6791 Sturtevant Dr.                                                                                                                                                                                                Penngrove, CA  94951

Website: dhammadharini.net

Description of Organization:

Dhammadharini Vihara opened the doors at its first temporary, rented location in August 2005, with room for three residents: bhikkhunīs, aspirants and stewards. In 2009, with the offering of a parcel of rescued redwood forest on the Sonoma Coast, Dhammadharini’s Awakening Forest Hermitage, Aranya Bodhi, was born.
The new Dhammadharini monastery property was found on the full moon of February in 2016 (Sangha Day & the lunar anniversary of Mahapajapati Gotami’s parinibbāna) and the property purchase completed by the Dhammadharini Support Foundation on Earth Day of 2016. The new monastery property is located at the western foot of Sonoma Mountain in Penngrove, and has been repaired and renovated for the monastic community’s occupancy prior to the 2016 Vassa, when Opening Blessings took place on July 16 & 17.

The original Dhammadharini Vihara was notable as the first Theravāda monastery for women monastics and especially for bhikkhunīs in the western United States. In the Theravada tradition in North America, Buddhist monasteries for women have been rare as compared to in Theravada Buddhism in Asia, in large part due to the lack of equal full ordination for women in the traditions. When Dhammadharini was founded, it became the third bhikkhunī vihara in the entire United States, and the first in Northern California, as compared to more than 60 viharas for bhikkhus (male monks) of Theravada traditions.

Grant(s) Awarded

In 2024, a Women in Buddhism grant in the amount of $17,500 was awarded for general support  of modern monastic work–supporting and protecting the development of all of monastics at all stages, including aspirants, for their potential and actuality as awakening beings with myriad possibilities of benefit to offer to the world, (including Dhamma teaching) in many unique and diverse ways.Funding will support a monastic immersion program as well as travel stipends for “middle year” monastics to travel, teach and spread the Dhamma. The grant continues support for the Bhikkhuni Sangha as well as senior Bhikkhuni preceptors as they guide, train, and ordain future generations. The grant supports the work of Ven. Tathālokā Therī’s exploration and documentation of Buddhist women throughout histor