All posts by hermits

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.

2015 Pah Bah: Fall Almsgiving Retreat & Event

Meal Offering Chant
Meal Offering Chant at the 2013 Pah Bah

Buddhist Ceremony to Support Pacific Hermitage

On September 20, supporters will hold a traditional Thai Buddhist alms-giving ceremony called a Pah Bah (pronounced paw-baw) in support of and gratitude for the Buddha’s teachings as well as the spiritual practice, example and teachings of the monastics at the Pacific Hermitage.  Each year since 2010, supporters have sponsored a Pah Bah to help support the Hermitage and provide for the monks in residence at this small monastery in White Salmon, Washington.

All events will be held at Mt. View Grange, 1085 N. Main Ave., White Salmon, WA 98672.

Everyone is welcome to come to all or just some of the events. There will be a half-day meditation retreat on Saturday, the day before the Pah Bah.  On Sunday, there will be a potluck meal offering, Dhamma talks, chanting, the alms-giving ceremony, tours and tea with the monks.  The events are free.  You are welcome to make a donation, but it is not necessary.

Saturday, September 19

Meditation Retreat (1 – 4 PM) — Walking and sitting meditation, with some Dhamma discussion (questions, answers and discussion of the Buddha’s teachings).  Chairs and some cushions available, but you’re encouraged to bring your own cushion if you have one.

Sunday, September 20

Potluck Meal Offering (arrive by 10:30 AM) — Bring a dish to share with the monks and other supporters.  The meal offering begins at 11:00 AM.

Ceremony, Chanting and Dhamma Talk (1:00 – 3:00 PM) — The Abbot of Abhayagiri Monastery (California), Luang Por Pasanno, and Abbot of the Pacific Hermitage, Ajahn Sudanto, will preside.  Since the Hermitage is part of the Thai Forest Tradition and many of those attending will be Thai, much of the ceremony will be done in both Thai and English.

Tea with Monastics and Hermitage Tours (3:00 – 4:00 PM) — You are welcome to tour the Hermitage or have an informal tea with the monastics after the ceremony and Dhamma Talk.

If you are interested in donating money or material goods, please visit or email:  Donations may also be made at the Pah Bah event.

Joan Benge has offered to coordinate a donations registry. See the following Google Document for more information about donating specific material goods:

Welcoming Suhajjo Bhikkhu

Image: Ven. Suhajjo Bhikkhu
Ven. Suhajjo Bhikkhu

Coinciding with the departure of Ajahn Karunadhammo in late July, who returned to Abhayagiri for the summer retreat period, we welcome Suhajjo Bhikkhu to spend several months with us here in White Salmon.

Venerable Suhajjo ordained and has been training at Abhayagiri for over three years. He’ll be staying  with us until Mid-December when he’ll return to Abhayagiri for the winter retreat.

You can read his short bio from 

Tan Suhajjo was born in Southern California in 1986. Although he did not have an affinity for religion, he stumbled upon the Buddha’s teachings in high school and they resonated deeply for him. It was not until attending college in San Jose, California that he became interested in comparative religion and meditation. With his interest in Buddhism rekindled and questions about life still unanswered, he decided to explore an alternative to the home life he was living. This led him to the teachings of the disciples of Ajahn Chah and to Abhayagiri. After two years of Anāgārika and Sāmaṇera training, Venerable Suhajjo took full Bhikkhu ordination on June 22, 2014


The Shady Garden Party


The Lotus Pond at the Hermitage
The Lotus Pond at the Hermitage

Are you interested in doing some shady gardening (the shady pond area needs some lovin’ care) or maybe even a little dirty work (we’re remodeling the shrine room) at the Pacific Hermitage on Saturday, August 1, 2015?  This is the fourth in our five-part Garden Party series. Please join us!

It’s a good idea to bring work gloves, knee pads, a water bottle and whatever else you find helpful when gardening.  If remodeling is more your thing, pack your safety glasses and a dust mask as well.

Come for as long or as little as you like!


10:30 AM — Time to arrive if you’re offering food for the meal.  Please let Debie know if you’re coming:
11:00 AM — Meal offered to monks
1:00 PM — Give some lovin’ care to the shady pond area, or get into the dusty and dirty remodeling.
3:00 PM — Break for tea and a chat

Address: Pacific Hermitage, 65 Barnedt Road, White Salmon, WA 98672. Carpooling encouraged.

Luang Por Liem July 3rd – 5th

Right to Left: Luang Pors Liam, Pasanno, and Jundee. Bagan, Burma
Right to Left: Luang Pors Liam, Pasanno, and Jundee. Bagan, Burma

We are pleased to announce a weekend of special events with the very esteemed Luang Por Liem, Abbot of Wat Nong Pah Pong Monastery, July 3rd – 5th.

Accompanying Luang Por Liem are the venerable Luang Por Pasanno, Abbot of the Abhayagiri Monastery in California, and venerable Luang Por Jundee, Abbot of the Wat Pah Ampawan in Thailand along with several monks from their respective monasteries.

Luang Por Liem Ṭhitadhammo, a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest Tradition since 1969, is considered to be one of the greatest living meditation masters in Thailand. He trained under the late meditation master, Ajahn Chah, and now follows in Ajahn Chah’s footsteps as the Abbot of the Wat Nong Pah Pong Monastery.

Public Events, July 3 – July 5

Friday, July 3rd – Friends of the Dhamma, Portland (map)
5:30pm – 6:40pm Tea and Dhamma discussion
7:00pm – 9:00pm Meditation and Dhamma talk

Saturday, July 4th – Friends of the Dhamma, Portland
10:00am – 10:30am Buddha Rupa blessing ceremony
11:00am – 1:00pm Meal offering, visit with the monastics

Saturday Afternoon, July 4th – Pacific Hermitage, White Salmon (map)
1:00pm-3:00pm Interdependence Garden Party
3:00pm-4:00pm Tea and reception

Sunday, July 5th – Pacific Hermitage, White Salmon
11:00am -1:00pm Meal offering, visit with the monastics

Sunday Evening, July 5th – Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon (map)
6:30pm-8:30pm Meditation and Dhamma talk

Hope to see you then!
The Hermitage Monks

Ajahn Chandako Visit: Portland and White Salmon

Ajahn Chandako, abbot of Vimutti Buddhist Monastery
Ajahn Chandako, Abbot of Vimutti Buddhist Monastery

Ajahn Chandako, the abbot of Vimutti Buddhist Monastery, will be visiting June 12-15th. Friday June 12th, Ajahn will be speaking at the Portland Friends of the Dhamma, and then coming out to visit the hermitage for a couple days.

Ajahn previously spent a long period of retreat in the Portland area, and has visited the hermitage twice. Please join us welcoming him back for another visit.

In addition to the talk in Portland, Ajahn will be walking for alms and available after the meal offerings on Saturday and Sunday at the hermitage, June 13 & 14th.

A Bit of Background

Ajahn was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1990 in the lineage of Venerable Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest Tradition. Born in 1962 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A., his interest in the teachings of the Buddha grew as he studied towards a BA degree in Religious Studies from Carleton College (1984). Following graduation, he began applying himself to training in meditation and subsequently went to Asia to find a monastery suitable for fully devoting himself to the Dhamma.

After practicing intensive meditation in various monasteries in Thailand and traveling extensively in Tibet, Nepal and India, he eventually settled at Wat Pah Nanachat, The International Forest Monastery, in the North-east of Thailand. Ajahn Chah established this branch monastery specifically for his English-speaking disciples. For the first five years after his full ordination as a bhikkhu, Ajahn Chandako was based at Wat Pah Nanachat.

He then began wandering, seeking out forest meditation masters and studying with them. Along the way he translated into English many of the teachings he received in Thai. Included in his translations is Ajahn Chah’s Unshakeable Peace. Ajahn Chandako is also the author of A Honed and Heavy Axe.

(source: Vimutti Monastery website)

“Tea in the Garden”: Part Two of the Five-Part Garden Party Series

Buddha in the Hermitage Garden

On Saturday, June 6th, from 1-3 pm, we’ll be hosting the second of our summer “Garden Parties.” This is a fun way to join with the monks and others in helping care for the Hermitage grounds. Our monastic rules prevent monks and nuns from many aspects of gardening, so any help you can offer for the care and maintenance of the Hermitage grounds will be greatly appreciated.

The day is organized in three acts:

Act 1: 11 am — The Meal Offering
Act 2: 1-3 pm — “Play” in the Garden
Act 3: 3-4 pm — Tea and Monk Chat in the Garden

Join us for any amount of time you care to offer.

Meal Offering:

If you are coming for the meal and bringing some food to offer, it’s good to show up by 10:30 to warm up and set out the food. Please let our dana coordinator (Debie) know if you’ll be helping with the meal:

Roles in the Play (tasks for the day):

We need loppers, pruners and weeders, especially for clearing the forest path and meditation spots in the forest, removing a little thistle and many weeds from the garden areas, and cleaning up around the pond. Please bring some gloves and your favorite garden tools. We have a limited supply.

If you have any questions or you would like to come help us at another time more convenient to you, please contact the Hermitage: We’ll have additional Garden Parties on the first Saturday of each month, through October.

Hope to see you!
The Hermitage Monks

Thanks “Garden Partiers”

Thank you to everyone who helped make this a special day. Pictured are some of those who stayed for the tea following our day in the garden at the Pacific Hermitage.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this a special day. Pictured are some of those who stayed for the tea following our day in the garden at the Pacific Hermitage.
Tea and conversation following the work in the Garden. Many shared their appreciation for Ajahn Caganando before his imminent departure to the Temple Forest Monastery
Tea and conversation following the work in the Garden. Many shared their appreciation for Ajahn Caganando before his imminent departure to the Temple Forest Monastery.