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Evening Pūjās Will Be Live Streamed

Abhayagiri will be live streaming its evening pujas. Please note that we are currently on Winter Retreat and much of the community is practicing in the forest. However, a few monastics are sharing their practice to support the wider community. Abhayagiri’s evening pujas occur at 7pm PDT every night except the day after the lunar observance day.

These live streams can be found by going to https://youtube.com/c/AbhayagiriBuddhistMonastery .

For the chanting books PDFs, please follow the following links:

https://www.abhayagiri.org/media/books/Chanting-Book-Vol-1-Web.pdf
https://www.abhayagiri.org/media/books/Chanting-Book-Vol-2-Web.pdf

Precautions Due to COVID-19

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

  • The monks are not going on alms rounds in Ukiah or Redwood Valley.

  • 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.
    https://youtube.com/c/AbhayagiriBuddhistMonastery

  • The first two events on our public web calendar for April have been canceled. These are the gathering at Berkeley Buddhist Monastery on April 7th and at Yoga Mendocino Meditation and Dhamma talk on April 8th. We will continue to update the web calendar with cancellations as needed.

  • Even when our usual guest season begins on April 1st, we will still not be accepting 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”, although we ask people to please drop off food without coming into the kitchen, to comply with regulations regarding social distancing and reducing the numbers of people in indoor spaces. We also ask that if you are experiencing a fever or flu or cold symptoms, that you please refrain from coming to the monastery.

Upcoming Live Streams and Precautions re: COVID-19

Given the current public concerns regarding COVID-19, Abhayagiri Monastery would like to share the following:

  1. We will be live streaming some of our upcoming Saturday night and Lunar Observance Day pūjās. These live streams will include chanting, meditation and Dhamma talks. These live streams can be found by going to https://youtube.com/c/AbhayagiriBuddhistMonastery.
  2. If you are showing symptoms of a cold or flu, we ask that you please refrain from coming to the monastery. You can still participate by joining our live streams.

As the monastery situation changes we will provide additional updates.

Live Stream of Pūjā & Dhamma Talk on Saturday, March 14, 2020

On Saturday, March 14th, Abhayagiri will be live streaming our evening pūjā and Dhamma talk beginning at 7pm. Ajahn Pasanno, Abhayagiri’s guiding elder, has offered to share his reflections that evening. The live stream is an opportunity to practice chanting, do formal meditation and listen to a Dhamma talk along with the Abhayagiri community.

You can join the live stream here: https://youtu.be/3QOXgh3dMXU

We had previously posted that Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi would be giving a talk this Saturday, but we have had to retract that announcement due to unforseen circumstances. We apologize for any confusion regarding this new announcement.

[UPDATE 2] CANCELLED Bhikkhu Bodhi Dhamma Reflection on March 14th

Abhayagiri previously announced that Bhikkhu Bodhi would be offering a Dhamma reflection on the evening of Saturday, March 14th, 2020. However, Bhikkhu Bodhi will be leaving Abhayagiri earlier than expected. Thus, Bhikkhu Bodhi will not be offering a Dhamma reflection on March 14th. We apologize for any disappointment this may cause.

Abhayagiri will still hold regular evening puja and share a Dhamma talk on Saturday, March 14th, 2020. There will be a live stream of this event. For details, please see the following announcement:

https://www.abhayagiri.org/news/304-live-stream-of-puja-dhamma-talk-on-saturday-march-14-2020

Language of Dhamma - Video of Ajahn Pasanno Dhamma Talk at the Buddhadāsa Indapañño Archives

Ajahn Pasanno and Ajahn Nyaniko spent about three weeks in Thailand, returning to Abhayagiri on January 7th. Ajahn Pasanno offered many teachings during that time. Here is a video of a Dhamma talk and Question and Answer Session in English, titled Language of Dhamma. These teachings were offered at the Buddhadāsa Indapañño Archives in Bangkok on December 21st, 2019.

Video of Dhamma Talk and Q & A - Language of Dhamma - Ajahn Pasanno

Winter Retreat Begins on January 2nd

The monastic community begins the annual three month winter retreat on January 2nd. During this time, the resident community takes time to engage in more formal meditation practice following a changing schedule of group and individual practice.

During these three months there will be no overnight guests accepted. (For overnight visits after the retreat please contact the monastery on April 1st.) However, day visitors and those wishing to visit the monastery to participate in the meal offering or bring offerings of requisites at the meal time are still welcome. It should be noted, however, that the community is practicing noble silence, and talking and conversations with the monastics and retreat crew are very limited.

As per usual, the general public is welcome to join us for the evening meditation and Dhamma talk on Saturday and on the Lunar Observance Day. Furthermore, for those interested in listening to or downloading Dhamma talks from the monastery website, we plan on posting new talks regularly throughout the retreat.

Highlights from 2019

A Guiding Elder in Residence, Luang Por Pasanno

Since Abhayagiri’s inception, Luang Por Pasanno was co-abbot of Abhayagiri with Ajahn Amaro. He became the solo abbot in 2010 when Ajahn Amaro departed to become abbot of Amaravati. Before his one year sabbatical in 2018-2019, Luang Por passed on the abbot’s duties to Ajahn Karuṇadhammo and Ajahn Nyāṇiko, who are now leading the community as co-abbots. With his return in July 2019, Luang Por Pasanno is now residing at Abhayagiri as the Guiding Elder.

Tan Chao Khun Phra Rajabodhividesa

Of special note during 2019 was that Luang Por Pasanno spent his 70th birthday, July 26th, on a plane to Thailand, having found out just the day before that he was slated to receive a new title on July 28th from King Mahavajiralongkorn of Thailand. Although Luang Por has stepped back from administrative duties and various meetings, he still offers plenty of teachings both formally and informally and provides an invaluable example to others.

Santi Vihara

Another first for 2019 is that the Santi Vihara property, located across Tomki Road from Abhayagiri, has been officially handed over to Abhayagiri Monastic Foundation. Santi Vihara is planned to provide a suitable environment to care for old and aging monastics.

Comings and Goings

As usual, there have been plenty of arrival and departures. Ajahn Kaccana departed for Amaravati in England. Venerables Kovilo, Nisabho, and Suddhiko went to various monasteries in Thailand. Venerable Sampanno went to Temple Forest Monastery in New Hampshire. Venerable Suhajjo is currently at Buddha Bodhivana Monastery in Australia. Venerables Kondañño and Jāgaro returned to Abhayagiri from two different Canadian monasteries. This winter Ajahn Sek and Tan Khantiko are staying at the Pacific Hermitage with Ajahn Sudanto.


It is also worth noting that multiple monastics proceeded with further commitments to monastic training including the venerables Cittapālo and Jotimanto being fully ordained into the Bhikkhu Sangha.

Although the resident community and the conditions at Abhayagiri continue to change, the essence of Dhamma practice remains the same.

Not doing any evil;
To be committed to the good;
To purify one’s mind:
These are the teachings of all Buddhas.

-Dhammapada, 183

2019 Work Projects

2019 saw much development of the monastery infrastructure. In addition to repainting parts of the main cloister area and constructing and installing replacement bridges on our loop trail, various major projects were undertaken.

Solar System Upgrade

One of the most significant monastery infrastructure developments this year was an upgrade to the off-grid solar system in the upper part of the monastery. The batteries were replaced, a larger new inverter was installed and finally in November, the last major phase of this year’s upgrade was completed with the installation of 12 new solar panels.

This solar system meets several purposes of the monastery. The upper part of the monastery is not connected to the PG & E electrical grid and connecting it would be a significant and expensive undertaking. This robust off-grid solar electricity system is especially helpful in light of the electricity blackouts that Abhayagiri and others in northern California experienced this year and that may continue in the future. Furthermore, the use of active solar energy reduces carbon emissions, which is an act of compassion for current and future generations.

Fire Prevention

Since 2017, when fires in Redwood Valley reached the monastery boundary and forced the community to evacuate, Abhayagiri has been making concerted efforts to increase its fire safety. At the end of 2018, new signage was put in place throughout the monastery, as per the guidance of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE). The signs provide numbers and directions to the various buildings and have been installed to help firefighters in the event of a fire.

During this past year, two local tree service companies have also been brought on to increase Abhayagiri’s fire safety. This work has been facilitated through donations to the Fire Prevention and Trail Maintenance Fund. These local companies have cleared underbrush along the main road that runs through the monastery, the internal roads on the women’s side of our property, as well as the area of the monastery that borders Tomki Road. A shaded fuel break was created along these internal roads, reducing fuel for 25 feet on each side of the road, removing dead trees, smaller trees and overgrown brush. Fire clearance was also performed in a 50-foot radius around our water storage tanks. Not only will this hold us in good stead in the case of a fire, it is also helpful for the trees and land, providing space and a clearing and cleaning out of the dead and overgrown trees and brush. Tan Pesalo coordinated the new signs, the work by these local companies, as well as various other fire safety projects at Abhayagiri, such as the purchase of a large amount of fire equipment. The new fire equipment, which was made possible through one generous donation, includes new fire hoses, weather-proof fire hose boxes, fire fighting equipment such as rhinos, mcleods, and backpack fire fighting pumps, as well as new valves for the fire hydrants around the monastery.

Upgrades to the Workshop
The workshop received multiple upgrades this past year. Ajahn Nyaniko completed improvements to the dust collection system, including moving the dust collector to a room outside the workshop and adding acoustic foam panels to the inside of that room, making the workshop itself much more quiet and peaceful. Ajahn Nyaniko also built a concrete fuel bunker on the north edge of the workshop, with help from Tan Suddhiko. The fuel bunker will increase fire safety by allowing us to store fuel in a concrete, fire resistant enclosure. The fuel bunker was completed with an impressive steel door, welded by resident welder monks. Also, during the spring, there was an extensive reorganization to the Upper Workshop.

New Water Tanks and Protective Structure


The large work project of the year was the construction of a protective shade structure for the water tanks on the ridge. These water tanks can hold a total of more than 20,000 gallons of water. Having such a large reserve of water is helpful to have in case of a fire, as well as for meeting the ongoing needs of the monastery. As part of that project, the existing tanks are being replaced, as they have deteriorated over time and were damaged in the 2017 fires. Ajahn Sek, Ajahn Nyaniko, and other bhikkhus and novices have been working to build the 56’x18’ structure. The frame is mostly up, and the project will likely be finished in the spring of 2020.

Exploration of Chedi Site
The monastics and guests of Abhayagiri continued work on the trail to the planned chedi site near the ridge and are currently exploring how and if a road for vehicle access might be built to reach it. The chedi is intended to be a sacred place and an object of reverence and can be a depository for sacred objects. Chedis are common throughout Thailand and much of southeast Asia.

Preparing for the Winter Retreat

With January 1st fast approaching, the community is wrapping up loose ends and preparing for the Winter Retreat. During the months of January, February and March there will be more emphasis placed on formal meditation and study. The communal work has both provided opportunities for cultivating positive spiritual qualities as well as set the stage for the benefits of formal meditation to be developed.

Bhikkhu Ordination Ceremony on Monday, December 2nd

All are welcome to attend the formal ceremony in which Sāmaṇera Jotimanto will enter the monastic Saṅgha as a bhikkhu. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 2pm on Monday, December 2nd.