Venerable Dr Bhikkhuni Kusuma

Pages: 104

Be kind and generous. Forgive people. Admit your mistakes. Then you are not disturbed mentally or physically. There is so much help and support from others, and there is so much help and support that you can give to others. Your good kamma is your raft to keep you afloat. Then you can begin to escape from the whirlpool.

Do not give one hundred percent of your attention to “me, I, and mine.” Give it about five percent attention, just to keep things afloat. Then begin to swim out of the whirlpool, already having made your raft. With your raft, you will have the time, energy, and inclination to escape the whirlpool. Little by little, you swim out of the whirlpool, until escaping the whirlpool becomes habit. Your raft is your launching pad.

The words of Bhikkhunī Kusuma are an invitation to take a step back from the conventional realities of daily life and to observe it for what it really is: a whirlpool of craving, clinging, desire, and pursuit.

She shows us how anyone with wholesome conduct, determination, and insight can attain liberation from the whirlpool of suffering.

The teachings in this book were given by Venerable Dr. Bhikkhunī Kusuma between 2017 and 2018.




Ven. Dr. Bhikkhunī Kolonnawe Kusuma was born on October 9, 1929. She had her secondary education at Ananda College. She taught at Royal Primary for a short time and later gained admission to the Government Teachers’ Training College at Maharagama. Her first appointment as a trained teacher was at Ananda Balika Vidyalaya in Maligakanda. Later she was appointed to the Maharagama Practicing School, where the teacher-trainees did their practical lessons.

After completing her higher studies in universities abroad, she joined the Sri Jayawardenapura University as an instructor in English.

While there, she sat for her Master’s Degree in Buddhism and presented her thesis “Sati in Buddhist Meditation”. Later she retired from the University to read for her PhD. She was ordained as a Dasa Sil Matha in 1996 at the Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara. She received her higher ordination in Saranath, India, as the first Bhikkhunī to re-establish the order of Bhikkhunīs in Sri Lanka after nearly 1,000 years.

In Bhikkhunī Kusuma’s autobio-graphy ‘Braving the Unknown Summit’ she tells the story of a daughter, a wife and a mother who became a teacher, a scholar and ended up as a Bhikkhunī.

She is a widely travelled person, having visited many countries. She has numerous publications to her credit. She is the Chief Incumbent of the Ayya Khema Meditation Retreat Centre in Olaboduwa, where regular Dhamma retreats and meditation sessions are held.

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