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Visualization workshop.

After going on a pilgrimage to Japan with dharma practitioners from the Zen Center of Los Angeles, I travelled to Bangkok with two of my students. One of the purposes of our trip to Bangkok was to visit Venerable Dhammanda at Songdhammakalyani Temple and express our gratitude to her for sending a beautiful statue of MahaprajapatiMaha Theri to our temple in Los Angeles. My temple is in the Mahayana tradition, and I feel it is very important to visit practitioners in other Buddhist traditions as well.

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During our stay, we attended a workshop led by Ven. Dhammananda on visualization. It was a wonderful practice to do the exercises and to share our experiences with each other. There were about a dozen members of the Sangha in attendance, andl found everyone to be very sincere, devoted, and eager practitioners of the Dharma. I enjoyed getting acquainted with the women who attended the workshop and sharing the Dharma together.

On Sunday morning, Ven. Dhammananda invited us to accompany the sangha on the alms round. This was a deeply moving practice. At the first stop, a young man came forward, offered his alms, and knelt on the road with his head bowed and hands in prayer. A little white dog was at his side. I was touched by the sincerity of this man, the blessing from Ven. Dhammananda, and the reception by all the lay women dressed in white. Perhaps what made this moment even more poignant was that this all took place beside a road side stand where people sat around having an early morning drink and snack while this offering was happening. This profound practice of offering and receiving was carried out repeatedly on the alms round.

Like our temple in Los Angeles, Songdhammakalyani Temple sits in the middle of a big city. It is my hope that many women will come to practice the dharma there and become a strong sangha. Deep bows to Ven. Dhammananda and the Sangha.

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Author:Wendy, Roshi
Publication:Yasodhara-Newsletter on International Buddhist Women's Activities
Date:Jul 1, 2004
Words:333
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