Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Daily Food Offerings at That Kya Nunnery


A Chinese nun at Sektha Dittha Nunnery in the Sagaing Hills reflects on her experience:

"The reality is that nuns have lunch at 10:30 a.m.

For some days (e.g. when Donors come, important monks or nuns come, or festivals....), the nunnery arranged two or three Sayalays or lay p
eople distribute the cooked rice in a big pot to every Sayalay at the gate of the dining hall. Usually I saw lay people help with the distribution. And I am not sure if the cooked rice in the collective pot was offered directly from the lay people as the monks do. If the cooked rice in the collective pot was from the lay people directly, it may be Ok to say that Sayalays there experience the common practice as the monks do. But still there was cooked rice in a small iron pot on every table as usual. Actually the cooked rice distributed by the lay people was definitely not enough. Most Sayalays needed to eat the additional cooked rice that was made in the kitchen. If the cooked rice was from the nunnery's kitchen, it seems the meaning is different and it is not accurate to say that it is the same practice with monks. It is more like that lay people did the distribution work for merits. 

The point is that it does not happen like that every day. Except for the cooked rice in the collective pot (not sure from where), all the curry and cooked rice are made at the nunnery's kitchen. The lay people offer the Sayalays some raw rice or other snacks, etc. for alms food.

This picture shows that the big iron stuff is used to cook ice every day."