Category Archives: News

April News and Events

The monastic winter retreat ends March 31 and regular monthly events resume.  First up is a community Garden Party.

Garden Party and Awesome Potluck
Join us April 7th!  

A yummy potluck, and some time for chatting and working with new or long-time friends. 

Regular Events Resume in April

All are welcome.  Events are free and no experience is needed.  

APRIL 7— Garden Party at Hermitage, 10:30 am – 4:00 pm.

Come for any or all of the activities.  It’s a great way to practice generosity, see the Hermitage, get to know some folks and have some fun!

  • 10:30 am:   Potluck meal (Please tell meal dana coordinator if you’re participating)
  • 1 – 3 pm:   Yard work and other chores
  • 3 – 4 pm:   Tea and chat (until 4 pm)

APRIL 14 — Half-Day of Meditation with the monks in White Salmon, 1- 5 pm, at Yoga Samadhi.   Mostly walking and sitting meditation.  Brief dhamma talk.  Cushions & chairs available.

APRIL 20 & 21 — Portland Friends of the Dhamma  (PFoD).  Pacific Hermitage monks visit Friday evening and Saturday morning.  For more information, visit PFoD website.

TUESDAY NIGHTS — Meditation with the monks, 6:30 – 8:00 pm, at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon, WA.  Meditation followed by dhamma talk and Q & A.  Cushions & chairs available.

Comings and Goings

Our thanks to Ajahn Jotipalo and Venerable Sudhiro for their time at the Hermitage this winter.  Venerable Sudhiro will return to Abhayagiri Monastery April 3, then continue on to Thailand.  Ajahn Jotipalo will leave April 11 for Minnesota, then visit several monasteries in Canada and New Hampshire.  He’ll return to Abhayagiri in May, then “go to Indiana and beyond” (his words!).  May you both be well.

Welcome to Ajahn Kassapo and Venerable Sampanno, who will arrive at the Hermitage the evening of April 11.  This will be the second time Ajahn Kassapo has resided at the Hermitage and the first stay for Venerable Sampanno.  You can read more about them on the Abhayagiri website.

Special Visitors and Events in 2018

Ajahn Sucitto will visit the Hermitage July 3 – 6, including Tuesday night (July 3) at Yoga Samadhi, White Salmon.  He’ll be at Portland Friends of the Dhamma the evening of July 6, and will offer a daylong there on July 7 (more information on PFoD calendar and website).

Registration is still open for the Bhante Rahula Retreat*, July 4 – 8, near White Salmon, WA.  For more information, please see our previous post.

Other Dates to Remember:

  • May 2 – 16                Birken Retreat  Hermitage groups (REGISTRATION CLOSED)
  • July 28                       Vassa (Monastic Summer Retreat) begins
  • Sep. 15 & 16             Pah Bah Weekend*:  Half-Day Retreat and Ceremony

*Arrange your lodging 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


UPDATED: Article Chronicles Thailand Trip to Honor Ajahn Chah

UPDATE:  In case NW Dharma News is unable to make these corrections in Ruby’s article, please note the following:   Ajahn Chah’s original monastery is Wat Nong Pah Pong (not, Wat Na Pah Pong, which is another monastery in Thailand).  Corrected spellings:  Mun River (not Moon) and Ajahn Sao (not Soa).  

Check out Ruby Grad’s article in NW Dharma News about traveling to Thailand with several of our community members to honor Ajahn Chah and celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth.  Enjoy descriptions and photos of their travels.

Visiting Wat Nong Pah Pong, Ajahn Chah’s Original Monastery

Left to right: Ruby Grad, Carole Melkonian, Krissy Martin, Joan Benge, Matthew Grad, Scott Benge, Luang Por Liem (barely visible in the back) and Ajahn Sudanto.  Luang Por Liem was a direct disciple of Luang Por Chah and is the Abbot of Wat Nong Pah Pong.

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,