Our winter retreat period at the Pacific Hermitage will finish at the end of this month, but with the Coronavirus pandemic arriving now, our plans are changing by the day. I’ve been looking forward to reconnecting and sharing Dhamma with the broader community, but opportunities will be limited for the next couple months.
Please read the following, and know that we’ll be updating the website as necessary following the changing conditions. We hope to help support the health and well being of the broader community while maintaining our practice of Buddha Dhamma.
Upcoming public events are suspended till further notice, Yoga Samadhi has suspended classes, and we won’t be hosting public meditations there till sometime after April 14th.
Our first Garden Party of the year, on April 4th is also cancelled, as are visits to Portland Friends of the Dhamma who have also suspended in-person gatherings
For those on this Spring’s Birken Retreat, Chevy should be contacting you soon with updated information. Birken itself is closed through April 15th to guests and visitors due to the pandemic.
Alms and Meal Offerings
For now the monks are keeping our practice of walking for alms, as we have no other means for daily meals in place, aside from meal offerings at the hermitage and sponsored food offerings through White Salmon cafes. We currently welcome meal offerings at the hermitage given that everyone is healthy and the groups are as small as is typical.
We’re monitoring the public guidance from the CDC and the local governments, and will adjust our practice if prudent or should any of the monks have reason to suspect they are infected. We’ve drafted some protocols for the alms and meal offerings which can be requested from the Dana-coordinators on Wednesday March 18th.
Our current Dana-coordinators Joseph and Kalyani have been doing a wonderful job for the monks and the community. I encourage those wanting the most up to date information on food offerings and meal support to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The uncertainty of the coming days is likely to offer challenges of many types. It’s in times like these we reap the benefits of having practiced and cultivated Dhamma. It’s also a time to deepen our commitment to caring for ourselves and others in prudent and skillful ways. In the event of a protracted period of “social distancing”, I’m exploring ideas to offer encouragement and support for your practice via some means.
In the meantime, let me suggest Abhayagiri’s YouTube channel where they resumed live streaming twice a week, and remind people of the many good talks from Ajahn Sona at Birken Forest Monastery on his YouTube channel. The series of talks from our 2019 retreat on Right Effort was recently posted there and on Ajahn’s podcast.
Lastly let me share a timely reflection from one of my teachers, Ven. Ajahn Jayasaro.