Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:13 am

Does anyone know any details on this location?

I have read on many occasions how the early disciples would retreat to isolated areas for long stretches to focus on the practice. Many would return to receive a poignant dhamma discourse from the Blessed One and then would take this instruction and practice.

Many of us are also aware how the Thai Forest Tradition and other Forest Traditions started out with this same ideal.

In modern times it would seem monasteries and central locations are almost a necessity. It is interesting that these monks might leave behind many of the "extras" *I am including puja, work periods, and regular community involvement in this not because I do not believe they are dhamma faithful but because they might not be "as" faithful as the absolute seclusion/renunciation volition - To focus entirely on self directed study/practice.

I also wonder what other dhutanga practices they might be adopting as I have read they are only taking the one meal a day and have decided to refrain from having a steward/anagarika as an aid.

So in general I know I have given my opinion along with the question but I'd love to know more and I really hope this is the case because it seems individuals that help form such "environments" along with the wonderful merit of the laity really end up producing wonderful dhamma instructors/arhants and in general improve all of our practices/lives by being present.

Side note, does anyone know of other locations such as this that focus very strongly on the formal practice?

I know U Pandita in the Mahasi tradition has a strong schedule at his location and Pa Auk through his but are there any schools open to pursuing ones own route within the orthodox/classical theravada framework like these monks might be establishing?

Haha as you can tell I'm really just excited that we may have this in the west! :namaste:
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:08 am

I visit them often and offer Dana meals. They have developed a very inspiring group of lay supporters.

http://pacifichermitage.org/
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
User avatar
Monkey Mind
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Khalil Bodhi » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:59 am

Sadhu!
To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas.
-Dhp. 183

Uposatha Observance Club:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=148031379279&v=info
Kiva-Theravada Buddhists:http://www.kiva.org/team/theravada_buddhists
Dana on the Interwebs:
http://greatergood.com
http://freerice.com
User avatar
Khalil Bodhi
 
Posts: 1630
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:32 pm
Location: NYC

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:03 pm

I wrote back to MM this morning.

Hopefully as an "insider" he may have the opportunity to learn more about how these venerable(s) practice/live.

And in reference to the lay supporters I have heard the same thing. That these are some outstanding individuals and equipped with much wisdom in and of themselves.

Very great to see. And I wish them all the merit in the world!

Haha I'm kinda jealous of MM here :namaste: Would love to speak/be in the presence of these disciples.
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Jason » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:03 pm

Christopherxx wrote:Does anyone know any details on this location?


I know a bit about it. The hermitage basically began as a retreat space away from the main monastery for a couple of monks that also helped to serve the local lay-community associated with Abhayagiri in the Pacific Northwest (the main group, Portland Friends of the Dhamma, is located in Portland, OR).

A couple of monks came and spent the vassa in the area one year to practice in solitude and see to how things would go as far as lay-support, etc. They weren't able to make it the following year, but they came back the year after that because people were so supportive the first time around and provided enough support in the way of alms, etc., and things kind of took off from there.

The people in the local town (White Salmon) have been so interested and supportive, in fact, that the monks are able to go on alms round in the traditional way at least half the week. (Being a more practice/retreat oriented branch, they don't store food and live on only what the receive each day.) It's doing amazingly well, especially considering the areas not-so-awesome experiences with eastern religious sects in the past.

I've yet to visit the hermitage myself as I don't have a car, but the monks come in to Portland to teach at least once a month, and I was able to attend a meal offering/house blessing last week.
"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" (AN 7.58).

leaves in the hand (Buddhist-related blog)
leaves in the forest (non-Buddhist related blog)
User avatar
Jason
 
Posts: 469
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:09 am
Location: Earth

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 5:08 pm

Why has my bad merit allowed me to be burn away from this!

Haha just joking, I feel very blessed :)

Still it's so wonderful to hear that you are all having such great experiences and that the hermitage seems to be finding a balanced state.
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:49 pm

Christopher suggested that I could elaborate more about my experiences with the Pacific Hermitage. A few years ago, a member of Dhammawheel informed about the Hermitage grand opening ceremony in Portland. Ajahns Sumedho and Amaro were the guest speakers at the ceremony; I had heard many podcasts by these esteemed monks, and was eager to hear them in person. Ajahn Sumedho was recently "retired", and he spoke about what he had learned in his many years as a monk. I found the talk to be very inspiring. I belong to a lay-practice organization, and at the time I didn't have a lot of interactions with monastics. I decided I would visit the Hermitage once a month, and learn from these "Bhikkhus who have practiced well."

My first visit, I was very nervous that I might offend the monks. (Years ago I visited a Zen monastery and made faux pas with humorous but embarrassing results.) One of the monks explained to me that they were used to newcomers, that they do not offend easily, and he would walk me through the formalities of a meal offering.

I stated I had 100 questions about Theravada practice, because I have been mixing-and-matching Theravada and Mahayana for 20 years and the end result was a lot of confusion. Over the next several months I would show up with my list of questions, but I could only ask one question at a time because their answer to that one question would take the entire hour. (In other words, they were gladly being thorough.) It's the best Dhamma deal in town, for the price of a meal I was getting a lot of individualized instruction. These days I don't get as much individualized instruction, because almost always when I visit there are two or more neighbors who have stopped by to visit. But no complaints, I feel very inspired by the sense of community that has popped up around the Hermitage. I have enjoyed my times at the Hermitage so much, I visited the Abhayaghiri monastery and their sister hermitage Aloka Vihara, I've attended many teachings from visiting monks and nuns.

It has also been fun watching how Thai people relate to the monks. Caucasian visitors tend to ask very heady/ intellectual questions. Thai people show up and simply visit, like one would visit with Grandma.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
User avatar
Monkey Mind
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:01 pm

Thanks for sharing MM.

It's so great to hear about wonderful experiences like yours.

If you wouldn't mind I'd love to hear a bit more about what Ajahn Sumedho noted about his time so far as a monk.

:) P.s. I think we are all pretty curious now about this zen story ;)
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:26 pm

Christopherxx wrote:If you wouldn't mind I'd love to hear a bit more about what Ajahn Sumedho noted about his time so far as a monk.

I wish there was a recording of that talk. Apparently Ajahn Sumedho grew up in the Portland Metro area, and his sister and brother-in-law were in the audience, as well as many family friends. I have no idea if he is usually so informal, but it felt like I was invited to a family gathering.

He spoke about how some people might find living by 227 rules (the Vinaya) as daunting or oppressive, but he has found the rules to be very liberating. He encouraged the audience to think about how many trivial decisions lay people make on a daily basis: what to wear, where or what to eat, how to spend your free time, etc. For the monk, all of these decisions were made in advance, 2600 years ago, and he feels his life has been incredibly simplified as a result. I can't really summarize his speach in a way that does it justice. But the impact was profound. I am a person who has really struggled with the 5 precepts, and this really helped me to look at the precepts in a different light.

And when the man smiled or laughed, it was infectious. He had an amazing presence.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
User avatar
Monkey Mind
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:09 pm

Thanks for sharing Monkey.

A little while ago I heard a bit of a dhamma talk by Ajahn Sumedho his presence seemed very strong yet powerfully calming.
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:11 pm

Ohh and guys

I found this http://victoriaims.org/?p=3675

It has clips of Ajahn Sudanto. Simply from his talk through meditation I feel he has achieved quite a good deal in his practice :) Good for him!
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Monkey Mind » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:31 pm

It's a funny thing... Ajahn Sudanto and I are the same age, and we both went to college about the same time at the University of Oregon. But I call him "Bhante", and without reservation. When I was 20, I seriously considered ordaining, but decided against it. Visiting with him is like reminiscing about "what could have been", and a reminder that its not too late to get my sh*# together regarding sila, samadhi, and panna.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
User avatar
Monkey Mind
 
Posts: 538
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2009 8:56 pm
Location: Pacific Northwest, USA

Re: Pacific Hermitage - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Postby Christopherxx » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:45 pm

Haha Monkey Mind

Your life sounds very interesting. :)
Christopherxx
 
Posts: 101
Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:59 pm


Return to Ordination and Monastic Life

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests