Monastic Winter Retreat at the Hermitage

  • Winter Retreat is Dec. 1 – Mar. 31
  • Monks at Hermitage throughout Winter
  • Ajahn Sudanto away Nov. 14 – Jan. 29

Monastic Winter Retreat … A Quiet Time

Winter Retreat:  December 1, 2018 – March 31, 2019

Winter Retreat is an important time of reflection and renewal for the monks.  During this time, monastics are more solitary.  They focus on quiet study, investigation and meditation.

We can support them during their retreat by limiting our conversation and requests for their time.

Alms food and meals are still needed, but many who offer during this time simply offer their food without much, if any, conversation.

Please check the Hermitage calendar to see when meals are needed.  Contact the meal dana coordinator to schedule your meal offering or ask questions about meals or alms.  You now have the option of ordering food at a local restaurant, if you’re concerned about driving in winter weather.

Regular Tuesday Sits Continue Through Winter

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

New Logo Highlights Native Dogwood

When the Pacific Dogwood catches rays of sunlight filtering through the trees, its white flowers light up the forest.  Even as the flowers fade and the petals drop, they still color the forest with the clusters of brilliant red berries they leave behind.   Now, the flowers light up our new logo — in full bloom on

Comings and Goings

Unlike some previous years, we will have monks in residence throughout the winter.

Photo: Ven. Kovilo Bhikkhu
Venerable Kovilo

Ajahn Kassapo will remain at the Hermitage through Winter Retreat.  He’ll be on his own through November 28, then will be joined by Venerable Kovilo for the remainder of the retreat.

Ajahn Sudanto left November 14 for the Abhayagiri Thanksgiving Retreat, and will travel from there to Birken Forest Monastery for the first part of his Winter Retreat.  He’ll return to the Hermitage after the meal on January 30.

With Deep Gratitude: A Look Back at 2018

About this time every year, the Hermitage Board of Stewards sends out a letter that summarizes the year’s key events, projects and plans.  Click here to see the complete 2018 Sanghata letter.  Learn about this year’s Pah Bah, long-range planning, a dedicated abbot’s kuti, and more.

Visit to learn about the board and how to support the Hermitage.  We’re deeply grateful for your generous support.

Stay Up to Date by Email:   Please fill out or update the sign-up form on this page.

2018 November News and Events

* New wood is stacked  *  Ajahn Geoff visits 11/6  *  Last 2018 Half-Day is 11/10  *  CANCELLED:  PFoD November visit *

How Much Wood Does a Woodchucker Chuck?

Plenty!   Hermitage helpers were full of smiles, hard work and good company as they chucked wood at the last work parties for 2018.  Many thanks to the 20 or so people who helped gather, split and stack wood.  Special thanks to Holly Griswold for once again lending us her log-splitter.

These newest stacks of wood will be drying for use next winter, while this winter the monks use up the seasoned wood you helped stack in previous years.  The Hermitage relies primarily on wood to heat the main house, so the monks are very grateful for your help.

November 6:  Ajahn Geoff in White Salmon

Ajahn Geoff -Thanissaro Bhikkhu will lead the regular Tuesday night meditation at Yoga Samadhi, 6:30 – 8:00 PM, White Salmon, WA.  He’ll also be visiting the Portland Friends of the Dhamma November 2-4.  Check their website for more information about his visit.

Other November Events

NOVEMBER 10 — Half-Day of Meditation with the Monks:   Join Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Kassapo, 1 – 5 PM at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon, for the last 2018 half day of walking and sitting meditation.  Brief dhamma talk.  Cushions & chairs available.

CANCELLED:  Last PFoD visit of the year has been cancelled, since Ajahn Sudanto will be away, helping lead the Abhayagiri Monastic Thanksgiving Retreat.

TUESDAY NIGHT SITS — Community Meditation continues, every Tuesday night, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at Yoga Samadhi,White Salmon, WA.  Cushions & chairs available.

Comings and Goings

  • Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Kassapo return November 2 from the Abhayagiri Kathina and Ajahn Amaro’s Abhayagiri visit.   (Venerable Suddhiko will remain at Abhayagiri.)
  • Ajahn Geoff leads Tuesday night meditation in White Salmon, November 6.
  • Ajahn Sudanto leaves November 14 for the Abhayagiri Thanksgiving Retreat, and will travel from there to Birken Forest Monastery for the first part of his Winter Retreat.  He’ll return to the Hermitage after the meal on January 30.
  • Winter Retreat begins December 1 and lasts through the end of March.
  • Ajahn Kassapo will remain at the Hermitage through the Winter Retreat.  He’ll be on his own* from November 14 – 28, then will be joined by Venerable Kovilo (from Abhayagiri).

*A Note About Meal Offerings to One Monk:  Monastic rules do not allow one monk to be alone with women for any significant amount of time.  If you’re planning to offer a meal to a single monk, you can either just drop off the food to him (you must hand it to him) or arrange to have another male with you.  It is fine to offer food on alms rounds, since it is a more public setting.

2018 October News and Events

Woodchuckers Ball * Regular Events * Our Family of Monasteries * Comings & Goings

Time Again for the Woodchuckers Ball:  October 6 & 7

A name like that requires an explanation!

It’s a two-day garden party (last of the year) to cut, split and stack wood for heating the house.

No ballroom dancing involved!   (Ajahn just likes to play around with names for these things.)

Come for one or both days, any or all activities:
10:30 am   Potluck meal*
–   1:00 pm   Woodchucking and yard work
–   3:00 pm   Tea/chat until 4 pm

*Please tell the meal dana coordinator if you’re bringing food.

Other October Events

OCTOBER 13:  Half Day of Meditation with the Monks, White Salmon, 1-5 pm, at  Yoga Samadhi.  Walking and sitting meditation.  Brief dhamma talk.  Cushions & chairs available.

OCTOBER 19 & 20 — Monks at Portland Friends of the Dhamma (PFoD) Friday evening and Saturday through mid-day.  Check the PFoD website for specifics.

OCTOBER 21 — Monks at Hillsboro Meditation Hall.  More information here.

TUESDAY NIGHT SITS — Community Meditation, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at Yoga SamadhiWhite Salmon, WA.  Cushions & chairs available.

A Family of Monasteries, A Tradition of Mutual Support

With the Abhayagiri Kathina coming up and our Pah Bah just over, it’s a great time to shine a spotlight on a lovely aspect of this tradition — how monastics from the Ajahn Chah monasteries support and interact with one another.

Whether it’s senior monastics attending our Pah Bah, hundreds gathering to honor Luang Por Chah, or monks and nuns helping Abhayagiri celebrate the opening of their new hall, monastics from around the world travel to honor and support one another’s monasteries.

Each Ajahn Chah monastery is its own entity, a place for monastic practice and a base of support for lay community practice.  Each one exists only if there is enough local support to sustain it.  At the same time, each monastery is part of a larger whole — a family of monasteries.  Ajahn Chah monasteries intentionally cultivate, nurture and support relationships among their monastics.

This is evident in how Ajahn Sudanto warmly refers to his fellow monks as “brothers.”  The time he spends with them enriches and supports his practice and his role at the Hermitage.

The family aspect is obvious when you see how many monastics from around the world meet and gather to honor one another’s ceremonies, to share information, or to work through administrative discussions.   You’ll also see monks training at several different monasteries, further connecting them with more than one Sangha.  Once in a while, one monastery may even offer monetary support to another.

As Scott Benge, President of Sanghata, says, “It’s kind of sweet, really, the way the monasteries of this tradition help one another.”  And, as a lay community, we are fortunate beneficiaries — we’ve received Dhamma reflections from even the most senior monks and nuns of this tradition.

In 2010, probably before most of us even knew about the Hermitage, beloved monks from around the world celebrated the brand new Pacific Hermitage.  They are shown below paying their respects to Luang Por Sumedho at the first Hermitage location, on Tunnel Road, in the hills above White Salmon.

Comings and Goings

  • Venerable Suddhiko returns to Abhayagiri October 24.
  • Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Kassapo also leave October 24 to attend the Abhayagiri Kathina.  They return after the meal on November 2.
  • Ajahn Sudanto leaves November 14 for the Abhayagiri Thanksgiving Retreat, and will travel from there to Birken Forest Monastery for the first part of his Winter Retreat.  He’ll return to the Hermitage after the meal on January 30.
  • Ajahn Kassapo will remain at the Hermitage through the Winter Retreat.  He’ll be joined by Venerable Kovilo (from Abhayagiri) in late November.