Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ordination at Aryaloka

On June 24 at Aryaloka, in front of a large crowd of friends, family, and Order members, Marilyn Dyer was ordained into the Western Buddhist Order as Viriyagita, "Song of energy in pursuit of the good." Her private preceptor was Sanghadevi and the ceremony was conducted by her public preceptor Parami.

Viriyagita currently lives with her husband Kevin in Cape Neddick, Maine and works as a nurse with intellectually and developmentally disabled individuals. She has a son, Sean, from a previous marriage, who lives in Seattle with his wife and three children. In 1985 Viriyagita started practicing Buddhism with a Tibetan sangha in Vermont. In 1986 she encountered the FWBO and was particularly drawn to Sangharakshita's clear exposition of the Dharma, the emphasis on the primacy of Going for Refuge, and the practice of spiritual friendship.

Viriyagita started out by attending several retreats as well as the regulars' class, which was very small at the time. Very early on in her involvement she made a trip to the UK to have a broader experience of the FWBO. She eventually became a mitra, started the first women's community at Aryaloka, and requested ordination into the WBO. She attended several more retreats in the UK and Scotland, one of which was a month-long Going for Refuge retreat.

In 1995 she was ordained along with Varasuri of Montana and Dayalocana of Aryaloka. A little over one year later she left the Order to pursue another spiritual path (Sufi). Within a short period of time she realized that no matter how much spiritual beauty and similarity of practice existed in this other tradition, she was at heart a Buddhist. She returned to Aryaloka, never really having lost contact with her spiritual friends and her private preceptor, Sanghadevi.

After many years of living with the aspiration to rejoin the Order, she made that request in June of 2005 and on June 24, 2007 she was given back her original Order name of Viriyagita.

The photo shows Viriyagita (right) with Dayalocana, current Chair of Aryaloka, with whom she was originally ordained in 1995.


Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home