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March 30 Coronavirus Update

The monks receiving the community’s food offerings delivered by Joseph & Kalyani.

The Monks Are Well and Grateful

For the well-being of all, the monks are not walking alms and the Hermitage is not accepting visitors during the Coronavirus pandemic. The monks are doing well, and are humbled by the generosity and outpouring of support from the community.

Thank you to Kalyani and Joseph

The efforts of our meal dana coordinators, Kalyani and Joseph, are helping support meal offerings that care for the safety and well-being of all. The new meal dana process is working well. If you have any questions about offering a meal, please contact them directly at dana@pacifichermitage.org. There are currently cases of the virus in White Salmon and Klickitat county and Kalyani and Joseph are in a high-risk group, please be aware if you are showing any symptoms.

Ajahn is grateful to Kalyani and Joseph, and to all who offer support to the Hermitage. You can listen to the monks rejoice in the power of this goodness with the daily Anumodana chant here.

Responding to Changing Conditions

Though the new meal dana process is working well, we know that conditions may change, sometimes unexpectedly. To plan for the health and safety of all, the Hermitage is accumulating and storing a two-month supply of food. The vinaya does allow for doing so in the type of situation we are facing. This does not change the current meal dana process in place, it is an additional action and backup plan.
We are not in need of assistance in shopping for the food supply at this time. If you would like to offer financial dana in support, you can offer on the Sanghata website, Sanghata.net/donate. Any unused food remaining after the crisis has passed will be donated to local food banks.

Staying Connected with Our Sangha

Ajahn Sudanto is committed to staying in touch with the lay community, and has begun posting on the new Pacific Hermitage YouTube channel. Ajahn expects to be doing livestream events soon, at times with Q&A, puja, dhamma, and meditations. Please SUBSCRIBE, making sure to click the bell to select ‘All’ notifications. This is a way for us to stay connected and practice together during these times. We are hoping to reach 1,000 subscribers (YouTube provides some very helpful features at this level), so please share this wonderful news with all.

“I find solace and grounding in the core insights of the Buddha on impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and non-self. This time and the challenges it brings will soon come to pass. It’s supremely helpful to reflect on this again and again through your day as a point of mindfulness and reflection. It’s an antidote to the habits of fear and anxiety that are rooted in framing our experience as stable, satisfactory, and self which implies a level of control beyond the true nature of the world”

– Ajahn Sudanto

March 22 Coronavirus Update

Ajahn Kevali, Abbot of Wat Pah Nanachat, Thailand at the front gates of the monastery.

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. dana@pacifichermitage.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.

Dhamma Resources

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.

Changing Times

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.

Be Well,

Ajahn Sudanto

Coronavirus Update

Ajahn Sudanto

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.

Public Events

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 dana@pacifichermitage.org.

Dhamma Resources

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.

Be well,

Ajahn Sudanto

Writing for the Hermitage

Hello Friends:

For the last five years or so, I’ve been writing most of the website posts, emails, posters and flyers for the Hermitage. I stepped down from that role at the end of 2019. Winter Retreat is usually a quiet time, but as we near the end of it, we’re approaching a time when the Hermitage will once again need to get information out to the community.

If you are a writer who would like to volunteer to draft/write various updates and communications, we’d like to hear from you! The role primarily requires writing skills. You’d work closely with Ajahn Sudanto to be a lay voice letting the community know about Hermitage news and events.

If you’re interested, please contact Ajahn Sudanto: hermitage@abhayagiri.org

It’s been a pleasure to be in this role myself. Thank you for all your kind words over the years.

May you all be healthy and happy!

Debie