August 2017 News & Events

Regular Events

Garden Party, August 5
10:30 am – 4:00 PM at the 
Hermitage

Help tidy up the Hermitage grounds with friends!  Come for any or all of the following:

10:30 am — Potluck Meal  Meal offered to monks by 11:00 am.  Please let meal dana coordinator  know if you’re bringing food.
1:00 pm — Yard work
3:00 – 4:00 pmTea party and chat

Half Day of Meditation, August 12
1:00 – 5:00 pm 
at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Enjoy sitting and walking meditation with the monks, and Dhamma reflections by Ajahn Sudanto or Ajahn Karunadhammo.  Cushions and chairs available.  No cost.  All welcome.

Monks at Portland Friends of the Dhamma
Friday & Saturday, August 18 & 19
  • August 18, 5:30 – 9:00 pm — Tea, questions, meditation & Dhamma talk
  • August 19, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm — Alms round on Hawthorne Street (10:30 – 11:00 am), then a meal offering at PFoD beginning at 11:00 am.
Weekly Meditation w/the Monks, Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Meditate for 30 – 40 minutes, then Dhamma reflections and an opportunity to ask questions. Cushions and chairs are available.  All are welcome.  No cost and no experience needed.  Focusing on Ajahn Sucitto’s book,  “Parami:  Ways to Cross Life’s Floods” for the next several weeks.  (See note below regarding special guests on August 29.)

A Look Ahead at Special Events

July 30: Sunday Sila at PFoD

The monks will make a special visit to Portland Friends of the Dhamma to lead Sunday Sila (a morning program).  There will also be a meal offering for the monks.  Check the PFoD website for more information.

August 29: Willa Thaniya & Jitindriya at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Two former Thai Forest tradition nuns will lead the Tuesday night meditation and reflections, 6:30 – 8:00 PM.

August 30 & September 2:  Willa Thaniya & Jitindriya Lead Meditation Daylongs, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, in Gorge and Portland

August 30 in Underwood, WA and September 2 in Portland, OR.  Please see previous posts on this website for information about the teachers, daylongs, what you should bring, etc.   No registration needed.  Questions or to volunteer to help:  Contact Carole.

September 16 & 17:  PAH BAH 2017

Join honored guests  Luang Por Pasanno and Ajahn Siripanyo and other visiting monastics, along with Ajahn Sudanto, Ajahn Karunadhammo and Tan Kondañño for this special weekend.   Half-day meditation retreat on Saturday.  Meal offering and Pah Bah on Sunday.

The Pah Bah is a traditional Thai alms-giving event.  Look for a detailed announcement on this website and by email in early to mid August.  To receive Pacific Hermitage emails, sign up at the bottom of this page.  Please email for information or to volunteer to help with the event.

Additional Information for Meditation Daylongs

Daylongs with Willa Thaniya and Jitindriya

Integrating Calm and Inquiry, August 30, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Underwood WA
Peace is in Every Breath, September 2, 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Portland, OR

  • Please bring your own sitting gear, lunch and beverage.  (Metal chairs available, but you still might want a cushion.)
  • Volunteers needed to set up and clean up both days.  Contact Carole.
  • No registration needed.
  • Willa and Jitindriya also visit Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon, Aug. 29, 6:30-8:00 PM.
  • Teachings are freely offered.  Donations for travel expenses/to support the teachers gratefully accepted.

For more information on the teachers and the daylongs, see our May 8th announcement.  Contact Carole with questions.

 

 

Tuesday Nights to Focus on Parami Book

Tuesday Nights, 6:30 – 8:00 PM
Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon WA

For the next several weeks, the regular Tuesday night meditation / Dhamma reflections will focus on the book “Parami:  Ways to Cross Life’s Floods,” by Ajahn Sucitto.  Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Karunadhammo will lead discussion of the book after the meditation period.

If you’d like to follow along, the monks may have some books still available next Tuesday.  Electronic versions of the book are available at forestsangha.org.  You can catch up for the July 18 discussion by reading the first two chapters.

July 2017 News & Events

Luang Por Sumedho
July 7th, 6 – 8 PM
Portland Friends of the Dhamma (PFoD) 

A special opportunity to hear Dhamma reflections directly from the senior western monk and beloved teacher for this tradition.

This will be his only public talk in the Portland area.  (He will not be visiting the Hermitage.)

Regular July Events — Please Join Us!

Weekly Meditation w/the Monks
Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Meditate for 30 – 40 minutes, then listen to Dhamma reflections and ask questions. Cushions and chairs are available.  All are welcome.  No cost and no experience needed.

Garden Party, July 1, at the Hermitage

Help tidy up the Hermitage grounds!

   10:30 am — Potluck Meal  Meal offered to monks by 11:00 am.  Please let meal dana coordinator  know if you’re bringing food.
    1:00 pm — Yard work
    3:00 – 4:00 pm — Tea party and chat

Come for any part or all of the afternoon.

Half Day of Meditation, July 8
1:00 – 5:00 pm 
at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Enjoy sitting and walking meditation with the monks, and Dhamma reflections by Ajahn Sudanto or Ajahn Karunadhammo.  Cushions and chairs available.  No cost.  All welcome.

Monks at Portland Friends of the Dhamma
Friday and Saturday, July 21 & 22
  • July 21, 5:30 – 9:00 pm — Tea, questions, meditation & Dhamma talk
  • July 22, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm — Alms round on Hawthorne Street (10:30 – 11:00 am), then a meal offering at PFoD beginning at 11:00 am.

A Look Ahead at Special Events

Willa Thaniya and Jitindriya
– August 29 — Tuesday Night Meditation
– August 30 & September 2 — Meditation Daylongs

Two former Thai Forest tradition nuns will lead a Tuesday night meditation, then one meditation daylong in late August (Underwood, WA) and one in early September (Portland, OR).  More information about the daylongs and teachers in previous post on this website.  Further details coming mid-July.  No registration needed.  Questions?  Contact Carole.

Pah Bah 2017
September 16 & 17

Join honored guests  Luang Por Pasanno, Ajahn Siripanyo and other visiting monastics, along with Ajahn Sudanto, Ajahn Karunadhammo and Tan Kondañño for this annual event.  Look for an announcement in your mailbox in mid-July.  Plus, we’ll be putting out more Pah Bah details here and by email, in early

August.  Email for information or to volunteer.

Comings and Goings

  • Ajahn Siripanyo is visiting the Hermitage until July 5.  He will visit again during the Pah Bah.  Welcome to White Salmon, Ajahn.
  • Ajahn Karunadhammo returns to the Hermitage July 5 and plans to stay through the summer.  It’s always wonderful to have Ajahn in residence.

Meal Dana Update: June 2017

It’s been seven years since the Pacific Hermitage monks began walking daily alms rounds to receive food offerings (meal dana) for their daily meal.  Thank you for supporting the monks for all these years.

There are many ways to support the Hermitage, but offering food is in a category of its own. This kind of support is needed every day.  It’s an especially heart-opening and personal way to support the monks, and a wonderful opportunity to get to know them, ask Dhamma questions or seek their counsel in a more personal and less formal setting.

Contact the meal dana coordinator (me!) for more information.  My email address is below.

It takes at least one person … every day

Meals aren’t just somehow “all taken care of.”  It takes at least one person like you and me to make the effort every day to hand food to the monks.  Over the last year and a half, about two-thirds of the monks’ meals came from people giving food to them as they walked alms rounds.   The other one-third came from meals brought to the Hermitage.  The monks rely primarily on alms food for their weekday meals and meal offerings at the Hermitage on weekends.

Meal Dana 2017:  The first five months

Looking back at the calendar and other records, here are some answers to the question “Who is making sure the monks are being fed each day?”  These figures are for the first five months of 2017.

Food received on alms rounds

Twelve White Salmon (or nearby) residents have so far provided enough alms food for 100 meals.   In fact, the same 12 families have been providing alms food offerings, Monday – Friday, for nearly seven years.  The monks rely on this food for their weekday meals.  (Weekend alms food supplements the meals brought to the Hermitage.)  Of those 12 families:

  • 4 offer 3 times a week (over 60 days so far)
  • 1 offers twice a week (over 45 days so far)
  • 7 offer once a week (over 20 days so far)

Some of these folks drive to meet the monks.  Others arrange for the monks stop by their home or office, and one regularly brings their offering to the Hermitage.   At times, they order food at one of the local restaurants and arrange for the monks to pick it up.  There are several options.  Please contact me if you’d like to explore some.

Meals offered at the Hermitage

On Saturdays and Sundays, the monks rely on meal offerings brought to the Hermitage. Thirty-eight people have brought 51 meals to the Hermitage so far.  Rescue Squad  volunteers brought five of those meals on short notice, because no one scheduled ahead to bring one.  Of the 38 who offered meals:

  • 22 offered once
  • 15 offered two to seven times
  • 1 offered eight times

These folks came from the Portland/Vancouver area (59%), the Gorge (27%), and other areas of the Pacific NW (15%)

What’s needed now?

More people participating in alms round offerings

As you saw above, some people regularly offer alms food one, two or three times each week.  Twelve people … 2/3 of the monks’ meals … for much of the last seven years.  While that’s pretty amazing and currently provides sufficient food, heaven help us if someone moves or needs to cut back.  It would be very helpful to have more people offering alms, to more widely distribute what’s needed from each family and to help cover an absence if someone goes on vacation or needs to cut back.  Please contact me if you’re interested and we can explore options that might work for you.  Here are the current alms routes.

More people proactively scheduling meal offerings

Some Saturdays and Sundays still remain blank on the Hermitage calendar, even two days before a meal is still needed.  Please proactively check the Calendar to look for days with no meal offerings and also to make sure the monks won’t be away from the Hermitage.  If you find a day that works for you, please contact me. If you don’t let me know you’re coming, I will probably make “emergency” arrangements to get a meal to the monks.

A big thanks!

Those who offer food experience the joy of generosity first hand, but let me thank you too. Meal dana is truly a special way of supporting the monks, one that offers the fairly rare opportunity to interact with monastics on a more personal basis.  If that sounds appealing, even if it sounds a little intimidating, please email me and we can “talk.”  No obligation and rest assured that I also experienced the jitters.  Let’s discuss options and see if any work for you.

Thank you,
Debie
Email:  Meal Dana Coordinator

 

June 2017 News & Events

Ajahn Sudanto has returned and all regular events should occur as planned.  Below you’ll find information on those events and a look ahead at upcoming special visits and events, including a visit by Luang Por Sumedho.  All events are freely offered.

Regular Events — Please Join Us!

Meditation with the Monks, Tuesday Nights
6:30 – 8:00 pm at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Meditate for 30 – 40 minutes, then listen to Dhamma reflections and ask questions. Cushions and chairs are available.  All are welcome.  No experience needed.

Garden Party, June 3, at the Hermitage
  • 11:00 am — Meal Offering.  Arrive by 10:30 am with your contribution.*
  • 1:00 pm — Yard work (you might even find a friendly lizard!)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pm — Tea party and chat

* Tell meal dana coordinator if you are coming.  Come for any part or all of the party.

Half Day of Meditation, June 10
1:00 – 5:00 pm 
at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon

Enjoy sitting and walking meditation with the monks, and Dhamma reflections by Ajahn Sudanto.  Cushions and chairs available.

Monks at Portland Friends of the Dhamma
Saturday and Sunday, June 16 & 17
  • June 16, 5:30 – 9:00 pm — Tea, questions, meditation & Dhamma talk
  • June 17, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm — Alms round on Hawthorne Street (10:30 – 11:00 am), then a meal offering at PFoD beginning at 11:00 am.

Special Visitors and Events This Summer!

Luang Por Sumedho
July 7, 6:00 – 8:00 PM at PFoD

Luang Por Sumedho is the senior western monastic for this tradition and a beloved teacher.  This is a special opportunity to hear Dhamma reflections directly from Luang Por.

This will be Luang Por Sumedho’s only public talk in the Pacific Northwest. 

 

Willa Thaniya & Jitindriya, Meditation Daylongs
August 30 & September 2 in Underwood, WA & Portland, OR

Two former Ajahns lead two meditation daylongs.  See previous post or contact Carole for more details (or to register).

Pah Bah Weekend, White Salmon
September 16 & 17
Reserve lodging now!
  • Sat., Sept. 16 — Half-Day Retreat
    1:00 – 5:00 pm, sitting and walking meditation, Dhamma talks
  • Sun. Sept. 17 — Pah Bah Ceremony
    11:00 am — Meal offering (potluck)
    1:00 pm — Ceremony and Dhamma talk

 A Pah Bah is a traditional Thai ceremony for offering robe cloth to monastics.

In the Buddha’s time, people left scraps of cloth in the forest for the monks to find and use to piece together their robes.

These days, lay supporters — known as sponsors” — invite the monks to receive robe cloth and other offerings at a Pah Bah ceremony.  When someone (or a group) sponsors a Pah Bah for the Hermitage, the Board of Stewards (Sanghata) takes an active role in helping to organize and coordinate the event.

Would you like to help?  If you’d like to help set up, move chairs & tables, greet people, clean up, or lend a hand in the kitchen, or if you’d just like more information about the Pah Bah, please contact pahbah@sanghata.net.

All are welcome to come to part or all of the Pah Bah weekend activities!

Comings and Goings

  • Tan Khantiko will leave June 3 for Thailand.
  • Ajahn Siripanyo will visit June 26-July 5.
  • Ajahn Karunadhammo will arrive July 5 to stay for the summer.
  • Tan Kondañño will stay on at the Hermitage for a while.

2017 Birken Retreat Talks

Ajahn Sona’s Metta Window at Birken Forest Monastery.

Download from Google Drive (12 talks, both weeks)

Week One: May 3-9

Week one retreatants with monks and Birken stewards.

Week Two: May 10-16

Week two retreatants with monks and Birken stewards.

Willa Thaniya & Jitindriya Teaching in NW

Thai Forest Tradition teachers offer two full-day meditation daylongs:

  • Meditation:  Integrating Calm and Inquiry
    Aug. 30, 2017,  9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Underwood, WA
  • Peace is in Every Breath
    Sep. 2, 2017,  9 :00 AM – 4:30 PM, Portland, OR

Meditation instruction, Dhamma reflections, and questions and answers included.  All levels of experience are welcome.  The teachings are freely offered.  Retreat descriptions are below.  Contact Carole Melkonian for more information.

The Teachers:  Willa Thaniya and Jitindriya

Willa Thaniya Reid (formerly Ajahn Thaniya), has been practicing formal Buddhist meditation since the 1980s. Her primary training has been through the Thai Forest Tradition of Luang Por Chah. The Forest Tradition is in harmony with her affinity for the natural world and for reflective teachings. For 18 years she was part of the monastic community of this tradition based in England. As the senior nun of Cittaviveka for eight years, she offered support to the lay and monastic community and taught retreats in the UK, USA, Europe and Australia. She brings to her teaching a love for the original suttas of the Buddha. Since leaving the monastic order, Willa has gained a Master’s degree in relationship counselling, as well as clinical pastoral training, and has worked in the community in Melbourne, Australia offering spiritual support to the dying and their families. In 2015 she returned to her native country, New Zealand, to develop a meditation community with her partner.

Jitindriya (Loraine Keats, formerly Ajahn Jitindriya), has practiced Buddhist meditation and spiritual inquiry for over 30 years, 17 of which as a Buddhist nun in the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah and Ajahn Sumedho. During that time Jitindriya offered teachings to the monastic and lay communities in the UK, USA, Australia, and elsewhere. After leaving the monastic order, Jitindriya gained a Master’s degree in Buddhist Psychotherapy with the Karuna Institute in the UK. She since returned to live in her native country, Australia, where she continues to teach the Dhamma and has a private practice in Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy. In both personal practice and teaching Dhamma Jitindriya draws inspiration primarily from the early Buddhist suttas and the Forest Masters of the Theravadan tradition, as well as from pertinent Dzogchen teachings from the Vajrayana tradition. The interface of Dhamma with psychospiritual work is also an area of interest for Jitindriya.

The Daylongs

Meditation:  Integrating Calm and Inquiry (Aug. 30, 2017)
9:00 AM – 4:30 PM, Underwood Community Center
951 Schoolhouse Rd, Underwood WA 98651

Practicing meditation on the natural breath is a way of cultivating a sustainable place of ease and well-being. It can give us the resources to both meet and free ourselves from the anxiety and complexity we can often experience in the world. The Buddha gave detailed instructions on this practice, mindfulness of breathing, which explore the processes of calming and settling the body-mind (samadhi), and developing our capacity for inquiry and clear seeing (vipassana). These two factors of calm and inquiry are mutually supportive in meditation, and work together as a pair in the process of releasing the heart-mind from all stress and confusion.

Peace is in Every Breath (Sep. 2, 2017)
9 :00 AM – 4:30 PM,  Friends Mtg. House
4312 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97215

Enhancing awareness of the breath and body is a primary way to establish mindfulness in the present moment. It helps us come out of the stress of mental proliferation and we develop the capacity to meet our presently arising experience. As we do this, we begin to recognize how we can either struggle with ‘the way it is’ or be in wise relationship with ‘the way it is’. Seeing and understanding this process directly leads to ‘insight into the Noble Truths’, and brings deep peace in its wake. This is more than just the peace of relaxation or tranquility, which is also a benefit of breath meditation – it is the peace of insight into ‘Dhamma’, reality. This is the possibility with every breath.

 

May 2017 Events and News

Early Notice:  PAH BAH* is September 16 & 17, 2017

Reserve your lodging now!
Lodging in and near White Salmon is already filling up!

Regular Events in May

TUESDAY NIGHTS — Meditation/Talk with monks, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, Yoga Samadhi.  All welcome.  Cushions & chairs available.  No charge.

MAY 6 — Garden Party at Hermitage
Come for any or all of the party!

  • 10:30 am — Arrive for potluck meal.  Coming?  Please let meal dana coordinator know.
  • 11:00 am  Meal, cleanup and preparation for yard work.
  •  1:00 pm — Yard work (and play!)
  • 3:00 pm — Tea party and chat

MAY 13 — Half-Day Retreat in White Salmon, 1- 5 pm, at Yoga Samadhi.  Enjoy sitting and walking meditation with the monks, and Dhamma reflections by Ajahn Karunadhammo.  No charge.  All are welcome.  Cushions & chairs available.

MAY 19 & 20 — PFoD visit CANCELLED because there will be no Ajahns in residence.

Travels

  • APR 29 – MAY 1 — Ajahn Sudanto away to Abhayagiri for Upasika Renewal weekend
  • MAY 3 – 27 — Ajahn Sudanto away to Birken Retreat (Canada), then Amaravati (UK)
  • MAY 3 – 17 (Corrected return date) — Tan Kondañño away to Birken Retreat** (returns late May 17)

Friends Visiting in May

Photo: Ajahn Karunadhammo [photo: jfoto.com]

Ajahn Karunadhammo (pictured) and Tan Khantiko will return to the Hermitage and be there while both Ajahn Sudanto and Tan Kondañño are away.

MAY 2 – 14 — Ajahn Karunadhammo will help hold down the fort for a couple of weeks.  We welcome this gifted teacher, even if his stay is far too brief!  He and Tan Khantiko will arrive with Ajahn Sudanto after the meal on May 2.

MAY 2 – JUNE 3 — Tan Khantiko also has spent time at the Hermitage.  Welcome back!

Food Offerings are Needed Daily

Pacific Hermitage monks follow the Buddha’s tradition of relying on the lay community for their meal every day.  Monks are not allowed to grow, buy or prepare food.

It’s sobering to realize that if no one offers them food in the morning, the monks won’t have a meal that day.

Offering “meal dana” is a heart-opening, joyful experience.  Ask anyone who has done it!   Not only is it a way to get to know the monks and ask them questions one-on-one, it is a direct and traditional Buddhist way of practicing generosity.

We always need more people to:

  • Offer a meal at the Hermitage (mostly needed on weekends), or
  • Offer food to the monks as they walk alms rounds in White Salmon (mostly needed on weekdays).

More information — Check Support on the website or contact me (Debie), meal dana coordinator.  Feel free to just ask questions.  There’s no obligation.  Or talk with someone else who has offered food.  If you’re a little nervous, I understand.  I certainly was my first time!

To offer a meal at the Hermitage — Please check the Calendar to find out when meals are needed, then contact the meal dana coordinator to schedule your offering.


*A Pah Bah is a traditional Thai ceremony for giving robe cloth and other necessary items to monastics.  For more information or to volunteer, email pahbah@sanghata.net or check the Sanghata website:  sanghata.net.  Sanghata is the Board of Stewards for the Pacific Hermitage.

**Birken Retreat — Lay community members join Ajahn Sudanto and Tan Kondañño for a retreat at Birken Forest Monastery (Canada), May 3 – 13.  All spaces are full.

 

April 2017 Events

April Events Begin with a Garden Party — Saturday April 1

Help give the Hermitage grounds a Spring cleaning!

Free those spring flowers from the weeds, clean up Winter’s aftermath, and help move what’s left of the woodpile to a more “fire safety” location.

All are welcome.  Join us for any or all of the fun!  Here’s the schedule:

  • 10:30 am — Time to arrive with your dish if you’d like to be part of a potluck meal.
  • 1:00 pm — The garden/yard work begins after the meal, usually around 1:00 pm.
  • 3:00 – 4:00 pmRefreshments and some informal Dhamma talk.

Half-Day Meditation Retreat — Saturday, April 8

Spend a peaceful afternoon (1:00-5:00 pm) deepening your practice and meditating with the monks at Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon.  Enjoy silent sitting and walking meditation, as well as Dhamma reflections from Ajahn Sudanto.

All are welcome.  Cushions, blankets and chairs are available.  Stay for all or part of the afternoon.  If you enter or leave after meditation has begun, please be as quiet as possible and try to do so when there is a break between meditations or between meditation and the Dhamma discussion.

Portland Friends of the Dhamma (PFoD) — April 21 and 22

PFoD hosts the monks once a month, beginning in April and continuing through November.  Here is the schedule:

  • Friday, April 21, 5:30 – 9:00 pm — Tea, questions, meditation and a Dhamma talk (5:30 – 9:00 pm)
  • Saturday, April 22, 10:30 am – 1:00 pm) — Alms round on Hawthorne Street (10:30 am), then a meal offering at PFoD beginning at 11:00 am)

For more information, contact PFoD.