Happenings at the Hermitage

A Joyous Pah Bah

This year’s Pah Bah was again held at the Underwood Community Center on September 17 & 18. Many thanks to Ladawan & Hiran Kongkarat, and Sudthida Suthikulphanich for sponsoring the event. This long-standing, joyous tradition celebrates the interdependence of the monastics and lay community.

Thanks also to the many organizers and volunteers who helped make the event happen, and to the large community of supporters from near and far who attended. Anumodana! More than $62,000 was raised in support of the Hermitage.

Joining Ajahn Sudanto, Tan Suddhiko, and Tan Tissaro on this auspicious day were Ajahn Nyaniko, Tan Yasa, and Anagārika Justin from Abhayagiri Monastery, and Ajahn Nisabho from Clear Mountain Monastery.

Building Progress Continues

Progress continues on the Abbot’s kuti, with the building permit expected to be issued this month. Preparations have moved forward, with the water storage shed now completed, and driveway improvements to prepare for utilities are about to begin, along with work on the foundation. The goal is to have the these items done and the foundation poured before winter to enable an early start in the spring.

In other building news, the budget for the Monks’ Retreat House has been finalized, and the design is expected to be done in the spring. Its purpose will be to house senior monks and other monastics as a retreat facility.

The 2022 Garden Party Season Concludes

As usual, October ends the garden party season with splitting and preparing wood for the winter (a.k.a the “Woodchuckers’ Ball). Each year this event helps to ensure that there is enough wood to fuel the wood stove for the winter. Thanks to Keith for offering a great deal of wood, and to Holly for the use of the hydraulic wood splitter. A big thank you to all who participated in October, and in all the garden parties this year. The generosity of the community who help care for the land and the Sangha is greatly appreciated, anumodana!

Garden parties, held the first Saturday of each month, will resume again in May 2023.

Ongoing Events

Weekly on Tuesdays: Meditation & Dhamma talk at Yoga Samadhi. From 5:15-6:15 PM is a silent sit, and following a 15 break is the 6:30-8:00 PM session which includes meditation, a Dhamma talk, and Q&A.

Weekend meal offerings: There is the opportunity to offer meals in person at the Hermitage on Saturdays & Sundays, and to talk Dhamma with the monks afterwards. To sign up or get more information, email dana@pacifichermitage.org.

Comings & Goings

With the observance of the vassa concluding, Tan Tissaro will depart for Thailand in early November. Ajahn Sudanto and Tan Suddhiko will remain at the Hermitage; it’s not yet known if an additional monk will be joining them.

The Abhayagiri November Retreat

Abhayagiri continues the tradition of a November retreat, which will be held online November 6-12. Click here for more details or to register.

Ajahn Sudanto Reflects on: Arousing Joy

Don’t be afraid to be engaged and proactive in arousing joy – sometimes we can be a little too patient just waiting for joy to spontaneously arise in the mind. And whether we’re talking about the cultivation of samadhi or any skillful state, the Buddha praises putting forth effort to arouse skillful states of mind and make that your habit, and joy would be a great one. 

Just imagine if we were better at kindling joy, remembering to arouse a sense of wholesome joy in the mind. It helps if we have a storehouse of good deeds, good merit, good karma.  But sometimes we haven’t learned how to remember how to delight in, nurture, and sustain joy – and to create the habit of arousing joy in the mind.

In the teachings on dāna and the perfection of generosity, the Buddha says one of the aspects that enhances being generous is to recollect acts of generosity that we’ve done, and to delight in them.

Just any sensitive, selfless act of caring and giving is something worth remembering and delighting in. It brings a sense of ease and lightness and joy to the mind, which is the kind of fuel we need for spiritual happiness, and the motivation to keep growing in Dhamma.