Bhante Buddharakkhita Temporarily Ordained Seven Young Women as Buddhist Nuns.

In a remarkable event that unfolded on September 29th, 2023, seven young women in Uganda received temporary ordination as Buddhist nuns, marking a historic milestone in the growth and development of Buddhism in Africa. This momentous occasion took place at the Uganda Buddhist Centre (UBC), with six of the newly ordained nuns hailing from the center’s orphanage, who also attend the Buddhist Peace School. The seventh participant is a dedicated staff member at UBC.

The ordination of these seven young women is a significant step in the growth and development of Buddhism in Uganda and Africa as a whole. It highlights the adaptability and inclusivity of Buddhism as a religion that welcomes people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

The Preceptor gives robes to the applicant
The Preceptor gives robes to the applicant

The act of ordaining young women as nuns underscores the progressive and transformative nature of Buddhism in this region. It challenges traditional gender roles and opens the door for more women to take active roles in the growth and expansion of Buddhism in Africa. This can serve as an inspiration for young girls and women in Uganda to explore their spiritual side, enriching not only their own lives but also the lives of those they touch.

Furthermore, this ordination ceremony marks the largest group of nuns ever ordained at UBC since its inception in 2005. It demonstrates the growing interest in Buddhism among the local community and a heightened commitment to the teachings of compassion and mindfulness.

Bhante Buddharakkhita Attends the 8th WBS in Japan

On the 12th of September, Bhante Buddharakkhita attended the 8th World Buddhist Summit (WBS) held in Tokyo, Japan. The summit is the supreme Buddhist conference representing over 370 million Buddhists in the world. It is organized with the cooperation of the United Nations as well as supreme Buddhist leaders around the globe. The 8th WBS was a 2-day global gathering of spiritual leaders, dignitaries, and enthusiasts from various corners of the world. Among the distinguished participants were delegates from the Kingdom of Thailand, the Kingdom of Bhutan, the Kingdom of Cambodia, representatives of the United Nations, and diplomatic envoys representing their respective countries. This international gathering provided an opportunity for the exchange of ideas and culture and fostered a sense of spiritual connection among the participants.

One of the key highlights of the summit was the official inauguration of Nalanda University, a prestigious institution of Buddhist learning. The establishment of this university, renowned for its ancient roots in India, underscores the enduring relevance of Buddhist principles in the contemporary world. It signifies wisdom and enlightenment, offering space for scholars and seekers to inquire into the profound and timeless teachings of the Buddha.

In addition, the 8th Summit installed a new president who will lead the global Buddhist community, encompassing all Buddhist traditions, including the Mahayana, Theravada, and Vajrayana (MTV). The new president is Most Venerable Dr. Shinkai Kori, Chief High Priest of the Nenbutsushu Buddhist Sect of Japan. The role of the President is fundamental in fostering cooperation, dialogue, and collaboration among Buddhist communities, promoting peace, compassion, and understanding.

Bhante was appointed as one of the Vice Presidents of the World Buddhist Summit, representing the African continent. This recognition not only celebrates his dedication and tireless efforts but also sheds light on the growing influence of Buddhism in Africa. Bhante’s work at the Uganda Buddhist Center has been instrumental in spreading the teachings of Buddha, promoting mindfulness, and creating a harmonious community. UBC is now a major initiative providing a stable source of Buddhism in Africa. During the summit, a video presentation showcasing Buddhist activities and programs at the Uganda Buddhist Center depicted the vibrant Buddhist community in Uganda, highlighting its commitment to humanitarian initiatives, meditation practices, and the promotion of inner peace.

As we reflect upon this momentous event, we are reminded of the unifying power of spirituality, which bridges cultural divides and nurtures a world of peace and compassion.

May the teachings of Buddhism continue to illuminate our shared path toward a more peaceful and harmonious future!

Bhante Buddharakkhita Honored with Doctorate Degree by MCU

Our Spiritual Director, Bhante Buddharakkhita recently received an honorary doctorate degree in Buddhist studies from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University (MCU) in Thailand. the graduation ceremony was from the December 10-11, 2022. This prestigious award recognizes Bhante’s dedication and contributions to the field of Buddhist studies and his commitment to sharing the teachings of the Buddha with others.

Bhante has spent many years studying and practicing Buddhism, and has become a well-known teacher and leader in the community. He has written numerous books and articles on Buddhist teachings and has led retreats and workshops on mindfulness and meditation.

He has also been actively involved in charitable and community-building efforts, working with various organizations to promote education and healthcare, and wellbeing in underprivileged communities. Bhante has also participated in interfaith dialogues and promoting understanding and harmony among people of different religious traditions.

The honorary doctorate degree in Buddhist studies is a fitting recognition of Bhante’s achievements and contributions to the field. It is a testament to his commitment to sharing the teachings of the Buddha and promoting peace and understanding in the world. The degree will further allow Bhante to continue to share his knowledge and teachings with others and be a prominent figure in the Buddhist Studies field.

In receiving this award Bhante said that he feels humbled and grateful for the recognition and the opportunity to continue his path of service to others through teaching and mentoring.

This honorary doctorate degree is a powerful reminder of Bhante’s ongoing impact on the world and his contributions to the study and practice of Buddhism. It serves as an inspiration for others to follow in his footsteps and continue to learn, grow and serve.

Bhante Attends the Installation of the Archbishop of Kampala

On January 25, 2022 the installation of the new archbishop of Kampala (capital of Uganda) was taking place. Bishop Ssemogerere was assigned by Pope Francis, replacing Dr. Cyprian Kizito Lwanga who passed away in April 2021. Alongside his father, a papal knight, Bhante Buddharakkhita congratulated the appointed Archbishop Ssemogerere at this memorable ceremony of the Roman Catholic Church.