The Pah Bah is just around the corner and I’m inspired to share with you the joyful stirrings that this celebration brings up for me. Maybe you can relate?
The deep relationship of a community sponsoring and supporting the source of its spiritual well-being goes all the way back to the time of the Buddha. Indeed, we at Portland Friends of the Dhamma are incredibly fortunate that this tradition of Alms, established over 2,500 years ago, has now spread from Asia to the small (and very close at hand) town of White Salmon.
In a few short weeks we have an opportunity to gather together with lay supporters from Asia in the long-since-treasured relationship between monastic and lay communities. For monasteries with four or more monastics in residence this celebration is known as a Kathina. In protection of its purpose as a hermitage this branch of the Abhayagiri, the Pacific Hermitage, keeps its residence to three or less and hence the celebration is known as a Pah Bah. Call it a Kathina or Pah Bah, the purpose is the same; to celebrate and deepen the relationship between the lay community who sponsor and support the monastic community who are the source of their spiritual well-being.
The small monastic community of the Pacific Hermitage and that of the Portland Friends of the Dhamma lay center both rise from the same root lineage; the Thai Forest tradition of Luang Por Chah. Whether you consider yourself a member of the Portland Friends of the Dhamma lay community or not, this is a celebration you won’t want to miss. All are welcome to partake.