All posts by Debie

Registration Open for Bhante Rahula Retreat: July 4 – 8, 2018

Integrating Body & Mind:  Four-Day Meditation Retreat

Join Bhante Rahula for a meditation retreat focusing on mindfulness, vipassana, yoga and breathing.   (More on Bhante Rahula here.)  Enjoy four days at a lovely retreat center a few miles north of White Salmon, Washington.  Space is limited, so register early!

Dates:  July 4 at 3:00 pm – July 8 at 1:00 pm  (Wed. – Sun.)
Please arrive on the first day between 1:00 and 2:45 pm.

Location:  Atlan Forest Camp
37 Nestor Peak Road, White Salmon, Washington (off Highway 141).  More information about Atlan here.

Lodging Options

  • Onsite (Atlan) Camping — $10 per night per person.  These are primitive camp sites with two composting toilets, a handwashing sink, and two outdoor showers with on-demand hot water.  Retreatants bring their own tent and bedding.  Carts are available to bring in your personal items.
  • Offsite Lodging — White Salmon, Husum and Hood River are all relatively nearby.  Please reserve your lodging early, since this is peak season in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • The retreat will end each day at 8 p.m. to allow people to drive to lodging or prepare for camping in daylight.

Atlan is not an ADA accessible facility, so is not suitable for people with mobility or disability issues.  Retreatants will need to walk several minutes from the parking area to the meditation hall, with some rough ground and stairs along the way.  There is no parking next to the meditation hall/forest yurt.

Atlan is small, peaceful, rustic facility, and space is limited to 30 participants.  Early registration is recommended to secure a spot.

The retreat fee of $110 includes the cost of the facility, a simple breakfast buffet (hard-boiled eggs, fruit, multi-grain bread, coffee and tea), a mid-day vegetarian meal (including gluten-free and dairy-free options) catered by Saltrose Kitchen, and early evening tea time treats (chocolate, cheese, ginger).  Since this is a monastic retreat, no meal is provided after mid-day.*

Retreat Fee:  $110

  • $40 non-refundable deposit at time of registration
  • $70 balance (cash or check) upon arrival at retreat
  • Checks to be made to Sanghata (the Pacific Hermitage Board of Stewards)

Atlan Camping Fee:  $40

  • If you are camping at Atlan, this fee is due upon arrival.

*NOTE: The Atlan kitchen is not available during the retreat for individual cooking use or storing food.  Additional dietary restrictions beyond gluten-free and dairy free cannot be accommodated. Sample menus available upon request (use email address below for requests or questions).  Retreatants may bring their own non-perishable food and snacks to supplement meals.

Retreatants are asked to arrive on time, participate in the full retreat and to keep the Five Precepts during the retreat:  refraining from harming living things, taking what is not given, sexual misconduct, lying or gossip, taking intoxicating substances e.g. drugs or alcohol.

Helping Out
Retreatants may be asked to help with chores such as set up, clean up, tidying or sweeping. Please note on the registration form if you are able to assist the retreat coordinators with simple tasks during the retreat.

Dana for Bhante Rahula
Bhante Rahula’s dhamma teachings are freely offered.  The retreat fee covers only the use of the facility and meals.  Each retreatant has the opportunity to offer “dana” to Bhante Rahula at the end of the retreat.  Typically, this is in the form of a check made out to Sanghata or cash in an envelope that is offered to the teacher at the end of the retreat.

To register, please print and fill out the registration form, and mail the completed form with a check for $40.00 made out to Sanghata (non-refundable deposit).  Details and mailing instructions are on the registration form.  Once your registration and deposit have been received and processed, you will receive an email with additional details, directions, etc.  Partial registrations are not available for this retreat.

Please email Mimi Maduro.


Several Ways to Support the Monks With Food

In the Thai Forest Tradition, monks cannot buy, store or cook the food for their daily meal.  Because of that, they must rely on people like you and me to give them food every day. 

There several ways to help.  Would one work for you? 

More participants would help ensure adequate meals and lighten the load for the dozen or so local families that have steadfastly offered alms food for about seven years.   With more folks offering, each family could offer a little less or less often and it’d be more likely that there would be sufficient food even if someone moves away or stops participating.

Ways to Offer Alms Food

The monks walk alms rounds in White Salmon each morning.  Find the current routes here.  On weekdays, they rely on this food for their meal.

  • Meet the Monks:  Arrange to meet the monks at the P.O., the Grange, a certain intersection, etc.
  • At Your Doorstep:  Ask them to stop by regularly or when you put out a sign — ribbon on the door, rock by the mailbox, etc.
  • Bring Food to Someone Else:  If you can’t give food to the monks in person, see if someone else can offer your food for you.  Let the meal dana coordinator know.
  • Order Food at a Restaurant:  If prearranged, the monks can pick up food you’ve ordered.  Schedule at least one day ahead with the meal dana coordinator.
  • Give Spontaneously:  If you see the monks on their alms round, say “hello” and offer them some food.  It’s that simple!

Ways to Offer a Meal

On Saturdays and Sundays, meals are brought to the Hermitage.   Check the Calendar to find out when meals are needed.

  • Bring a Meal:  Bring a meal to the Hermitage by yourself or with a group.
  • Order a Meal at a Restaurant:  If prearranged, the monks can pick up food you’ve ordered.  Schedule with the meal dana coordinator a few days ahead.

Please schedule with the meal dana coordinator.  If if no one schedules a couple days before a Saturday or Sunday, she’ll ask someone on the Rescue Squad to provide the meal.  These folks sometimes cancel their own plans in order to bring that meal, so let’s make sure we don’t call on them needlessly.

If These Options Don’t Work …

If you can’t offer food in one of these ways — including ordering food at a restaurant — you can add to a gift card or tab at certain local restaurants.  The meal dana coordinator may use these funds if there are last minute meal cancellations or other difficulties.  Please make your offering directly to a participating restaurant.  If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the meal dana coordinator.

Let’s Find Something That Works for You!

Contact the meal dana coordinator (Colleen) if you have questions, want to schedule a meal offering, are a little uncomfortable about offering, or can’t find an option that works for you.

Welcome Colleen! New Meal Dana Coordinator

Hello Friends:

Please welcome Colleen Regalbuto into the role of meal dana coordinator!   You will love working with her.

Colleen has incorporated alms and meal offerings into her own life and practice for the last seven years.  In fact, her kids have grown up witnessing and practicing this selfless form generosity too.  She brings that familiarity to the role and I’m so delighted she’s willing to take it on!

Each meal dana coordinator does the job differently, and the role changes over time, so don’t be surprised if some things change a bit.   We’ve been discussing ways to streamline the role.

Please offer your whole-hearted support to Colleen!  And please offer food to the monks!  If you don’t know how, ask Colleen, the monks or me.  There are several options, including ordering food at a restaurant.  (More on that in a separate post.)  Contact Colleen at the meal dana coordinator email address

Generosity is a key foundation of Buddhism.  Offering food is an immediate and beautiful way to practice generosity, as well as offer your respect and gratitude to the monks.   And food offerings are needed every day.  Almost everyone is timid (or just plain nervous) the first time, but you’ll quickly find that the monks are engaging and human!

To the many delightful and generous people I’ve met over the past five years — thank you, thank you, thank you.  I signed up for six months, so you know that I’ve enjoyed it!  Special thanks to the people who regularly offer alms and meals.  It’s quite simple:  Without you the monks would not have food.  The Hermitage could not be here in White Salmon.   The same thank you’s go to the Rescue Squad for stepping in when needed.

In deep gratitude,


Winter News & Events

Monks in Residence Throughout Winter

There will be three monks residing at the Hermitage through winter.  Weekly Tuesday night meditations at Yoga Samadhi will continue.  Ajahn Sudanto will be away  in Thailand for about a month, but good friends and former residents, Ajahn Jotipalo and Tan Sudhiro, will be here from late November through Winter Retreat.

** UPDATE:  There will be no half-day retreats until April.  A previous post mistakenly said that the retreats would continue through winter. **

Winter Monastic Retreat:  A Time for Silent Practice

December 1 – March 31 is Winter Retreat for the monks.

This is a time when monastics become more solitary, focusing on silent study and meditation.   It’s an important time of reflection and renewal for them.

During this period, we can support their retreat practice by keeping our conversations with them and requests for their time to a minimum.

Regular Tuesday Sits Continue

TUESDAY NIGHTS — Meditation with the monks, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon, WA.  Meditation, then Dhamma talk.

Please Sign Up to Offer a Meal!

The monks still need meal offerings every Saturday and Sunday.   As of this writing, only one person has signed up to offer a meal this winter.  Yikes!

Please check the Hermitage calendar for vacant weekend days and consider signing up to offer a meal.  Contact the meal dana coordinator to schedule your meal offering or ask questions.

Comings & Goings

DECEMBER 5 — Ajahn Sek departs after visiting for about one month.  Thank you, Ajahn, for visiting and sharing your warm smile.

DECEMBER 20 — Ajahn Sudanto leaves for Thailand.  He’ll return January 28.