What gratitude and mudita arises with the ability to gather again! Garden Parties, the Pah Bah, Yoga Samadhi, and Sunday Sila – precious gifts, indeed. In this update, we share key details about these upcoming events, including the Pah Bah. So read on, and mark your calendars!
The Next Garden Party is August 7
Anumodana for the generosity of the 21 people that attended the July 5 garden party! Much was accomplished on this day of the community coming together to care for the land at the Hermitage. The next Garden Party is on Saturday, August 7. Join fellow community members at the Hermitage in this beautiful act of dana, for any part or all of the day’s schedule (no sign-up required).
11:00 a.m. Potluck (arrive by 10:30 a.m. if you’re bringing food)
1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Yard work and projects
3:00 – 4:00 p.m. Tea and refreshments
Opportunities to Offer Transportation
Over the next few months, there will be some days that Luang Por Pasanno and Ajahn Karunadhammo will be going from the Hermitage to/from Portland (e.g., the airport, Portland Friends of the Dhamma, etc.), or other local areas. An email contact list is being put together of people who would like to be notified when there is an opportunity to drive the Venerables somewhere.
If you are interested in being on this Transportation Email Contact List to know when these opportunities arise, please email Hermitage@Abhayagiri.org, with the subject “Transportation,” and share your name and contact information in the email.
This Year’s Pah Bah
This year the Pah Bah celebration will be held on September 18 & 19. Many thanks to all those who shared feedback and thoughts about how we can hold a safe and joyous event; it was very helpful to the group of lay organizers in planning the day. Key event details are highlighted below, there will be more information in the coming weeks, please stay tuned.
Note: if you are planning to stay overnight in the area, you may want to consider reserving your lodging now, as September is a busy time in the Columbia River Gorge.
- Location: Underwood Community Center & Park, located at 951 School House Road, Underwood, WA (underwoodcommunity.org). The event will be held outdoors, under a tent.
- Dates & Schedule:
- Saturday 9/18: 1:00 – 5:00 Meditation Day
- Sunday 9/19:
- 10:30 – 1:00 Potluck Meal
- 1:00 – 3:00 Pah Bah Ceremony
Tuesday Evenings at Yoga Samadhi Continue
The schedule for this combined in-person & online event is as follows:
5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.: A silent sitting for experienced meditators. Participants are asked to come on time and stay for the entire session. (in-person only)
6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.: Meditation, Reflection, and Q&A (in-person and livestreamed).
Following current CDC Covid guidelines, masks are optional for fully vaccinated people.
Connecting Online with the Sangha
Luang Por Pasanno and Ajahn Karunadhammo continue to share Dhamma with the community via livestreams on the Pacific Hermitage YouTube Channel on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and Friday mornings at 7:00 a.m.
As always, opportunities for questions and answers are available on the livestream chat.
Sunday Sila with Portland Friends of the Dhamma
This Summer, join Luang Por Pasanno for Sunday Silas with Portland Friends of the Dhamma. These are held on Sunday mornings at 10:00 a.m. While he is here at the Hermitage, Luang Por Pasanno will be leading these on the third Sundays of the month, with the next event on August 15.
Luang Por Pasanno Reflects on: Spiritual Friendship
[Excerpted from a Dhamma Talk by Luang Por Pasanno, July.6.21]
The Buddha placed a lot of importance on the sense of who we associate with, which is why I chose to chant the highest blessings to begin the evening. The Buddha is asked the question ‘What are the highest blessings?’ and he lays out 38 different things, ranging from quite ordinary up to full liberation. And the very first thing that the Buddha says is “avoiding those of foolish ways, associating with the wise” – it’s who we hang out with.
This was translated in our community, and that first line, avoiding those of foolish ways, we’ve translated kind of politely. The Buddha speaks quite bluntly, actually – don’t associate with fools, associate with the wise. That’s because it has an effect – drawing close to good people, the associations that we have, the interactions that we have.
All through this discourse that the Buddha gave – like ‘living in places of suitable kinds,’ inevitably that’s going to be with people. ‘Speech that is true and pleasant to hear,’ ‘cherishing family,’ ‘offering help to relatives and kin,’ ‘hearing the dhamma frequently taught,’ ‘sharing often words of dhamma’ – these are all concerned with our interactions, our social friendships, and then what they entail and how they affect us.
The Buddha’s emphasis on kalyanamitta, on good friendships, is quite important. Also to think in terms of what is fundamental to being a Buddhist. One of the most fundamental things is the three refuges, having a refuge in Buddha Dhamma and Sangha. Of course the Buddha as an example of the fruits of practice; Dhamma as the teachings on truth and the practice; and Sangha as drawing close to those who are a community.
Traditionally when we chant [and it’s right from the suttas], the Sangha is defined as those who practice well, who practice directly, who practice insightfully, who practice with integrity. So, this is a sense of a community, a group, drawing close to those who practice well.
And considering not just how do I get to have good friends, but also how do I be a good spiritual friend to others. In this sense of growing in the Dhamma, there’s an idiom that comes up in the monks’ discipline that we grow through mutual support and mutual admonishment, in that sense of you have to look out for each other both in terms of supporting, but then also in terms of if somebody’s being unskillful to let them know. Because it’s not that we’re always mindful and wise all the time, it’s just not the way we are as human beings – so that having things drawn to our attention kindly is a real gift.