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Bhikkhunis Awards

Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA)….

Two Buddhist nuns, Thai Bhikkhuni Rattanavali and American Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee, got the idea to develop an award in honor of Buddhist women’s accomplishments on the United Nations’ International Women’s Day. This idea arose in March 2001 after the nuns attended two events: (1) The Outstanding Women’s Awards in Thailand organized by the Gender and Development Research Institute and (2) an invited speech offered by Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee at the United Nations Auditorium in honor of International Women’s Day on 8 March 2001. The nuns noticed the positive influence to the role and status of women encouraged via the events, and thus began to brainstorm. In fact, Venerable Bhikkhuni Rattanavali proposed the idea to Dr. Lee who agreed and advised her to speak to Dr. Tavivat Puntarigvivat, Director of Research at the World Buddhist University, World Fellowship of Buddhists. All the while the nuns were in residence and learning from the Most Venerable Master Dr. Shi Kuang Seng, Head of Kuan-Im Bodhisattava’s Hall in Bangkok who offered encouragement, guidance and support. Thus, Venerable Rattanavali planted the seed in the hearts of the above-mentioned persons and the seed received water, sunlight and nourishment, while also overcoming obstacles in the process of growth. Eventually, a lotus blossomed. From 2005 – 2008, Venerable Bhiksuni Shiou-I nobly held the Presidency of OWBA. In 2012 Venerable Bhiksuni Ming Yu, President of Taiwan’s Chinese Young Buddhist Association became President of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards and has held the position honorably ever since.

The Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards Ceremony occurred in 2002 and 2003 at the auditorium of the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women and then in 2004, thanks to the kindness of Mettanando Bhikkhu, the event subsequently occurred at the auditorium of the United Nations in Bangkok in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. From 2008 – 2011 the OWBA Ceremony was at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women. In 2012 the venue was Chulalongkorn University, in 2013 Kuan-Im Bodhisattava’s Hall, in 2014 Buddha Savika Foundation, and in 2015 at A Handful of Leaves Project in Chiang Mai. The awards subsequently are eagerly hosted at women’s temples and centers throughout Thailand. The Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards are part of an international women’s movement calling for change and celebrating the acts of courage and determination by women in the history of Buddhism.
The UN International Women’s Day – International Women’s Day March 8th is an occasion marked by women’s groups around the world. This date is also commemorated at the United Nations. At each of the 5 United Nations branches in the world, there is an honoring of the day and across the world at universities, schools and educational institutions, the day often expands into a week or even a month focusing on the accomplishments of women. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least three decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development. Few causes promoted by the United Nations have generated more intense and widespread support than the campaign to promote and protect the equal rights of women. The Charter of the United Nations, signed in San Francisco in 1945, was the first international agreement to proclaim gender equality, a fundamental human right. Nearly 200 women from 20 countries have been awarded to date. Some of the awardees have included:
The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation – The International Women’s Meditation Center Foundation creates gender equality in Buddhism by establishing Bhikkhunis as leaders in society by offering: 01 – Meditation and Buddhist Practice for Women & Girls 02 – Dhamma Teachings for Women & Girls 03 – Post-Graduate Education for Bhikkhunis 04 – Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards 05 – IT & Media Services for Women Dhamma Teachers.

2019 – 18th Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA)….

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2019 – 18th Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA) Ceremony in Thailand

The 2019 – 18th Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA) Ceremony, held at the International Nipunin Women’s Meditation Center in Wang Nam Keaw, Thailand on March 06 – 12, 2019. This year 17 women from around the world awarded and honored for their exceptional contributions to Buddhism. This Awards Ceremony organized under the leadership by Chairman of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards, Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee. The event Supported by President of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA), President of the Chinese Character Education Promotion Association, Deputy President of the World Alliance of Buddhists (WAB) Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Ming Yu. The event hosted by head of International Nipunin Women’s Meditation Center in Wang Nam Keaw, Thailand, Madam Punyanuch Sae Heng. The annual awards, held in honor of the United Nations International Women’s Day, celebrate the accomplishments of Buddhist women in meditative practice, social work, community development, spreading the dharma, and peace activism. The honorees were selected by a panel of Buddhist scholars and practitioners and received their awards at a ceremony held at the Association for the Promotion of the Status of Women.

2018 – 17th Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA)….

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2019 – 18th Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA) Ceremony in Thailand

The 2018 Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards Ceremony, which will be held at the International Women’s Meditation Center in Rayong, Thailand on March 07 – 11, 2018. This year 23 women from around the world will be honored for their exceptional contributions to Buddhism. This is the 17th year that organized this event, which was held at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok for 4 consecutive years. Now, it enters the grassroots and is an international movement empowering Buddhist woman. 2018 Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards Ceremony organized under the leadership by President of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards, Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee. The event Supported by President of Chinese Young Buddhist Association in Taiwan & the Honorary Adviser of the World Alliance of Buddhists (WAB) and Former President of the Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Ming Yu

World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association Awards (WBBA)….

The World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association was established at Wanfang Temple in Pingtung, Taiwan with nearly 100 bhikkhunis from around the world signing a memorandum of understanding regarding the association’s establishment. This undertaking was not only a major event in the Buddhist world, but also an unprecedented event in the bhikkhuni community. During the meeting, Bhikkhuni Ru Yi, Dean of the Sichuan Bhikkhuni Buddhist Institute in China, recommended that the highly respected Most Venerable Pu Hui, Chairwoman of the Chinese Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association, serve as the first president of the World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association, which was unanimously endorsed by the masters from many countries in attendance and passed with the applause of all. Chinese Buddhist World Peace. Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding to establish the World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association, a forum on “The Importance of Sangha Education and Practicing Social Responsibility” was held. The forum was moderated by Venerable Master Bhante Chao Chu, President of the Los Angeles Buddhist Union, who gave an engaging and enthusiastic talk on the topic. The World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association officers are officially announced and installed in Thailand. In addition to selecting Venerable Bhikkhuni Pu Hui as first president, the initial assembly of the World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association also selected 26 vice-presidents: Bhikkhuni Hong An (Taiwan), Bhikkhuni Siou Neng (Taiwan), Bhikkhuni Jue Hua (Taiwan), Bhikkhuni Jing Ding (Taiwan), Bhikkhuni Che Zong (Taiwan), Bhikkhuni Chang Lu (Taiwan), Bhikkhuni Ru Dao (U.S.), Bhikkhuni Dr. Lee (U.S.), Bhikkhuni Dr. Pannavati (U.S.), Bhikkhuni Sing Kan (Malaysia)

Bhikkhuni Ji Zun (Singapore), Bhikkhuni Rattanavali (Thailand), Bhikkhuni Nattha Vivatta (Thailand), Bhikkhuni Uppala Vanna Magga Panna (Thailand), Bhikkhuni Sudarshana (Sri Lanka), Bhikkhuni Halpandeniye Supeshala (Sri Lanka), Bhikkhuni Mainnaluwe Dharmashanti (Sri Lanka), Bhikkhuni Ru Yi (China), Bhikkhuni Dun Yan (China), Bhikkhuni Hong Yuan (China), Bhikkhuni He Jing (Korea), Anandabodhi Bhikkhuni (U.K.), Santacitta Bhikkhuni (Australia) and Bhikkhuni Kammatthana (Cambodia).

The General Assembly also set up a secretariat, with Venerable Jan Yin of Taiwan serving as Secretary General, Zhuang Bishan serving as English secretary, and Yang Wenjing serving as Chinese secretary. Association vice-presidents Bhikkhuni Chang Lu, Bhikkhuni Nattha Vivatta, Bhikkhuni Che Zong and Bhikkhuni Ru Yi and members Bhikkhuni Da Ying, Bhikkhuni Neng Chao and Bhikkhuni Shao Hong are all recipients of the 16th International Woman of the Year Awards. Vice President Jing Ding, Secretary General Jan Yin and resident masters of Di Yuan Temple and Miao Guang Temple went to the international airport in Kaohsiung to receive Venerable Master Dr. Myongsong Sunim, Dean of the Un-mun Sangha College of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism when she came to visit the Association.

Venerable Bhikkuni Dr. Myongsong Sunim, Dean of the Un-mun Sangha College of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, Venerable Bhikkuni Miao Xun and Venerable Bhikkuni He Jing visited Taiwan to communicate and share experiences with the Association. Because of this event, the Association was able to hold a ceremony officiating the vice presidents. Venerable Bhikkhuni Pu Hui presented the letters of appointment as vice presidents to the Taiwan-based Venerable Bhikkhuni Jue Hua and Venerable Bhikkhuni Siou Neng (received on their behalf by Venerable Bhikkhuni Chang Lu) and to Venerable Bhikkhuni He Jing from Korea.

Thereafter, religious and cultural exchanges between the parties of the two countries were initiated, with President Pu Hui, Vice President Hong An and Vice President Jing Ding each giving speeches on behalf of Taiwan; and Venerable Bhikkhuni Dr. Myongsong Sunim, Dean of the Un-mun Sangha College and Venerable Bhikkhuni He Jing, Abbess of Ming Fa Temple, giving speeches on behalf of Korea.

At noon on that day, the Association arranged a banquet to enthusiastically welcome its esteemed guests. The Association in conjunction with the Chinese Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association member masters hosted approximately 200 people at the banquet. In the afternoon, the Korean delegation visited Ching Liang Shan Hu Guo Miao-Chiung Temple. The delegation was given a tour by the Bhikkhuni Hong An, the Abbess of the magnificent temple. As part of preparations for next year’s first general assembly meeting of the Association, President Pu Hui led a 26-member delegation from Taiwan including Association vice presidents Hong An, Jue Hua, Jing Ding, Che Zong and Chang Lu; and Association member masters Shang Ding, Neng Chao, Ru Nian, Tian De, XuanHui and Secretary General Jian Yin on a mission to Seoul, South Korea to carry out discussions and preparations for the general assembly meeting with Korean area Vice President Venerable Bhikkhuni He Jing.

Venerable Xue Jing, President of Central Council of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, is inducted as an executive office of WBBA; President Pu Hui, on behalf of the Association, presented a greeting to Venerable Xue Jing before the tens of thousands of guests. For the 1st General Assembly Meeting of the WBBA in April,President Pu Hui, together with Vice President Hong An and Secretary General Jan Yin, initiates a second planning and preparations meeting in Seoul, South Korea with Korean area Vice President Venerable He Jing.

President Pu Hui, Vice President Hong An and Secretary General Jian Yin travel to Jogyesa Temple to meet with Venerable Xue Jing, President of the Central Council, and Venerable Ding Yu, the Administrator of the Administrative Headquarters of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, to invite them to attend the general assembly meeting and provide guidance. Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Pu Hui, the President of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association, Chairwoman of the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association, Executive Director of the Taiwan Buddhist Association, Abbess of Shen Zhai Tang, Taichung, Founder of Taichung Shen Chai Elementary School, Taiwan. Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Hong An – Chairwoman of the Taiwan Buddhist Association, Vice president of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association, Co-chair of the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association, Abbess of Ching Liang Shan Hu Guo Miao-Chiung Temple, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

On March 7th, 2017 all officers of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association were sworn into service in Thailand. The Venerable Pu Hui from Taiwan, highly respected in the Buddhist world, serves as first president of the Association, who along with the 25 vice-presidents, also select Bhikkhuni leaders from around the globe, to facilitate the Association to promote the Dharma and wellbeing across the world. The World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association was established at Wanfa Temple in Pingtung, Taiwan on November 22, 2017. Over 1,000 people participated in the general meeting establishing the association, including Buddhist clergy and lay people from around the world. The meeting resolved to unite bhikkhunis across the world, strengthen exchange among monasteries around the world, promote the Dharma to all areas of the world and bring wellbeing to all people.

The general assembly promoted the current chairwoman of the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association, the venerable Bhikkhuni Pu Hui to serve as first president of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association, and in accordance with the charter of the general assembly, selected 25 vice-presidents, and the secretary general was assigned by the president.

Mission

The missions of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association (WBBA) are; Develop the organization and communication among world bhikkhuni Buddhists, Support bhikkhunis everywhere to espouse the Dharma to all sentient beings, Foster integration and relations between bhikkhunis of different traditions, pursue world peace by invoking the Buddha’s teachings on compassion.

Banner and emblem of the Association

The emblem of the Association depicts an unblemished lotus blossom emerging from the mud to support the world. The world represents the global scope of the Association, the lotus flowers the pure mind, symbolizing. The purity of the Dharma purifying the earth and purifying people’s hearts. The banner of the association has the emblem of the Association centered over a background of primary yellow. The name of the Association in Chinese characters is above the emblem and the English name of the Association, “World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association” is below the emblem.

Organization

The Association has one president who represents and coordinates the affairs of the entire association and is nominated by the entire membership. The term of the president is four years. The Association may have several vice-presidents. The vice-presidents support the president and coordinate the affairs of country chapters. Taiwan has six vice-presidents. The term of a vice-president is four years. The Association has several executive officers who are responsible for running the country committees and are selected by the President for Taiwan. For other countries these officers are selected by the vice-presidents. These officers have a term of four years. The Association appoints a Secretary General who is responsible for communicating with global members and executing committee affairs.

The Association has Chinese and English secretaries, nominated by the secretary general and appointed by the president, who assist the secretary with the duties of the secretariat of the central committee. The Association has a treasurer appointed by the president, responsible for financial operations of the Association.

The Association has five executive committees responsible for carrying out different professional duties: (i) Promoting the Dharma (ii) Education (iii) Charity (iv) Youth (v) Finance The Association will appoint a previous president or a respected Bhikkhuni elder to serve as honorary president. The Association will appoint a previous vice-president or a respected Bhikkhuni elder to serve as honorary vice-president. The Association will establish a committee of elders, inviting venerable elder leaders from around the world so that they may provide their guidance. The Association will convene a general meeting once every two years unless there arises emergency need in which case an extraordinary meeting will be convened.

Most Venerable Bhikkhuni Pu Hui, the President of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association said on their meeting, Auspicious greetings to all the members of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association from around the world: I am Shih Pu Huei, the President of the Association. I am from Taiwan. Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding to establish the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association in Taiwan at the end of 2016, we formally established the association in Thailand in 2017. This year, we are convening the First General Assembly Meeting of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association in South Korea. I am very happy to once again be seeing everyone in such great spirits.

First of all, I must thank Bhikkhuni He Jing, Vice President of the Association, the bhikkhuni community of South Korea, and everyone here from all around the world for setting aside the administration of monastic affairs to travel to South Korea to attend this first general assembly meeting. This enthusiasm to willingly step up and take care of our community is precisely the spirit that the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association needs.

The World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association is the world’s first Buddhist organization whose membership is comprised of only bhikkhunis, which is a major event in the history of Buddhism. We do not distinguish between nationalities or ethnicities, yet we have come here to share our different experiences so that they may be integrated into promoting the Dharma.  It is my hope that this meeting will enable our association to gather together to focus on plans and steps for the globalization of the Dharma.

The Vice President Most Venerable Bhikkhuni He Jing said, I respectfully congratulate the masters of the Chinese Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association for their supreme contributions in establishing the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association. Thank you masters in attendance for coming from your respective twelve countries to participate in this general assembly meeting in Korea. Although every country has its own unique cultural heritage, I believe that the Great Kindness and Great Compassion teachings of the Buddha will allow the whole world to bloom in lotus flowers of compassion.

Korea, the home of the organizers of this assembly meeting, has been divided into North Korea and South Korea for 70 long years, a situation which has brought much insecurity to the world. In this time, I emptied my mind of thoughts over and over, and based on the principle of serving others with compassion, I was appointed as Vice President of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association. At the time, I immediately had the grand wish that North and South Korea could unite and that, together with the masters of the twelve countries, welcome the World Peace Conference between North and South Korea.

And just as water is not water, food is not food, and money is not money, it is only when we actually drink water, eat food, and use money that such things exist. Thus, the peace and unification of which I speak, is not real peace and unification. When I become one with you, we become one. And when we speak and act consistently, it shows that our confidence is growing. Forgive others and inspire others. At that instant when we are one, only then will unification slowly begin.

I believe that with the power of prayer from you, the great masters from 12 countries who have come together for this grand meeting, we will lay the foundation for North and South Korea’s unification. May our continued contributions enable those countries encountering difficulty to establish greater goals in carrying out their practice of loving-kindness and compassion. I believe that no matter what kind of difficulties our global village faces, we can still succeed at achieving world peace. Once again, thank you to each and every master here today and for your commitment and efforts on behalf of the World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association. Namo Shakyamuni Buddha, Namo Shakyamuni Buddha, Namo Fundamental Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha.

World Buddhist Bhikkhuni Association Awards (WBBA)….

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2019 – 18th Outstanding Women in Buddhism Awards (OWBA) Ceremony in Thailand

The World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association was established at Wanfang Temple in Pingtung, Taiwan with nearly 100 bhikkhunis from around the world signing a memorandum of understanding regarding the association’s establishment. This undertaking was not only a major event in the Buddhist world, but also an unprecedented event in the bhikkhuni community. During the meeting, Bhikkhuni Ru Yi, Dean of the Sichuan Bhikkhuni Buddhist Institute in China, recommended that the highly respected Most Venerable Pu Hui, Chairwoman of the Chinese Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association, serve as the first president of the World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association, which was unanimously endorsed by the masters from many countries in attendance and passed with the applause of all. Chinese Buddhist World Peace. Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding to establish the World Buddhism Bhikkhuni Association, a forum on “The Importance of Sangha Education and Practicing Social Responsibility” was held.

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