Kaṭhina Ceremony - article

On Saturday of 12th November 2016, I attended a Kaṭhina Ceremony. It is the second most important festival in Buddhist countries of Theravāda tradition, right after Vesākha. It takes part every year in the time of four weeks after the end of vassa (the rains retreat). It is related to an ancient Buddhist tradition of giving a robe and the four requisites to bhikkhus and bhikkhunīs.

I have been very much looking forward to this special day and for a long time I had marked it in my diary as the bright spot of my hectic and fast-moving weeks to come. I attended Kaṭhina a few times before, but this time the ceremony took place in the newly reconstructed ārāma. I see this place as an oasis of pure energy, where my mind can relax, slow down and recover.

Once we arrived, all of us participated in a preparation of dāna for Venerable bhikkhunī and a rich refreshment for all the lay practitioners. This time, the attendance was not as plentiful as on Vesākha and it took place in a more intimate atmosphere. To me, it was even more intense.
After Buddha pūja and taking refuge in the Triple Gem, we had an unique opportunity to make an offering to bhikkhunī Visuddhi with food and gifts. After that, the lay people also participated on the abundance and generosity of us all who helped to prepare the food. A lunch, a cup of tea, talking with friends – that was a pleasant time spent with like-minded people in the ārāma.

The main afternoon program started in the great meditation hall, where we were reciting together
with bhikkhunī Visuddhi parittā (protection) and the dedication of merits - anomodanā. Venerable unrolled a white thread to which we were all holding on to so that it did not touch the ground. The thread is an integral part of this ritual. As soon as the recitations were finished, the thread was rolled back on the spool and venerable bhikkhunī cut the thread into smaller strings and tied them around lay practitioners’ wrists. It serves as a protection and a reminder of the Triple Gem. To me, the recitations are pleasant and energizing. Sometimes I recite together with the rest, other times I just close my eyes and let the melody and rhythm sink in.

The ritual of tying a thread around a wrist (pirit nul) is beautiful and strong. I like it a lot. I wear the string even several months, until it falls apart. It always reminds me protection and the Triple Gem – The Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha. 

In the following afternoon program, there was a Dhamma talk, when bhikkhunī Visuddhi was narrating in a very absorbing way about the Kaṭhina holiday in Buddhist countries, its meaning and importance of giving a monastic robe. She was telling us about her strong intention to establish this tradition also in the Czech Republic and allow us, the lay people, to take part on this celebration in a Buddhist ārāma. After the Dhamma desanā, there was time for our individual questions that concerned mainly carrying over the teaching into our everyday lives. 

In conclusion of the Saturday afternoon, there was a time also for joint meditation mettā and calming of our mind. In the darkening meditation room, in quietness, alone with myself and in the same time connected to all other beings. There are moments, when I can strongly and consciously connect with the good in myself and cultivate my kindness and compassion.  The practice of mettā is very powerful and it helps me to better cope with difficult situation and deal with emotions in everyday life.

I was leaving Prostejov to go back to Brno when it was completely dark, but the peace, mettā  and immense gratitude for the possibility to be here, was still glowing in me. I am so grateful to being able to spend time in ārāma, to practice and personally experience the power of The Triple Gem – The Buddha, Dhamma and Saṅgha.  I would like to express my big thanks and gratitude to bhikkhunī Visuddhi and all people that took part on a creation of this wonderful meditation space.

Hanka Formankova


Muditā - Sharing Joy

Dear friends,

we wish you wonderful and peaceful holidays! May your lives are protected by the Triple Gem.

We have exciting news for you. Everything has taken longer than expected but we are getting to a successful closing and this week, we are taking over the neighboring house, Viveka. This brings about better conditions and a dwelling place for you – visitors and lay practitioners! We are very happy that we succeeded in our intention and we are delighted that everything came together so well this year and this is mainly thanks to Venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi  The Trust Society Karuna Sevena and thanks to you! We appreciate you, our donors and supporters once again, we could not  make this happen without you.

Viveka is available now and this means there is a possibility of accommodation and retreat in seclusion for you. If anybody wishes to spend his Christmas holidays practicing in the ārāma, helping us clean up and making Viveka comfortable for mediators, you are welcome in the following dates, 25th December – 1st January, 2017. Please bring your own sleeping bags, sheets, towels and personal basics.

On 21st January, 2017, we would like to start up a program open to the public – bhikkhunī Visuddhi’s evening Dhamma desanā which will take place every 14 days at 6 pm. This Dhamma talk would be systematic and would be in accordance with all-day meditation practice in ārāma.

Furthermore, there is an opportunity for beginners or those who had not practiced with bhikkhunī Visuddhi and are interested in a meditation seclusion in ārāma, to attend a weekend meditation retreat for beginners that will take place in March. The dates are 10th –12th March, 2017. You can already send in your applications.

Those interested in an interview with bhikkhunī Visuddhi, can arrange a meeting every Friday, Saturday or Sunday each weekend. Throughout the week, bhikkhunī engages in her own practice and is busy with translations, public talks and organizational matters. Otherwise, it is possible to come practice to the ārāma after the New Year in the dates of your own choice – by prior arrangement through email – after having done at least one weekend meditation retreat and making a commitment to abide by the TERMS ANDCONDITIONS OF STAY IN ĀRĀMA  and DAILY PROGRAMME AND SCHEDULE. You can also find here recommended contributions for covering costs of stay (they do not include dāna for bhikkhunī Visuddhi.

Currently, we need your help in setting up Viveka, cleaning and painting and furnishing. Because of great generosity of previous owners, electronic appliances, such as washing machine, a dish washer, air conditioners were left in Viveka for our use. We need some basic things, and your help in purchasing following: kitchen equipment (pots and pans), cleaning supplies, mattresses for meditators or contributions for beds, covering small plumbing costs, we need to fix two big holes in the sidings of Viveka (after a car accident), to buy a paint for the house coating. It is possible to come for voluntary work weekends 6.-8. January and 13.-15. January 2017, or other weekends or weekdays after prior arrangements. Please let us know if you are coming on our email. The sooner we will be able to prepare Viveka for visitors and mediators, the sooner will our beautiful ārāma be up and running!

The Trust Society Karuna Sevena has taken on a mortgage on Viveka so if there is anybody, who would be willing to help us pay the mortgage off and support us, please contact us. Here is our fundraising website. We are also looking for donors who could make a contribution for the reconstruction of Viveka. We warmly welcome your support and help of any kind. Some people can contribute financially, others through offering voluntary work, cleaning, cooking. The act of generosity is not measured by the figures but our intentions.

Have a nice day, may the New year 2017 bring better conditions for all of us!

President of Karuṇā Sevena
Ing. Ivona Mollberg, MBA


Programs of Karuṇā Sevena for December 2016 and year 2017

Dear friends,

we send you cordial greetings from ārāma Karunā Sevena, where a Kathina ceremony took place recently. You can find a photo gallery here.

Now we offer programs of Karuṇā Sevena for December 2016 and year 2017:

Mondays - Thursdays: bhikkhunī Visuddhi uses for her own practice, lectures and other activities outside the ārāma KS. A recent visit of the Charles University was very successful and Venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi would now like to concentrate more on students and newcomers to Buddha’s teaching.
If you are interested in inviting her to give a lecture or you would like to meet her personally, please, contact us on our email address:

Fridays - Saturdays: for these days, it is possible to arrange a personal meeting with bhikkhunī Visuddhi in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena in Prostejov (Czech Republic). 
Every second Saturday, you are invited to attend a whole day meditation practice with the evening Dhamma talk – Venerable Visuddhi intends to give the opportunity to newcomers (and to experienced practitioners) to study Dhamma systematically in 2017. Subjects of the Dhamma talks will form a series and will be devoted to the basis of the Buddha’s teaching, Buddha's disciples, the history of Buddhism, meditation and Dhamma practice in the daily life.

 This study might be open per your interest either already in December, but most likely after the New Year. Those, who are interested may get more information on our email address.

During the year 2017, it is possible to apply to attend a weekend or a 10 days meditation stay in the ārāma Karuṇā Sevena. In December and at the beginning of the new year, we wold like to open the center Viveka for visitors and laymen which will enable a comfortable and convenient accommodation. This is why we would like to ask you to support us either financially or physically. Now it is necessary to tidy up the centre, decorate it and furnish it. Here is the address and more information on the project Viveka:​ Youcaring​

Note: all people interested in the Buddha’s teaching and meditation may come to practice in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena, however the newcomers have to first attend the meditation weekend for beginners with bhikkhunī Visuddhi. Before attending any stay in ārāma, it is necessary to read and agree in writing with rules and the daily program (see below). Terms and conditions of the stay and here is Daily program and regulations 

We are looking forward to meeting you and we wish you pleasant autumn days.

In Dhamma with mettā,

President of Karuṇā Sevena
Ing. Ivona Mollberg, MBA


College students learned about Bhikkhunī Visuddhi and her monastic life during an absorbing Dhamma talk

On November 9, 2016, Bhikkhunī Visuddhi was invited by students of a college level course "Theravāda Buddhism" to visit the Faculty of Philosophy of the Charles University in Prague. 

Students were interested in Bhikkhunī 's life and asked some great questions, such as what motivated her to become a Buddhist nun, why did she choose Theravāda tradition and if she is interested also in other Buddhist traditions. Young people briefly touched on the topic of vinaya and life in a community and order and asked about how it changed her life. Students were also interested in the situation of Buddhists in the Czech Republic in general and if Bhikkhunī is getting enough support. 

The atmosphere during the lecture was very friendly, the discussion was sharp, focused and showed curiosity of these young people in the Buddha' s teaching. At the end of the talk, the students passed a beautiful flower bouquet to Bhikkhunī Visuddhi and a donation. It is a traditional custom to give a gift of dāna to a Buddhist monk or nun, since they live, according to the Buddha's tradition, only from what is donated to them by lay people and lay people can practice a virtue of generosity. 

President of Karuṇā Sevena
Ing. Ivona Mollberg, MBA


News from ārāma and invitation to events

Dear friends,

we would like to send you warm regards from ārāma Karuṇā Sevena and share good news with you. This year is of great importance to us! Venerable bhikkhunī Visuddhi has just finished her tenth vassa and therefore she has become a bhikkhunī therī (a senior nun). Many blessings to our teacher!

Another news is, that The Trust Fund Karunā Sevena took a loan and purchased ārāma's neighboring building. Currently, we are working on the administrative details of the ownership transfer. The house will be called Viveka, which means „solitude,“ „seclusion“ or „a state of mind free from defilements.“ Starting with the new year, we should be able to offer meditators an accommodation in this new space, intended solely for their needs. Special thanks to Ms. Nora Melnikova and Buddha Mangala from Prague, for their help and support.

We would greatly appreciate if we could find any volunteers during the month of December, who would help us with the preparation of Viveka for the visitors' accommodation. ​If you know of anyone who would like to help with the voluntary work of getting the space ready, such as with painting, repairing, etc. Please contact us via email.

Couple weeks ago, bhikkhunī Visuddhi took part on the public talk by J.S. Dalajlāma, which took place in Prague during the 20th year of conference Forum 2000. This conference fulfills the heritage of the former Czech president Vaclav Havel, through supporting of development of civil society, strengthening of religious, cultural and ethical tolerance.

The upcoming activity of Karunā Sevena, that we would cordially like to invite you to, will be celebration of Kaṭhina on the 12. November 2016 and also the New Years meditation seclusion between 26. December - 1. January 2017. We would like to encourage you to sign up for the meditation retreat as soon as possible, since the number of meditators is limited. The nature of the meditation seclusion over the New Year’s and if it will really take place will be dependent on the fact, if we will have the option to accommodate the meditators next door on time and on the amount of help we receive from our volunteers. Members of Karunā Sevena and volunteers who are helping 

bhikkhunī Visuddhi and Karunā Sevena will have a priority.

In spring 2017, a weekend meditation retreat will take place for beginners and new practitioners. New meditators will have an opportunity to stay in seclusion in ārāma only after taking part on this short meditation class with bh. Visuddhi and will agree to responsibly fulfill the Terms and conditions of stay. The next course will take part on 10.-12. March 2017. You can sign up now.

For full understanding of rules and conditions of staying in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena and about the possibilities of visiting and staying in seclusion please click on this link: Terms and conditions of stay in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena.

The rules of running ārāma and acceptance for stay are set in the same manner, how it is customary in traditional Theravada temples and in accordance with rules of monastic discipline (vinaya) for bhikkhunī. They were carefully worked-out for you by bhikkhunī Visuddhi based on dhamma-vinaya.

We wish you a beautiful day and we are looking forward to hearing from you. 


President of Karuṇā Sevena
Ing. Ivona Mollberg, MBA


Dear friends,

we would like to share with you a VIDEO from Vesākha celebration in ārāma Karuṇā Sevena. We also took the opportunity to inaugurate our newly redesigned and reconstructed monastery. This day was a great joy. Karuṇā Sevena welcomed guests from all over the world. You can read the details of this day in our earlier post.

Have a beautiful day,
Ivona Mollberg, the president of the Trust Society Karuna Sevena

Dear friends,

during the reconstruction of  ārāma Karunā Sevena, we were approached by a neighbour, offering us his house for a purchase. This is a unique opportunity for meditators in various ways, as it would make their stay in ārāma much more comfortable. Below is more information about the project. If you want to participate in any way, please kindly let us know:

Dear friends, we would like to share a great joy with you in the following article. On May 29, 2016, Karuṇā Sevena celebrated Vesākha and The Inauguration of ārāma Karuṇā Sevena. Kindly find an article about this event below. Since we are still furnishing the temple to ensure to create an ideal space for the meditators, any donations are welcome. Please contact us for futher details. We are also collecting donations to support the project of purchasing the neighbouring building.

 Much mettā from the President of Karunā Sevena, Ivona Mollberg, MBA 


Karunā Sevena would like to cordially invite you to another 

Mettā weekend in Prague, Czech Republic

Many of us imagine that in meditation, it is all important to reach the state of calm. Nevertheless, it is also very fundamental to develop wholesome states of mind, such as compassion or love. Love, that does not choose, favor, does not judge or condemn.

It has been scientifically proven, that practicing Mettā meditation protects, helps developing good states of mind, improves sleep and health, and brings joy to the meditator and her surroundings. Come and spend the weekend in peace, kindness and opening your own heart.

Teaching of a Buddhist meditation is traditionally shared as a gift of dhamma (dhammadāna). Reciprocally, it is also a tradition for us, lay people, to support monks and nuns, who are passing on to us this gem, and who are living from our gifts and have the opportunity to practice monastic life. This act of generosity is optional

Date: April 25-26, 2015 from 8,00 am

Place: Lotus Center, Dlouha street 2, Prague - Old Town, 4. floor

Registration and any concerns or questions:

Bhikkhunī Visuddhi's visit to London

During  February 2015  Bhikkhunī Visuddhi also gave a small informal talk to a gathering of women in Peckham Rye with Sherab (Leigh).

It was a lively discussion about the role of women in Buddhism and techniques 

for developing loving kindness in daily life.


A few observations and remarks from the meditation weekend in Vrazne u Jevicka, August 2011

During the first weekend of August we had the opportunity to participate in a retreat in the new Meditation Center in Vrazne in Moravia. 

It was the first event arranged by Kwan Um School of Zen and Bodhi Olomouc. The invited host for the whole weekend was Bhikkhuni Venerable Visuddhi.

The first thing I was surprised by was the perfect organization. Immediately after arrival we received a

program about what would happen during the next hours and days. 

After dinner Venerable Bhikkhunī Visuddhi gave a dhammatalk and we received the five precepts. This meant that we would uphold the rules as if in a monastery. 

We also got texts with puja (ritual worship) and sutta (a collection of discourses) on loving kindness –

Karaniya mettā sutta, which we all recited together. The recitation has the right energy and power because there is much chanting in the Zen group and all of them had beautiful voices. The next day Venerable Visuddhi told us about the history of this sutta.

We started Saturday morning with chanting in Pali and chanted the Heart Sutra in Korean and Czech.
Some sutras are chanted and accompanied by the bell and are very slow, whilst some of them are very fast and are accompanied by Moktak (wooden instrument). Then we continued with walking meditation. 
The Meditation Center is located in the beautiful countryside surrounded by woods so there was enough space to walk.

After breakfast and cleaning up, Venerable Bhikkhunī Visuddhi explained to us what actual meditation is and gave us clear and understandable instructions on how to meditate and what is important to observe during meditation. She compared our mind to a wild bull and we spoke about methods to find a way to tame it. She also instructed us on the correct body posture (to apply during meditation).

After the evening Sutras Venerable Visuddhi gave a  Dhamma talk on the topic of ethics and wisdom. She talked about the differences between hatred and anger and how it is important to achieve a beneficial mind state for each of us and what that actually is. In conclusion we recited the Karaniya mettā sutta. Then we continued with meditation.

Sunday morning we were unexpectedly stuck without running water but everything was very quickly resolved. It was only a test if our mind is really quiet :-)).

We wanted to try a walking meditation, practicing like the Kwan Um School. Therefore we went like "goose file" through the village to the meadow where they would like to build a Buddhist sacred building, known as a Stupa,  used for storing relics. Here Venerable Bhikkhunī Visuddhi blessed this place. We went to the pond where we meditated for a while and it was the culmination of the entire event.

At lunch we learned how dana should be offered to the nuns. Thomas explained the rules of table manners in Korean Zen. Still long after lunch we shared and talked about how we spent the weekend and what experiences it brought us.

What to say in conclusion? If I wanted to summarize, the question that arises is what is really practice?
Is it meditation, studying of suttas, cultivation of the perfections (paramitta) or recitation? I feel it is like a mosaic - each part fits into the whole and the practices fit together like the pieces of a puzzle... Everyone must find the answers themselves. We have got a unique opportunity to utilize the presence of Venerable Visuddhi who is here to teach us the Dhamma and support our practice. I have realized a lot of things during the weekend : how my mind works, how it is full of stereotypes that are still used in my life, how to deal with it and how to be closer to the truth.

Article written by Svetlana Fiserova 
(lightly edited by Sherab)