Kathina Ceremony 2014

This year’s Kathina Ceremony will take place on Sunday, October 12th.

Each year since the time of the Buddha, at the end of the three-month Rains Retreat, the lay communities near Theravada Buddhist monasteries have gathered to celebrate the completion of the retreat and offer to the monastic community gifts of cloth and supplies that will be useful for the coming year. The cloth is cut, sewn and dyed by the monks that same day to make a robe to offer to a member of the monastic Sangha.

This 2,500-year-old tradition is still carried on here in the West, initiated by a lay supporter or group of supporters who request to organize the preparation and formal offerings. It’s a significant and joyful occasion that’s emblematic of the richness of the relationship between lay people and monastics, a relationship characterized by deep bonds of friendship and commitment to mutual support. All year round, the monastery functions solely on offerings from the lay community.

Please plan on carpooling if possible. Parking is limited.

We and other people traveling to the monastery from the Bay Area are experiencing delays due to traffic and construction. Please plan accordingly. See the bottom of this news article for a real-time Google Traffic estimate from San Francisco to the monastery.

Sunday, October 12th:

11 a.m. Meal Offering People are welcome to bring a dish to share. Please plan to arrive and have any food offerings here by at least 10:45 am (to avoid last minute rush)
1 p.m. Kathina Ceremony Refuges, Precepts and Dhamma Talk.

Ajahn Amaro, the former co-abbot of Abhayagiri and current abbot of Amaravati in England will be offering the afternoon Dhamma reflection.

Anyone who wishes to help can consult the Kathina Dana List.

For more information, please contact Catherine at AbhayagiriKathina@gmail.com or (415) 595-7050.

Ajahn Amaro Talk at Stanford

On October 14, 2014, Ajahn Amaro will give a talk at Stanford University titled “Seeds from an Ancient Tree: Cultivating Buddhist Monastic Life in the West.” There is an optional guided meditation at 6:45 pm followed by the 7:30 pm talk. The talk will be given at the Black Community Services Center, 418 Santa Teresa St. (map) For more information see the website for the Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford University:


Community Work Day - Saturday November 8

The Abhayagiri kitchen is used 365 days a year to prepare food for residents and guests. We strive to keep such essential facilities very clean as an expression of our monastic training. Thus on the afternoon of November 8 we plan to conduct the annual kitchen deep clean (weather permitting). It takes many hands to move everything out of the kitchen, clean all the equipment, wipe down all surfaces, and put everything back, but it’s also fun to work together to clean the space we all use. Morning work that day will likely include tree trimming along the gravel road and other outdoor work.

We invite you to work alongside us, join us for the day’s meal, share tea with us at 5:30 pm, and listen to the Saturday night Dhamma talk. There is no need to contact us in advance, but it’s helpful to arrive in time for the 7:00 am breakfast and 7:30 am work meeting.

Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage 2002-2014

Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage

2002–2014 Commemorative Webpage

We gave a commemorative CD of a slideshow and Dhamma talks to each participant in the 2014 Buddhist Bicycle Pilgrimage at the closing ceremony. We thought we would share (most of) the contents of the CD online. What began a Dennis Crean’s idea of a pleasant bike ride has become an annual event involving ~100 people.

“If people hear and see,How hands and hearts can find in giving, unity,May their minds awake,To Great Compassion, wisdom and to joy.” - Rev. Heng Sure, “Dedication of Merit”

Arrival at Abhayagiri slideshow

Photographs by Gregorio Aristizábal and the Abhayagiri Community

Music from Paramita by Rev. Heng Sure, Dharma Realm Buddhist Association


mp4 format (Plays with VLC)


Abhayagiri web gallery (photos on Picasa Web Albums)

Online photo galleries

Dharmawheels Flickr group – Photographs by Gregorio Aristizábal, Franklyn Wu, and Alice Stribling

Kevin K Cheung’s Flickr album – Photographs from 2007

Dharmawheels Foundation online gallery

Dhamma talks by accompanying monastics

Ayya Anandabodhi

Recommended talks (available at dhammaseed.org)

It’s Never Too Late – July 26, 2014 – Sacramento Insight Meditation

The Alchemy of Turning Toward What’s Difficult – August 31, 2014 – Spirit Rock Meditation Center

The Four Brahma Viharas (Guided Meditation) – May 12, 2014 – Spirit Rock Mediation Center

The Power of Thought – January 2, 2014 – Angela Center

Renunciation – July 23, 2012 – Spirit Rock Mediation Center

The Four Noble Truths – May 23, 2011 – Spirit Rock Mediation Center

Ayya Santacitta

Recommended talks (available at dhammaseed.org)

Turn Towards It – August 23, 2013 – Berkeley Buddhist Monastery

Planet Earth as Divine Messenger – July 7, 2013 – Marin Sangha

On Meditation – July 20, 2014 – Marin Sangha

Ajahn Pasanno

Recommended talks

Developing in Virtue – May 19, 2012 – Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Mindfulness of Breathing – February 12, 2011 – Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Recollections of Ajahn Chah – September 19, 2010 – Spirit Rock Meditation Center

More talks by Ajahn Pasanno and the Abhayagiri Community

Ajahn Amaro

Recommended talks

On Feeling Righteous – September 15, 2013 – Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

Communal Harmony – October 11, 2011 – Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

More talks by Ajahn Amaro and the Amaravati Community

Dhamma talks about pilgrimage

Ajahn Sona – Winter Camping – October 28, 2008 – Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Ajahn Yatiko – Reflections from Sri Lanka – April 6, 2013 – Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Ajahn Jotipālo - Faith on Mississippi Tudong - April 25, 2013 - Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Ajahn Ñaniko – Sacred Uncertainty: Our West Coast Pilgrimage – July 15, 2013 – Abhaygiri Buddhist Monastery

Ajahn Ñaniko – Standing at Markets: More Pilgrimage Tales – July 21, 2013 – Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Internet links

DharmaWheels Foundation

Spirit Rock Meditation Center

Sae Taw Win II

City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery

Saranaloka Foundation

Other items

Practicing in Tandem by Alden Mudge

2012 Route Map

Ajahn Amaro Returns to Abhayagiri

Ajahn Amaro, co-abbot of Abhayagiri for 14 years is returning in October. Ajahn Amaro will be offering three public talks in northern California.

  • The early afternoon Dhamma reflection for the Abhayagiri Kathina, Oct. 12th.
  • At Stanford University on Tues., Oct. 14th
  • At Abhayagiri on the lunar observance day on the evening of Wed., Oct. 22nd.

Please see the Abhayagiri web calendar for the most up-to-date information on these and other events at Abhayagiri.

Ajahn Amaro will also be visiting the Pacific Hermitage the weekend of Oct. 18th and 19th. A brief bio of Ajahn Amaro is provided below.

Born in England in 1956, Ven. Amaro Bhikkhu received his BSc. in Psychology and Physiology from the University of London. Spiritual searching led him to Thailand, where he went to Wat Pah Nanachat, a Forest Tradition monastery established for Western disciples of Thai meditation master Ajahn Chah, who ordained him as a bhikkhu in 1979. He returned to England and joined Ajahn Sumedho at the newly established Chithurst Monastery. He resided for many years at Amaravati Buddhist Monastery, making trips to California every year during the 1990s.

In June of 1996 he established Abhayagiri Monastery in Redwood Valley, California, where he was co-abbot with Ajahn Pasanno until July, 2010. Ajahn Amaro has written a number of books, including an account of his 830-mile trek from Chithurst to Harnham Vihara called Tudong - the Long Road North, republished in the expanded book Silent Rain. Other works published by him include Small Boat, Great Mountain (2003), Rain on the Nile (2009) and The Island - An Anthology of the Buddha’s Teachings on Nibbana (2009) co-written with Ajahn Pasanno. Ajahn Amaro returned to Amaravati in July, 2010. At that time, he then moved back to Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in England to take up the position of abbot of large Amaravati monastic community

To listen to recent talks by Ajahn Amaro go to www.amaravati.org.

Community Work Days

Starting Saturday, September 20, 2014 Abhayagiri will re-institute our practice of having a monthly Community Workday.

On these days we invite anyone interested to come and explore work and practice with our resident community.

There will be a variety of tasks to do so all are welcome and no one need feel that work will be too difficult.

The timetable for these days will be as follows:- 7:30 am to 8:00 am – Work Meeting and Dhamma Reflection

  • 8:00 am to 10:30 am – Morning Work Period
  • 10:30 am to 11:00 am – Clean-up
  • 11:00 am to 1:00 pm – Meal offering, meal and meal clean-up
  • 1:00 pm to about 4:00 pm – Afternoon Work Period
  • 5:30 pm to 6:45 pm – Informal Tea-time
  • 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm – Evening Chanting and Meditation
  • 8:30 to about 9:30 pm – Dhamma Talk

No need to let us know if you are coming, and feel free to come for either the morning work period, afternoon work period, or for the whole day.

The first project (on Sat. 9/20) will be erosion-control work on the new water line to the future Reception Hall. The water lines have been installed and buried, but more work still needs to be done to prevent erosion from Winter rain.

The Community Workdays for the remainder of 2014 will be on the following dates:

  • Saturday, September 20th
  • Saturday, October 18th
  • Saturday, November 8th
  • Saturday, December 13

Ajahn Viradhammo: Dhamma Talk at Abhayagiri

Ajahn Viradhammo, abbot of Tisarana Buddhist Monastery in Ottawa, Canada (http://tisarana.ca/) will be offering a Dhamma talk at Abhayagiri Saturday, August 30. Evening chanting and meditation begin at 7:30 pm and will be followed by the talk. All are welcome to come for the talk with no reservation required.

Upasaka Yatiko

On Sunday, Aug. 10th, Ajahn Yatiko formally took leave of the Abhayagiri Sangha. After the fortnightly recitation of the monastic rules by the bhikkhus, all of the resident community assembled as Ajahn Yatiko formally asked forgiveness from the Abhayagiri Sangha for any wrongdoings during his past 24 years as a monastic. On behalf of the Sangha, Ajahn Pasanno responded in the traditional Pāli language, granting forgiveness and asking forgiveness in return.

Thereafter, Ajahn Yatiko relinquished the bhikkhu training and changed in to lay clothing. In his first act as a lay person, with the community assembled, Yatiko took the Five Precepts, following Ajahn Pasanno’s lead. Ajahn Pasanno then offered a Dhamma reflection to mark the occasion including appreciation for Yatiko’s 24 years of monastic life. Ajahn Pasanno also noted that Yatiko has made the transition from monastic life to lay life in a proper and respectful way, thereby laying a solid foundation for beginning his new life well. Yatiko plans to live in Santa Rosa, California so that he can stay connected to the monastery while beginning a new life.

Yatiko is currently residing at Abhayagiri and will be departing on Sun., Aug. 17th for his new life in Santa Rosa. People are welcome to stop by Abhayagiri during this week to connect with him or wish him well.

Prior to the formal act of giving up his monastic vows, Ajahn Yatiko passed on the following message to many of the laity connected with Abhayagiri:

To all the lay people who have supported me over the years, both materially and spiritually, I send out this email as a way of informing you of my upcoming plans. Most of you will know that I have had a hard time lately, especially in the past year or two. I needn’t go into details here, but I have made the decision to take leave of the robes on August 10. I plan on leaving the monastery itself on the 17th.

I can imagine this is a shock to most of you, and I regret any disappointment it may cause. I have thought long and hard about this decision, and it was not easy to come to a conclusion. I have been a monastic for 24 years now, my entire adult life, and I have no small reticence about leaving something I love and know so well. Yet I feel that it is something I must do if I am going to overcome some basic difficulties in my life at the moment.

This has not come about through a crisis of faith or lack of confidence in the tradition. I have unbounded respect for LP Pasanno and the community of monks, and I aspire deeply in my heart to make it back to the robes, be it in this life or in some future life. I simply feel that now is not the time to be a monk, and I must make a move.

My plans, though somewhat tentative, are to rent a room in Santa Rosa, work and/or go to school. I very much still want to be near enough to the monastery so that I can plug in from time to time. I am sure our paths will cross in the future, so until then,

With much gratitude and appreciation,

Yatiko Bhikkhu

Photo Albums added

3 New photo galleries with pictures of Luang Por Pasanno’s 65 birthday, Paying Respects to Ajahn Maha Prasert, and Continuing Reception Hall Construction have been added to our web gallery ( http://www.abhayagiri.org/gallery ). Please have mudita (sympathetic joy).