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. You can contact a participating restaurant directly or send a donation for this purpose to Sanghata (the non-profit Pacific Hermitage board). Ask the meal dana coordinator which restaurants participate.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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,
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.
Each year, Sanghata looks back at what’s happened with the Hermitage and sums it up in an annual newsletter. Click on the newsletter image for a full-sized version of the 2017 newsletter.
Sanghata is the non-profit board for the Hermitage that receives all financial donations and helps plan, budget, and coordinate events and projects.
Visit sanghata.net for information about donating, finances or Pah Bahs. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay Up to Date with Hermitage Emails!
Emails are an easy way to stay current with Hermitage news and events — sign-up form at bottom of this page.