Category Archives: News

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.

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.

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.

 

Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony

Book for Tuesday Night Meditation/Dhamma Talk

Over the next few weeks, Ajahn Sudanto plans to reference a book by Bhikkhu Bodhi in his reflections and the discussions at Tuesday night meditation sessions.  If you are interested, you should be able to find a paperback of The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony by Bhikkhu Bodhi online for about $11.  It’s also available in electronic form.

All are welcome to come meditate with the monks, Tuesday nights, 6:30-8:00 pm, at Yoga Samadhi in White Salmon, WA.   Cushions and chairs are available.

February 2017 Events

The weather seems to be moderating a little bit, many roads are good to passable, and White Salmon hasn’t had temperatures in the teens or single digits for a couple of weeks.

Perhaps the monks can now settle into more of a normal “Winter Retreat” routine, rather than working on repairs, heavy-duty snow removal or preventing new snow/ice problems.

February Events:  A Quiet Month
  • Venerable  Saddhammo visits Jan. 31 – Feb. 7 (approx. dates)
  • Meditation with the Monks, Tuesdays, 6:30-8:00 pm, Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Keeping it Kind of Quiet Through March

With all the snow, ice and cold-related work, Ajahn Sudanto and Venerable Kondañño haven’t had the extended period of relative silence, meditation and study that usually defines Winter Retreat.   This normally is an important time of intense practice and renewal for monastics.

Their Winter Retreat “officially” continues through February, but the monks will try to maintain a retreat atmosphere through March.  You can help them do this for the next couple of months by curtailing unnecessary talking, offering them food for their daily meal,* or giving your time if it’s needed.  This type of support reduces demands on their time, which helps them focus on their practice as much as possible.   (Note:  It’s OK to say hello or ask Dhamma questions after offering a weekend meal or at Tuesday night meditation!)

* This is a daily need, throughout the year.  Please see the Support page or contact the meal dana coordinator for information or to schedule a meal offering.

UPDATE: Monks Return January 11 (Delayed)

Snow at HermitageUPDATE:  The monks will now return 1/12 or 1/13, due to weather related problems.

Ajahn Sudanto and Tan Kondañño will soon leave a cold and snowy Birken Forest Monastery (British Columbia) … and return to a cold and snowy Hermitage!  (In fact, we’ll have to see if this weather allows them to return on Jan. 11th.)

A warm welcome to both!

Meet Venerable Kondañño
tan-kondannoWelcome to Tan Kondañño!  He will be staying at the Hermitage at least through the end of Winter Retreat.  Originally from Pittsburgh, Tan Kondañño’s first exposure to the Dhamma was in the late 90’s at Mt. Baldy Zen Center, CA.  After a short stint with Zen, he began attending Goenka Vipassana courses, and in 2009, he moved to California to help develop the Northern California Vipassana Center.  In 2011, he began visiting Abhayagiri Monastery to diversify and deepen his practice.  He ordained there as a Bhikkhu on June 5, 2016.
Honoring Monastic Winter Retreat (Dec. 1 – Feb. 28)

Ajahn Sudanto

During the monastic Winter Retreat, monks live in greater silence and focus more on meditation and study.  It’s a time for them to recharge and deepen their practice.

We gently ask folks to honor the monks’ Winter Retreat.  One way to do this is by curtailing unnecessary speech. Good news, though — Tuesday night meditation in White Salmon still offers a venue for Dhamma questions and discussions, so please feel free to bring your questions there!

Offering Alms and Meals

Another gentle reminder, this time about offering food. The monks eat one meal each day from food offered to them each morning.  This type of support is needed daily.

Food may be offered to the monks as alms or meals.  While several local families regularly offer food to the monks while they walk on alms round through White Salmon (nearly every morning), and various friends in the region bring meals to the Hermitage, more support is always needed and welcome.  The monks rely primarily on alms food during the week and meals offered on the weekends at the Hermitage.

For some, offering food to the monks is simply a joyful act.  For others, it may reflect their appreciation for the teachings or just being able to connect and talk with monastics (quite a rare situation in the US!).  In any case, offering food is an act of generosity that truly gladdens the heart … of both giver and receiver!

If you have questions or would like to help, please visit our Support page or contact the meal dana coordinator for more information.  Meal offerings at the Hermitage should be scheduled through the meal dana coordinator.  The Support page also has information on other ways to offer support* — services, time, etc.
*A Note from Sanghata
The monks follow monastic practices established by the Buddha, including one that does not allow them to receive, handle or ask for money.  As a result, you won’t find much information about monetary support on the Pacific Hermitage website.  You’ll need to visit Sanghata.net for that.  Sanghata is a Board of Stewards that handles all financial matters for the Hermitage.   Please feel free to visit Sanghata.net for more information.

2017 Events Schedule (and Monastics Return!)

2016-ph-bridge-w-snowMonastics Return January 11th

There ‘ve been only animal tracks on the Hermitage driveway since that white, fluffy stuff began falling from the sky a few weeks ago.  That will change soon.  The driveway snow will either melt or be plowed for Ajahn Sudanto’s and Venerable Kondañño’s arrival on January 11.

The monks may leave cold and snowy (and beautiful!) Birken Forest Monastery in British Columbia, only to return to pretty darn chilly and snowy White Salmon, Washington!  

Regular / Recurring Events with the Monks

Weekly, Meditation with the Monks, Resuming January 17th

  • The monks will resume leading meditation and offering Dhamma reflections, on Tuesdays, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at Yoga Samadhi.  All are welcome!

Monthly, Beginning in April

  • Community Work Parties at Hermitage   (1st Saturdays, 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Apr.-Sep.)
  • Half-Day Retreats at Yoga Samadhi   (2nd Saturdays, 1:00 – 5:00 pm, Apr.-Nov.)
  • Portland Friends of the Dhamma   (3rd Fridays & Saturdays, Apr.-Nov.)
    • Tea, questions, meditation and Dhamma talk  (5:30 – 9:00 pm, Third Fridays)
    • Almsround and Meal Offering at PFoD  (10:30 am – 1:00 pm, Third Saturdays)

NOTE:  Yoga Samadhi and the Pacific Hermitage are in White Salmon, Washington.  Portland Friends of the Dhamma (PFoD) is in Portland, Oregon.

Special Events, Comings, Goings and Retreats

  • Dec. 1 – Feb. 28       2016-17 Winter Retreat
  • Jan. 11                        Aj. Sudanto & Tan Kondañño return to Hermitage 
  • May 3 – 17                  Retreat at Birken  Monastery for Hermitage group
  • May 19 – 27                Aj. Sudanto to Amaravati Monastery (UK)
  • July 7 & 8                   Luang Por Sumedho visits
  • July 9 – Oct. 5           Vassa (Monastic Summer Retreat)
  • Aug 19 – 22                Aj. Sudanto to Steens Mtn. / Bend
  • Aug. 29 – 30              Willa & Jitindryia Tuesday, plus Daylong
  • Sep. 6 – 13                 Yosemite Monastic Retreat  
  • Sep. 16 & 17            Hermitage Pah Bah*
  • Oct. 6 – 12                 Aj. Sudanto to Temple Monastery Kathina
  • Dec. 1 – Feb. 28      2017-18 Winter Retreat 

*If you will need lodging for the Pah Bah, it’s best to arrange it as soon as possible.

Please check the Pacific Hermitage website often to keep current with any additions, cancellations or changes.  To learn about or offer alms food or a meal to the monks, please visit our Support page or contact Debie at dana@pacifichermitage.org.

Best wishes for the new year!