2019 Sanghata Focus: Long-Range Planning

3 Buddhist monks discussing planning

From the beginning, the Hermitage was intended to be both a monastic retreat and a source of support for lay practice. Now, with the early years of establishing the Hermitage behind us, the focus for Sanghata has changed to long-range planning and more fully realizing that original intention. We are working to shift monastic efforts away from start-up and administrative tasks and to ensure they have the kind of solitude and support necessary for monastic practice and retreat.

Ensuring a Secluded Setting

The Hermitage is surrounded by forest, but also by land that could see development. Because this could impact the Hermitage, Sanghata is searching for ways and opportunities to protect the quiet and secluded nature of the property.

New Abbot’s Kuti Will Offer More Quiet for Ajahn

We plan to complete the abbot’s kuti next summer. This will give Ajahn Sudanto some seclusion from daily Hermitage activities and allow him to take extended retreats at the Hermitage.

Down the Road, a Senior Monk Retreat House

In the future, we plan to build additional lodging for monastic retreats at the Hermitage.

The Year in Review

  • Water System Upgraded – A major water system project was completed. It increases storage and water pressure, and will serve future buildings. An automated irrigation system will reduce watering duties for the monks.
  • Hour-Long Sit Added to Tuesday Nights – Experienced meditators can now join the monks for an hour of silent meditation on Tuesday nights, just before the regular sit.
  • Birken Retreat is Largest Yet – Twenty-four meditators were able to attend the Pacific Hermitage’s retreat at Birken Forest Monastery this year.
  • Visiting Monks – Ajahn Jotipalo, Ajahn Kassapo, and Venerables Kovilo, Khantiko and Gunaviro all resided at the Hermitage during the year. Ajahn Seksan will stay for the winter.
  • Ajahn’s Travels – This Spring Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Caganando traveled to Japan, invited by a former White Salmon resident who currently lives there. In early September, Ajahn Sudanto attended the Annual North American Abbots Gathering at Arrow River Monastery in Canada.
Pacific Hermitage in White Salmon, WA
Buddhist monks at the Pacific Hermitage Pah Bah
Participants and the Pacific Hermitage Pah Bah

2019 Pah Bah: Your Generosity Makes the Hermitage Possible

Around 75 people attended the Saturday meditation retreat and 115 attended the Sunday Pah Bah. Thank you for your generous support! The Hermitage will greatly benefit from the over $35,000 donated. Thank you to the many people who offered their time, material goods, yummy food or skills to make the Pah Bah possible. Our sponsors this year were Charles Jasper and Nhan & Jan Luong. Thirteen monks attended the Pah Bah – our largest monastic gathering to date – including monks from Temple Forest Monastery and Abhayagiri Monastery.

Deep Gratitude to Scott & Joan for Ten Pah Bahs!

Scott & Joan Benge at the Pacific Hermitage Pah Bah

This was the 10th year that Scott and Joan Benge coordinated our Pah Bah. They’ve “written the book” on how to do this annual event!
We are so grateful to them for this contribution to the welfare of the Hermitage and for their unassuming way of managing this important annual event. Now it’s time for someone else to do it.


We’ve found some very capable hands to take over for Pah Bah 2020 — Chevy Pham.
If you have attended a Birken retreat lately, you know how well she coordinates events. Contact Chevy at pahbah@sanghata.net if you’d like to volunteer for the 2020 Pah Bah.

2020 Pah Bah: September 19 & 20, in White Salmon, WA
Reserve your lodging now!

The board of stewards for the Pacific Hermitage
From left to right: Scott Benge, Carole Melkonian, Krissy Martin, Dave Forslund, Anna Siebenborn and Debie Garner.

Sanghata: Board of Stewards for the Hermitage

Sanghata is a non-profit board that receives and manages all financial donations for the Hermitage. We help you support the Hermitage. The board also works with the monastics on planning, budgeting and coordinating events and projects.

Learn more at: sanghata.net