Bhante Rahula Retreat Well Attended

Note: scroll down for information on Ajahn Amaro’s visit to the Hermitage, May 27 – 30.

2016 Rahula Retreat Group PhotoOver 40 people attended a weekend retreat lead by Venerable Bhante Rahula, May 20-22, in White Salmon at Mountain View Grange.  This is the first local multiple-day retreat that the Pacific Hermitage has helped sponsor.

Piriya and Nee Pinit invited Bhante Rahula here to lead the retreat.  The Pinits have followed Bhante’s teachings for many years:   “Bhante has been our teacher for more than twenty years and we knew how exceptional he is. We were glad that we could share his teaching with the community of people who have sincere interest in the Dhamma.” (Arvoranee Pinit)

Many thanks to the Pinits for bringing Bhante to the Pacific Northwest!  And, thank you to the Pinits and Joan and Scott Benge for organizing the event.  For more information, or books and talks by about Bhante Rahula, please check out his blog.


Ajahn Amaro Begins Visit This Week!

Amaro-e1412619701637Ajahn  Amaro is a well known senior monk in the Ajahn Chah tradition.  He helped establish Abhayagiri Monastery in 1996 and is now Abbot of Amaravati Monastery in England.

We’re so fortunate to have him visit Portland and the Hermitage!  Events are scheduled May 27 and 29.  His visit here ends on May 31, when he will travel with Ajahns Sudanto and Caganando to Abhayagiri’s 20th anniversary celebration.*

Ajahn Amaro’s Portland / White Salmon Schedule:

  • May 26 — Arrives in Portland (evening)
  • May 27 — Portland Friends of the Dhamma (5:30 pm tea time, then meditation and dhamma talk).  He’ll come to the Hermitage after this event.
  • May 29 — Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon (6:30 – 8:30 pm meditation and dhamma talk)  Note:  May 31 Tuesday night community meditation has been cancelled.
  • May 28 & 29 — Meal Offerings — If you’d like to help offer a meal for the monks on the Saturday or Sunday of Ajahn Amaro’s visit, please schedule your meal with the meal dana coordinator. Mealtime is the typical time to visit with the monastics.
  • May 31 — Leaves early for Abhayagiri Monastery*

* More information at Abhayagiri’s website or Celebrate Abhayagiri’s 20th Anniversary!


May 2016 Birken Talks and Photos

2016 PH Birken Retreat GroupMany thanks to Ajahn Sona and the Birken Forest Monastery community for hosting this year’s Pacific Hermitage Retreat.  This is a regular event each year.

The links below contain recordings of the talks given at the retreat and some photos of the retreat and journey to and from the retreat:

Regularly, in May of each year and at various other times, the Hermitage monks offer opportunities for the lay community to experience several-day retreats.   In November, Ajahn Sudanto will lead a group down to Abhayagiri (in California) for a Thanksgiving Retreat.  Just so there’s no confusion, there are a couple of events at Abhayagiri this year:

Registration for the Thanksgiving retreat will open in July 2016 and pre-registration for the May 2017 Birken Retreat will open October 2016.  For updates, please check this website or sign up for our email list (see very bottom of this home page).

Wow, What a May!

Ajahn Caganando May 2-June 8
Ajahn Caganando

There are many updates and changes to the regular May calendar, including changes to regular events, visits by Ajahn Caganando, Bhante Rahula and Ajahn Amaro, and several special events.

Please check the updates, below, for the events and visits that interest you.  Click on the links included for more information.  Also check the Hermitage Calendar regularly.

Update on Regular Events:
  • Garden Parties
    • April 30 — ADDED (2nd April Garden Party)
    • May 7 — CANCELLED
  • Tuesday Night Meditation (6:30 – 8:00 pm, Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon)
    • May 10 — Local community member host, while monks are away at Birken
    • May 17 — Bhante Rahula
    • May 31 — CANCELLED (replaced by Ajahn Amaro, Sunday, May 29th)
  • Portland Friends of the Dhamma (3rd Friday and Saturday events at PFoD, Portland)
    • May 20 & 21 — Cancelled
    • May 27 — Ajahn Amaro at PFoD, 5:30 – 9:00 pm (no Saturday events)
  • Half-Day Retreat
    • May 14 — (1:00-5:00 pm, Yoga Samadhi)
Special Visitors!
  • May 2-June 8 — Ajahn Caganando
  • May 13-24 — Bhante Rahula (see teaching, retreat and visit schedule below)
  • May 26-31 — Ajahn Amaro (see teaching and visit schedule below)
Special Retreats and Events:
  • May 4-13 — Birken Retreat with Hermitage group (monks away from Hermitage)
  • May 20-22 — Bhante Rahula Retreat (White Salmon, Washington)
  • May 31-June 5 — Abhayagiri 20th Anniversary  (monks away from Hermitage)
Information on Special Visitors and Teaching Schedules
Ajahn Caganando — May 2 – June 8

Ajahn Caganando May 2-June 8

Our dear friend, Ajahn Caganando, is returning for a visit!

Ajahn was one of the original three monks who helped establish the Pacific Hermitage in 2010, and he lived here for five years.  Ajahn Caga now resides at Temple Forest Monastery in New Hampshire, helping that monastery get established.  Welcome back, Ajahn Caganando!


Bhante Rahula — May 13 – 24


Bhante Rahula, is a senior Theravada monk who conducts retreats around the world.  He often incorporates yoga into his teachings to help enhance mindfulness training.

His detailed teaching schedule while in Portland and White Salmon follows below Ajahn Amaro’s photo and information.


Ajahn Amaro — May 26 – 31

Ajahn Amaro visits in late May

Ajahn  Amaro is a senior monk in the Ajahn Chah tradition.  He helped establish Abhayagiri Monastery in 1996 and is now Abbot of Amaravati Monastery in England.  We’re fortunate to have him visiting the Hermitage, May 26-31.  He’ll then travel with Ajahns Sudanto and Caganando to Abhayagiri’s 20th Anniversary Celebration.  (See the post “Celebrate Abhayagiri’s 20th Anniversary!” if you’re interested in traveling down to Abhayagiri with a Pacific Hermitage group.)  Ajahn’s detailed teaching schedule follows.

Detailed Schedules for Bhante Rahula and Ajahn Amaro

Bhante Rahula and Ajahn Amaro will be visiting Portland and leading several events in White Salmon.  For more detailed information, click here:   Continue reading Wow, What a May!

April 30 Garden Party

There’s a second Garden Party (community work day) this month.  It will replace the one scheduled for May 7.

P1060266The Oregon Grape and many other plants (and weeds) are springing to life at the Hermitage!  Since the monks will be away the next couple of “first Saturdays,” and the yard can’t really wait two months, there will be an additional April Garden Party, Saturday, April 30th.

Please join us for the meal, work party and/or the tea time.  It’s a fun way to get to know the monks and other good people!

Here’s the schedule:

  • Meal — Please arrive by 10:30 am if you’re bringing food for the meal.  The meal will be offered by 11:00 am.
  • Work Party — Beginning at 1:00 pm we’ll help with yard work and other tasks.
  • Tea Party — At 3:00 pm we’ll break for tea and a chat with the monks.

You are welcome to come to just part or all of the Party.  If you’re bringing food for the meal offering, please let the Debie know (  If you’d like to help coordinate a Garden Party while the monks are away, please find out more by emailing the Hermitage.

Thanks for any help you can offer!


Celebrate Abhayagiri’s 20th Anniversary!


Join a local group traveling to California to attend the celebration!

This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Abhayagiri Monastery, the first US monastery established by followers of Ajahn Chah and the parent monastery of the Pacific Hermitage.

If you’d like to join a local group that is traveling down to help celebrate this event, a “caravan” will be leaving May 31st and returning June 6th. The actual ceremony is Saturday, June 4th. Additionally, there will be an ordination of two monks on Sunday, June 5th.  Abhayagiri is located in Redwood Valley in the mountainous forests of Mendocino County, California.

Scott and Joan Benge have offered to drive Ajahn Amaro (who will be visiting the Hermitage in late May), Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Caganando to the event. If you’re interested in joining this group, please contact Scott. It’s a great opportunity to talk with and spend some less formal time with the monastics.

The plan is for the group to leave White Salmon quite early on May 31st and travel south down the east side of the Cascades. The group will either bring food or stop at restaurants along the way, or both.

Accommodations at Abhayagiri are very limited, so those wanting to stay at the monastery will probably need to tent camp. Other folks may want to check out lodging in Ukiah or through vacation rentals in the areas.

If you need to set your own timeframe, you’re welcome to travel individually to celebrate Abhayagiri’s 20th!

For more information, please contact Scott Benge, at or 503-781-3588. For more information about the celebration, visit


April Events

11-2-2015 RainbowRainbows!

April brings lots of rainbows, garden color (and yard work!) and the end of monastic Winter Retreat.

Starting April 2, the Hermitage is jumping directly from three months of relative silence into a busy month of activities, including yard clean up, half-day retreats and regular weekends at Portland Friends of the Dhamma.  Join in!

April 2 — Return of the Garden Party!   Join others for a day of food, yard work, tea and talk.  It’s fun! The Hermitage is located at 65 Barnedt Rd, White Salmon, WA 98672.  Here’s the schedule (you can come for all or just part of the day):

  • 10:30 am — Put finishing touches on your food offering.*
  • 11:00 am — Mealtime!
  • 1:00 pm — Party in the garden (aka, help with yard clean up and other tasks).
  • 3:00 pm — Teatime and chat with the monks.

April 8-10 — Ajahn Sona at Portland Friends of the Dhamma.  For more information, please check the PFoD website.

April 9 — Half-Day Retreat with Pacific Hermitage Monks.  Join the monks at Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon from 1 – 5 pm, for sitting and walking meditation, and brief dhamma reflections.

April 15 & 16 — PFoD Visit by Hermitage Monks.  Please check our Calendar page for the schedule.

Event Information — For more information on events throughout the year, please see check the Calendar page, and scroll down below the calendar.

*Please let the meal dana coordinator know if you’re offering food at the Garden Party.

Is a Weekend Meal Offering in Your Future?

Karen Offering FoodAs many of you know, the monks eat their daily meal from food offered to them that morning. This means that someone must offer food each and every day.  On most weekdays, alms food provides an adequate meal.  On weekends, they rely on people bringing meal offerings to the Hermitage.

We currently need people to schedule meal offerings. Ask anyone who has offered a meal — it’s a lovely way to practice generosity and interact more directly with the monks!

Weekends — Meal Offerings are Needed.  Please check the website Calendar regularly to see if a meal is needed on a Saturday or Sunday, then schedule your offering with the meal dana coordinator.   See the note above the calendar to understand when meals are needed.  You’ll see many open weekends ahead on the calendar.

Weekdays — Mostly Alms.  If you live in or near White Salmon, you might consider offering alms food.  A few families regularly offer alms one or more days a week, but more participants would be helpful and welcome.

Please contact the meal dana coordinator (Debie) for information or to schedule a meal offering.  You can also visit the Support tab of for information.  By the way, “dana” (pronounced “dawn-ah”) means generosity or donation.

Tuesday Night Series on Mindfulness Book

Four to five weeks exploring the book Mindfulness in Plain English: 20th Anniversary Edition, by Henepola Gunaratana

On Tuesday nights for the next four-five weeks, after meditation, Ajahn Sudanto will talk us through the book Mindfulness in Plain English.   He calls it a good opportunity for those new to meditation and an introduction to the main models and meditation methods of early Buddhism. The book uses plain English, but is faithful to the early Buddhist texts.

The series starts February 16, 2016.

If you’d like to read ahead or follow along, you can find the book online or perhaps at a library or used book store.  The current edition (20th Anniversary) costs in the neighborhood of $10 for a new paperback, $5 for a used, and $13 for a Kindle edition. Older editions (not 20th Anniversary) also should be fine and a bit less expensive.  Here’s a link to

No registration or meditation experience is necessary. Tuesday night meditation / Dhamma talks run from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, at Yoga Samadhi, 177 W. Jewett Blvd., White Salmon, WA.  Those interested should plan on arriving by 6:30 pm to meditate before the talk.

Sanghata Welcomes Anna Siebenborn

The Sanghata Board welcomes its newest member, Anna Siebenborn! Anna fills an opening on the Sanghata after Mimi Maduro stepped down at the end of 2015.

Anna SiebenbornAnna was one of the first White Salmon residents to become aware of the monks after seeing them on almsround near her White Salmon home. She and her husband have regularly offered alms food, transportation and other support to the monks ever since.

Sanghata President, Scott Benge: “We are very pleased to have Anna join the Sanghata board. We warmly welcome her dedication to the Dhamma and sincere desire to be in service to the community.”

The Sanghata Board of Directors acts as stewards for the Pacific Hermitage. For more information, visit