"Immovable, O King, is the State of renunciation, glorious and most exalted the condition of being a member of the order of the Blessed One."

(Milindapañha, part IV - The Dilemmas, chapter 3 - Why do members of the Order accept reverence?)



At Dhammanikhom Vipassana-Meditation Center, it is possible to ordain and train as a Buddhist


The ordination path takes place gradually and developing on this path requires time and patience.


Getting to know each other - Introductory Phase


Because we are not only a nunnery, but also a meditation center in the Vipassana tradition of

the Most Venerable Phra Prom Mongkol Vi (Phra Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo) from Thailand,

interested candidates must first have completed the basic and advanced training course as well

as several retreats in this tradition (e.g. in Dhammanikhom) before the first step of ordination

as a ‘’Maechee’’ can be considered.


In this way, one gets to know the monastery as a meditator and after the basic course it is

possible to combine the courses with monastery stays or practice and merit weeks. This gives

an initial insight into the monastic routine and allows one to get to know the community and

standards of practice to see for oneself if there is still interest. At the same time, in this

introductory phase, which can extend over a longer period of time, certain worldly things can

gradually become clear and crystalize and the desire to ordain can be examined.


Our revered teacher, the Venerable Phra Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo, has often highlighted that it is

important to first ordain within the heart (i.e. to purify the heart through meditation) and then

when indicated pursue the religious path as a monk or nun.


Ordaining as a Buddhist nun requires a great deal of commitment and dedication. And

depending on the level of ordination, the standard of the monastic training rules (Vinaya)



In principle, it is also possible for interested women from abroad to ordain here. However,

individual visa issues must be clarified during the introductory phase. For longer-term visa

applications, learning German (B-1 Level) is essential.


Maechees or Anagarikas who were ordained at other places can, like other meditators, first

register for a normal meditation course. The prerequisite is that permission has been granted

by the preceptor. 


Ordination as aspirant (Maechee)

(in other traditions referred to as Anagarika)


Those who have already attended several courses at Dhammanikhom and have also been here as a monastery guest, have the opportunity to express their wish for ordination and discuss it with the abbess/leading bhikkhuni.


It is then necessary to complete a three-month trial period. During this time the formal application for Maechee training can be made and the registration form submitted. 


After that, it is normally necessary to leave the monastery again and then, if the Bhikkhuni Sangha considers the candidate suitable and a place is available, receive an invitation.


Ordination as a Maechee is the first step towards full ordination as a Bhikkhuni. A Maechee,


like meditators, observes the 8 Buddhist Precepts plus the 75 Sekhiyas (rules of conduct), shaves her head, wears white robes, and lives permanently in the monastery. She is, however, still financially responsible and must pay for her own health and liability insurances, travel costs and personal expenses.


As a Maechee one experiences for the first time what it means to not just be a guest in the monastery, but rather to dedicate oneself fulltime to the Dhamma and monastic life. One receives basic Vinaya training and practices living in robes.


A Maechee supports the monastery and the fully ordained nuns in all aspects of the kitchen, house, and garden. This mainly includes kitchen work including cooking, cleaning, and clearing away, gardening, and accompanying or driving the nuns to appointments and invitations. A Maechee is still allowed to drive a car and do shopping for the monastery, but, in the course of time – especially when further ordination steps are aspired and imminent – she will mainly reduce driving and shopping.


This period lasts 1-2 years (longer if necessary). 


In principle, it is also possible for suitable candidates – as is customary in Thailand – to temporarily take this consecration. In this case, the minimum duration is two weeks, and a long-term preparation is not necessary. A temporary dedication cannot, however, spontaneously turn into a long-term dedication.




After a minimum of two years (longer if necessary) as a Maechee, it is possible to express the  intention to move into homelessness and ordain as a novice.


Samaneris keep the 10 Buddhist Precepts and 75 Sekhiyas and wear the orange robes like the Bhikkhunis (without Sanghati). It is assumed that the Samaneri training (minimum 2-3 years,  longer if necessary) will be completed at Dhammanikhom. This may include temporary stays at the mother monastery in Sri Lanka.


This step involves a drastic change because as a Samaneri one is truly homeless and lives in  dependence on alms. One eats from the alms bowl and is dependent on requisites being offered by the lay community. One cannot buy the robes for oneself in a shop… ; )
From this point onwards, the monastery bears the cost of health insurance. For this reason, this step is only possible if the monastery has the financial means to do it. Traveling (e.g. to the parents) is possible if there is an invitation, the costs are covered, and the leading Bhikkhuni gives her consent.


For example, a Samaneri is no longer allowed to drive a car or do any shopping for the monastery. In emergencies, if there are no laypeople or Maechees on site, she can cook from the available food stock and offer it to the Bhikkhuni Sangha. A Samaneri may help herself to the defined monastery supplies without it needing to be offered with both hands. She continues to help with all the tasks that arise in the monastery as long as her training rules allow (e.g. there are certain gardening tasks that Samaneris is no longer allowed to do). And of course, she gradually learns to fulfill her religious duties.


Also within this ordination level, one is gradually trained in the Dhamma and Vinaya, especially if the wish for higher ordination as a Bhikkhuni is present.




After 2-3 years (longer if necessary) as a Samaneri, one can make the request for Bhikkhuni ordination. This is carried out with the lineage of the Singhalese Bhikkhuni Sangha, in Sri Lanka  

if necessary.


It is assumed that one will remain in the monastery another 3-5 years for further education and  

Bhikkhuni training before one is granted independence and can move to another place with the  

permission and blessing of the abbess and the Bhikkhuni Sangha – should this be desired.


Towards the end of this period, there may also be temporary stays in befriended monasteries to gain experience outside of the familiar and protected environment.


Depending on the situation and conditions, candidates from abroad may be encouraged and supported to return to their home country to serve and teach the Dhamma there. German Bhikkhunis will be encouraged to return and support the local Sangha in their home country.