International Buddhist Meditation Center's
Grand Ordination Ceremony
on December 10, 1994.
An American disciple of an Asian master ordained her own disciples
as bhikkus. Ven. Dr. Karuna
Dharma, a fully ordained bhikkuni the Abbess of IBMC led the ceremony with
the blessing of the most elder monk present, Ven. Dr. Havanpola
The founder of
our Center, Ven. Dr. Thich Thien-An,
believed that American Buddhism needs to contain all traditions.
In that spirit, over thirty masters representing the three
major traditions of Buddhism -- Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana
-- joined in the ceremony. Female masters took an equal role
with male masters.
The masters were
from many countries, all with temples in the U.S.: Vietnam,
China, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet and America.
Thirty-seven people took ordination at different levels. Seven
Western nuns in the Tibetan tradition took bhikkuni ordination
with the permission and participation of their masters. Full
ordination is not available to women in the Tibetan lineages.
One Vietnamese Theravadan nun also took full ordination, ordinarily
unavailable in that tradition as well.
Despite these firsts,
the ceremony itself was the traditional one, dating back to
the earliest Buddhist times. The lineage at the International
Buddhist Meditation Center is also directly from the Buddha,
through the Lam-Te School in Vietnam to the American Buddhism