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.


Birken Forest Monastery (Sitavana)
May 1 – 15, 2019
Ajahn Sona Retreat on Right Effort

Join the Pacific Hermitage monastics and lay community members  for this opportunity to deepen your meditation practice in a beautiful British Columbia setting.  Applications accepted starting November 1.  Visit Ajahn Sona’s  YouTube channel to see why he is respected as such a gifted and clear teacher!

New:  Use Retreat Website to Apply

The application period is closed, but you can apply to be on the wait list using the Retreat Website.  Browse for information or click on”Apply” to fill out the application form.  The application period begins November 1.   Ajahn Sudanto will make the final decision on the list of participants.

Attend for One Week or Two

Once again, we are offering the option of coming for one or two weeks.  If you’re a less experienced meditator or have less flexibility, you can request only the first or second week.  More experienced meditators may find the full 14-day option more beneficial.  Here are the dates/options:

Week #1 (May 1 to 8) – Arrive the evening of May 1 and depart early May 8.
Week #2 (May 8 to 15) – Arrive the evening of May 8 and depart early May 15.
Both Weeks (May 1 to 15) — Arrive the evening of May 1 and depart early May 15.

Birken Monastery is Beautiful Inside and Outside 

Birken Forest Monastery is south of Kamploops, in British Columbia.  Meditate in the peaceful sala or on the indoor walking paths, or take your meditation outside in the fresh air, amidst trees, ponds, lakes and trails.  Visit the Birken website for more information and pictures.  Be sure to look at “Visits” and read the Guest Guidelines.

Retreat is Offered on Dana Basis

There is no cost for the retreat.  It is offered on a “dana” basis.  You give what you feel called to/are able to give.  Food and lodging are included.  Like the Hermitage, Birken is supported only by offerings from lay supporters.

Questions?  Apprehensive?

Almost everyone is a little apprehensive about going to their first retreat, wondering if they’re really up for it, will be able to handle it, etc.   Don’t feel self-conscious about asking questions or talking about what might hold you back.

Spend some time exploring the Birken and Retreat websites and talking with others who have attended Birken retreats, then feel free to email our retreat coordinator, Chevy, with questions.  Please do not contact Birken Monastery.  They have limited staff and time to devote to questions.

More information will be added to the retreat website as it’s developed, including ride sharing and travel details.