Ajahn Sudanto Returns to the Pacific Hermitage
Ajahn Sudanto with his Preceptor Luang Por Pasanno
Reflections by Scott Benge
Ajahn Sudanto, who has been the senior monk at the Pacific Hermitage since it was first established in 2010, will be returning from a one year sabbatical the first of April 2015. After attending the International Elders Meeting at Amaravati Monastery in England and his grandfather’s 99th birthday, Ajahn Sudanto settled into a secluded cabin at the Birken Monastery in central British Columbia. He will break silence on March 24th after 10 months of solitary retreat.
Given the monks do not teach in Portland during their winter retreat, by the time Ajahn returns to PFoD for his monthly teachings (every third week of the month April thru December) it will have been 16 months since last he’s been at our center. Since his departure we have had the wonderful experience of getting acquainted with several other senior monastics from Abhayagiri who stepped into Ajahn’s shoes during his sabbatical. Thanks to Ajahn Karunadhammo, Ajahn Jotipalo, Ajahn Nyaniko and the ever present Ajahn Caganando for your heartfelt support!
On the trip back to the hermitage Ajahn Sudanto will attend his grandfather’s 100th birthday.
Welcome back Ajahn Sudanto!
A Bit of History
With the vision and support of Portland Friends of the Dhamma, Ajahn Sudanto and Ajahn Karunadhammo spent the 3 month Vassa or Rains Retreat in the Mosier area in 2007. The demonstration of community support and participation encouraged the Abhayagiri Monastery to accept PFoD’s invitation to establish a permanent hermitage in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010 the first Pacific Hermitage location was established at a rented cabin on Tunnel Rd on top of the Columbia Gorge rim just south of White Salmon, Wa. Subsequently, a property and house were purchased for the Pacific Hermitage at the current location in 2012.
Ajahn Sudanto provided the leadership and determination necessary for the lay community to maintain the clear focus of providing the Four Requisites (Shelter, Food, Medicines and Robes) during the significant and time consuming tasks of helping establish the initial hermitage and subsequently the purchase of a lovely permanent location in just 3 years!
Upon moving into the Tunnel Road hermitage in 2010 , Ajahn Sudanto started alms rounds in White Salmon three days a week. This was no easy task. The three resident monks walked an old logging road from the Tunnel Road hermitage to White Salmon traveling over 2,000 vertical feet down and back up the gorge rim! The alms round through the community allowed relationships to develop. The monastics were able to offer supportive conversation, answer questions and provide inspiration. In return the lay community was able to offer the requisite of food for the day. The monastics now walk alms round daily in White Salmon and offer teachings every Tuesday evening from 6:30 – 8:00pm at Yoga Samadhi, even during the winter retreat.