Save the Dates for Annual Retreat

Save the Dates for Annual Retreat

Mark Your Calendar - The Annual Retreat is Scheduled for Dec. 4 - Dec. 13

Abhayagiri’s annual monastic retreat is scheduled for Fri. Dec. 4 – Sun. Dec. 13, 2020 at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Applegate, CA. Registration for this retreat will likely open sometime during the summer, usually in July or August.
Due to Covid-19, and the uncertainty about what restrictions, if any, will be in existence at that time, Abhayagiri has not yet made alternative plans about the retreat format if there are still restrictions for gatherings at that time.
If you are interested in attending, please save these dates and keep an eye on Abhayagiri News articles for updated information and the opening of registration. As per usual, Abhayagiri News list subscribers will automatically receive new News articles like this one as they are posted to the website.

Transitions at Abhayagiri

Transitions at Abhayagiri

In 2018, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo began a two year commitment to be co-abbot with Ajahn Ñāṇiko, to help with the transition period after Luang Por Pasanno stepped back from being the abbot and began a one year sabbatical.

Having just finished his two year commitment, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo will be going to the Pacific Hermitage for the vassa and Ajahn Ñāṇiko will be the sole abbot for the foreseeable future.

With this transition, there has also been a decision to re-arrange the seating in the Dhamma Hall and the Monks Dining Hall, with Luang Por Pasanno, Guiding Elder, and Ajahn Ñāṇiko, Abbot, now both seated in the front and center.

Ajahn Karuṇadhammo plans to return to Abhayagiri after the vassa. However, upon his return he will be entering a period of retreat.

Precautions Due to COVID-19 - Updated May 3, 2020

Precautions Due to COVID-19 - Updated May 3, 2020

Abhayagiri is considering how to continue to support the extended Abhayagiri community amid concerns and regulations regarding COVID-19. Please note that we have put the following precautions in place :

  • The monks are not going on alms rounds.

  • The Saturday night and Lunar Observance Day evening services are no longer available for the general public to participate in person. However, you may still participate by going to the Abhayagiri YouTube Channel and watching the Live Streams of Evening Puja at 7pm PDT every night except the day after the lunar observance day.

  • The outside teaching engagements are being canceled as needed. Abhayagiri is continuing to make various events available via live stream. We will continue to update the web calendar with cancellations as needed.

  • We are not accepting short-term overnight guests for the foreseeable future.

There have been some inquiries asking if people are still allowed to come to the monastery to offer food and supplies. The answer is “Yes, food and supply offerings are welcome.” Offerings can be left on the stainless steel tables outside of the kitchen. For health and safety reasons, please abstain from entering the kitchen or any other buildings. Also, please note that visitors from outside the monastery must wear a mask while at the monastery. Finally, if you are experiencing a fever, flu or cold symptoms, please refrain from coming to the monastery.

Sāmaṇera Dhammavaro's Bhikkhu Ordination on Sunday, May 17

Sāmaṇera Dhammavaro's Bhikkhu Ordination on Sunday, May 17

On Sunday, May 17 there will be the official ceremony for Sāmaṇera Dhammavaro to be accepted into the bhikkhu saṅgha. The ceremony will be at 2pm in the main Abhayagiri Dhamma hall. Due to precautions regarding COVID-19, it is not possible for the general public to attend in person. However, all are welcome to view the ceremony by going to this link.

Memorial for Todd

Memorial for Todd

On April 27th, Luang Por Pasanno, Ajahn Karuṇadhammo, Ajahn Ñāṇiko, and others gathered at Cool Oaks for the 14th Anniversary of the passing away of Todd Tansuhaj. A brief video has been made in honor of that event, including blessing chants and video footage of Abhayagiri.

Background information on Tatcha “Todd” Tansuhaj

Todd was born on July 20, 1995 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Although Todd was born in Thailand, he and his parents lived in the USA and started visiting Abhayagiri because of special blood treatments that Todd was receiving in Oakland, California to treat a genetic disorder. Todd and his parents got into the routine of stopping at Abhayagiri whenever they were in the area. The family thus became a familiar sight in Abhayagiri’s meditation hall and helping out around the buildings and forest that make up the property.

When Todd was just nine years old, the family discussed the possibility of a new approach to Todd’s illness — a stem cell transplant that might cure him of the disease completely. They knew it was a little risky and the risk increases as the child gets older, but they all agreed (Todd included) that they wanted to try it. The alternative was the heavy-duty treatments for Todd carrying on for the next twenty to forty years if he survived other complications.

The family also consulted with a highly revered Buddhist monk in northern Thailand, Luang Por Opaht, before they made the decision. He suggested that it would be a very good idea, in order to tilt the karmic odds in Todd’s favor, if he spent time as a novice monk for a while.

Todd thus spent a week as a novice monk in May of 2005. He went in for his stem cell transplant at the Children’s Hospital in Seattle in September of that year but, tragically, all did not go well; despite beyond-heroic efforts of the medical staff and his family, he died in the hospital on April 27th 2006.

–Adapted from Ajahn Amaro’s Foreword in Like a River – the life of a boy named Todd

Sāmaṇera Ordination of Anagārika Josh, Anagārika Ordination of Aaron and Dave, Vesākha Celebration

Sāmaṇera Ordination of Anagārika Josh, Anagārika Ordination of Aaron and Dave, Vesākha Celebration

On Vesākha, May 6th, Anagārika Josh will ordain as a Sāmaṇera, a novice monk. Also, Aaron and Dave will ordain as Anagārikas, eight-preceptors. We are asking the general public to abstain from coming to the monastery for this event. The ceremony will take place in the Reception Hall and will be livestreamed.

The program will begin with evening puja at 7:00 PM. The ordination ceremony will likely start between 8:15-8:45 PM and will be followed by a ceremony and circumambulation commemorating the Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and passing away on the full moon night in May.

Winter Retreat 2020 Gallery

Winter Retreat 2020 Gallery

We would like to announce a new gallery featuring photos from this year’s Winter Retreat. You can view the gallery here:

Winter Retreat 2020

Winter Retreat: the year was 2020, while vision of the larger social climate was anything but. Indeed, the community’s gaze set inwards, as COVID emerged in a fashion not dissimilar to the moon’s pursuit of the sun. Thus, with the retreat’s standard abeyance of electronic and social engagement, the collective mentality of the Abhayagiri Sangha was, for some time, solely preoccupied with the maladies of the heart. As such, the retreat advanced smoothly: duties were maintained, reflections were pondered, and minds were distilled. The pervasiveness of this diligence was matched only by that of a commitment to noble silence—in a world that, otherwise, seemed to become increasingly deafened by shouting headlines. It was in this manner that the community strove, without neglecting pause to accommodate the arrivals of Māgha Pūjā, Bhikkhu Bodhi, and the occasional day guests—whose smiles seemed to be effortlessly nourished by Luang Por.

However, just as there are times when the sun and the moon can be seen cohabiting a lucid firmament, so it was that news of the Coronavirus inevitably began to assert its presence in the light of the community’s awareness. Troubling revelations notwithstanding, the community’s sights were not eclipsed. Various precautions were undertaken in response to unfolding events, while dedication to practice endured up until the retreat’s end.

With the conclusion of the retreat, uncertainty featured prominently in people’s minds, but, in spite of that, the steadiness that was displayed by the Abhayagiri Sangha prevailed as an undeniable testament to human possibility.

Live Stream of Stanford Community Dhamma Discussion

Ajahn Pasanno will be having a virtual meeting with the Stanford community from 9am to 11am the morning of Saturday, April 25.

The schedule for the morning is :

9:00-9:30 Guided meditation
9:30-9:35 Short Break
9:35-10:15 Dhamma Talk
10:15 -11:00 Question & Answer with Stanford community

All are welcome to watch this event via the live stream by going to this link :

Live Stream of Memorial for Joe Kulkhajornpant on Sunday, April 19 at 11am

Live Stream of Memorial for Joe Kulkhajornpant on Sunday, April 19 at 11am

On Sunday, April 19 at 11am, Abhayagiri will be live streaming a brief memorial for Joe Kulkhajornpant. Joe, pictured here at Abhayagiri’s 2014 Kathina, was a long time friend of Abhayagiri. The memorial is in honor of approximately 100 days since Joe’s passing away.

Live Stream of Songkran (Thai New Year) Ceremony at 10:30am on Sunday, April 12, 2020

Due to concerns regarding COVID-19, it is not possible to attend in person this year’s Abhayagiri Songkran (Thai New Year) ceremony. However, all are welcome to join us via live stream starting at 10:30am on Sunday, April 12, 2020.

The ceremony will include Luang Por Pasanno offering the three refuges and five precepts. There will also be paritta chanting, a ceremonial bathing of the Buddha, a Sangha dana offering by the laity staying at the monastery and a short Dhamma reflection by Luang Por Pasanno.

You can follow along with the three refuges and five precepts by going to page 126 in our Chanting Book Volume 1.

Sangha Dana Offering

Below is the text for the Sangha dana offering which will take place during the ceremony.

(Pali) Imāni mayaṃ bhante, bhattāni, saparivārāni, bhikkhusaṅghassa,
oṇojayāma, sādhu no bhante, bhikkhusaṅgho, imāni bhattāni,
saparivārāni, paṭiggaṇhātu, amhākaṃ, dīgharattaṃ, hitāya,

(Pali in Thai Script) อิมานิ มะยัง ภันเต, ภัตตานิ, สะปะริวารานิ, ภิกขุสังฆัสสะ,
โอโณชะยามะ, สาธุ โน ภันเต, ภิกขุสังโฆ, อิมานิ, ภัตตานิ,
สะปะริวารานิ, ปะฏิคคัณหาตุ, อัม๎หากัง, ทีฆะรัตตัง, หิตายะ,

Translation (คำแปล)

(Thai) ข้าแต่พระสงฆ์ผู้เจริญ ข้าพเจ้าทั้งหลาย ขอน้อมถวายภัตตาหารกับทั้งบริวารทั้งหลายเหล่านี้ แด่พระภิกษุสงฆ์ ขอพระภิกษุสงฆ์จงรับภัตตาหาร กับทั้งบริวานทั้งหลายเหล่านี้ ของข้าพเจ้าทั้งหลาย เพื่อประโยชน์และความสุข แก่ข้าพเจ้าทั้งหลาย สิ้นกาลนาน เทอญ

(English) Venerable Sirs, we would like to offer our food, together with these offerings, to the Bhik-khu-saṅ-gha, May the Bhik-khu-saṅ-gha, accept our food, together with these offerings, for our lasting benefit and happiness.