11.2016.

The Trust Society Karuna Sevena will be taking a loan from a bank to buy the neighboring house to secure better conditions for meditators. If you know of any donors who would like to contribute to this project or wanted to participate in any other way, please contact us. 

I wish you a wonderful day.

President of Karuā Sevena
 Ivona Mollberg

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Food offering for bhikkhunī Visuddhi during vassa

Dear friends,

Bhikkhunī Visuddhi is living in ārama Karuṇā Sevena and is currently on a meditation self-retreat. Because Czech Republic is a non-Buddhist country, and there is no tradition of offering food by lay people to the monastic, we need to be innovative and look for other solutions while maintaining strict vinaya monastic code.

If you also would like to participate and practice generosity towards a monastic, you may cover the food expenses for venerable Visuddhi. Following vegetarian restaurant delivers food in Prostejov (CZ) every day, except Saturdays and Sundays: Kalindi. One meal costs about 4.50 USD per day. If you would like to donate to cover any amount of meals, click on the Paypal button on the right or email us on Bh. Visuddhi will finish vassa at the end of October.

Ever since the time of the Buddha, we can provide the monastics with these following requisites: 
1. monastic robe
2. food
3. medicine - in case of disease
4. shelter

Thank you for your generosity. Much mettā, Ivona Mollberg

Retreat and training for lay disciples in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena

In June and July 2016, new and beautiful ārāma Karuṇā Sevena in the Czech Republic welcomed the first lay practitioners (upāsika, upāsaka). They had the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in the safe and calming environment of the ārāma. These meditators could let go of their every day lives for a moment and practice according to the Buddha's teaching on the path to nibbāna. See pictures here (and longer photo album here.)

The ārāma will be opening again after the vassa period. More information about November 2016 retreats will be coming soon. Daily schedule and Terms of stay in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena will be given both, in Czech and English.

Monday, July 11, 2016

New video from Vesākha celebration and meditation hall inauguration

Dear friends,

we would like to share with you a VIDEO from Vesākha celebration in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena. We also took the opportunity to inaugurate our newly redesigned and reconstructed monastery. This day was a great joy. Karuṇā Sevena welcomed guests from all over the world. You can read the details of this day in our earlier post.

Have a beautiful day,
Ivona Mollberg, the President of the Trust Society Karuna Sevena

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Project of Neighboring House Purchase for use by Practitioners who visit ārāma Karunā Sevena

Dear friends,

during the reconstruction of  ārāma Karunā Sevena, we were approached by a neighbour, offering us his house for a purchase. This is a unique opportunity for meditators in various ways, as it would make the stay in ārāma much more comfortable. Below is more information about the project. If you want to participate in any way or to offer a donation, please let us know:

Vesākha 2016 and The Inauguration of ārāma Karuṇā Sevena

Dear friends, we would like to share a great joy with you in the following article. On May 29, 2016, Karuṇā Sevena celebrated Vesākha and The Inauguration of ārāma Karuṇā Sevena. Kindly find an article about this event below. Since we are still furnishing the temple to ensure to create an ideal space for the meditators, any donations are welcome. Please contact us for futher details. We are also collecting donations (see the PayPal Donation button in the right column) to support the project of purchasing the neighboring building.

 Much mettā from the President of the Trust Society Karuna Sevena, Ivona Mollberg, MBA