Many of our monasteries worldwide have now closed down to the public as the pandemic continues to spread. This includes Wat Pah Nanachat in Thailand where I ordained. The monks have ceased walking alms and the local laity has suspended gathering to practice Dhamma, something unheard of in the history of our monastery
With similar developments here in White Salmon, the Hermitage monks have suspended alms rounds, on site meal offerings, and are asking people to suspend visiting the monastery till further notice starting Monday March 23rd.
Our dana devas, Joseph & Kalyani are doing their utmost to help serve the monks and the community adapting the way we receive our daily meal. They have a new safe system in place to receive food from donors and bring to to the Hermitage site each morning. Please contact them directly for details and with any offers to help. firstname.lastname@example.org.
The situation in White Salmon and Klickitat County has changed in the past week, with the emergence of local cases of the Coronavirus.
Both North Shore Cafe and the White Salmon Bakery where people have often sponsored food offerings for the monks have temporarily closed, further limiting our options.
Abhayagiri Monastery has added a live streamed evening chanting and meditation, to their twice weekly talks.
Portland Friend’s of the Dhamma has begun streaming their weekly programs via Zoom and YouTube.
Ajahn Sona has agreed to teach the upcoming Birken Retreat starting in late April online, and this will be available for all to follow along. We’ll be announcing more about the details later.
It’s likely that this week will be filled with many changes and fresh challenges, some predictable, others unexpected. Practice not being too surprised, this is after all, the very nature of the world.
For most of us, our utmost duty will be to take care of ourselves, and I mean this in the most profound sense. By mindfully caring for oneself, one practices mindfully caring for others, and this may be a time where that is more true than ever.