News & Events

An Update on Sister Mon's Permanent Residency - We Need Your Help Before April 20

 

We need your help to support Sister Mon's Permanent Residence Application - Deadline is April 20th
 
Since our last update in August 2017, we have been in touch with many supporters and a number of local politicians to garner support for Sister Mon's Permanent Residence (PR) application. We have also retained a new immigration attorney who is advising us to pursue the Humanitarian and Compassionate Considerations (HCC) route for Sister Mon's PR application.(Click here for a full update of both recent good news and new challenges.)

 

Now, we need your grassroots support! Please contact your local political leaders and ask them to write letters of support for Sister Mon’s PR application. Links to MLAs and MPs by region is included at Sister Mon's Petition Update webpage for your convenience. Also included on that webpage is an outline of “talking points” that may be helpful for you in guiding communications with your political leaders. The most important thing is to call. Your action could make an enormous difference to the process! Together we are a strong community.
 

In Sister Mon's HCC application, we would like to include as many letters as possible from government officials and Birken supporters (that means you!). Please forward copies of your personal letters of support as well as the signed letters you receive from your MLAs and MPs to us at: meditate@birken.ca by no later than April 20, 2018.

Also, please sign this petition if you haven't already, share the link with your social networks, and forward this email  to your family  and friends asking them to also call or write to their local politicians and sign the online petition.

Again, to each and every one of you who has signed this petition, left comments or contacted your local leaders: Anumodana! Thank you very much! Remember that change begins in our hearts and minds.

Registration Opens Today at Birken

Registrations are now open for Day Visits, Dana Meal Offerings, and Personal Retreats starting April 11, as well as our Absolute Beginners' Retreat (July 20-22) and 10-Day Silent Retreat (September 28-October 7), our first two Scheduled Retreats for 2018.

Visit our Book a Visit page for more details and to register.

We look forward to welcoming you to Birken.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.

Stillness Flowing: The Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah - now available online

 

 

 

Stillness Flowing, the new English biography about the life and teachings of Luang Por Chah, authored by Ajahn Jayasaro, is now available to the public.

This important work details the life and teachings of Luang Por Chah, also known as Ajahn Chah, and has been in the making for over two decades. This biography is based on the 1993 Thai biography of Luang Por Chah entitled Upalamani which was also authored by Ajahn Jayasaro. It includes translations from Upalamani, in particular many of the anecdotes and reminiscences of Luang Por’s disciples, as well as a significant amount of social, cultural, historical and doctrinal information to provide context to an audience that may be unfamiliar with Thai culture and its Buddhist heritage.

Click on the link below to download a PDF version of the book. If you would like to download an ePUB or Mobi version of the book, please visit the Abhayagiri Monastery website at this link.

 

Spring Work Projects at Birken

Spring Indoor Work Projects at Birken - We need your help!

We need volunteers to assist in painting washrooms, stairwells, and other areas inside the main building, plus a few plant lovers to aid in repotting many of our beautiful indoor plants. All materials will be supplied.

Would you like to help? If you can provide your skills sometime between March 28-April 8, please email us soon. You are welcome to come for just a day, or stay overnight, depending upon space availability.

Please notify us at least one week in advance of your planned visit so we may prepare enough delicious food for all of you.

Anumodana! We rejoice in your generosity and great merit.

Registration has Re-opened for Winter Retreat!

If you haven't already registered for a visit to Birken this Winter, here is your opportunity.

During this time, Birken will accept a limited number of bookings from experienced lay meditators who have visited Birken for extended stays in the recent past and who are willing to lend a helping hand towards the daily running of the monastery. All guests will be assigned light chores for the duration of their stay. Priority will be given to those who have attended previous Winter Retreats at Birken or who have been visiting Birken regularly over the last two years.

All arrivals and departures, whether you are driving, flying or taking the bus, MUST be on Wednesdays without exception. The minimum stay is one week; the maximum stay is two weeks. Longer stays may be possible with special permission from the Abbot. 

All Winter Retreat guests will be assigned to private rooms in the main guest house as kutis (cabins) will NOT be available during this time.

There are a limited number of rooms still available during the following weeks (subject to change):

  • February 7-14: 1 room available
  • February 14-21: 3 rooms available
  • February 21-28: 5 rooms available
  • March 7-14: 1 room available
  • March 14-21: 1 room available

 

If you would like to join us for Winter Retreat, please fill out the Winter Retreat Registration Form at least two weeks in advance of your requested visit. Visit our Book a Visit page for more details and to register.

We look forward to welcoming you to Birken. May you be well, happy and peaceful.

Closed for Winter Retreat: January - March 2018

Birken is now closed for our annual Winter Retreat, the time of year when monastery duties wind down and a more tranquil atmosphere infuses each moment. Now is when the monastics, residents, and a few guests turn our attention towards personal meditation practice amidst a landscape
of snow and all encompassing silence.

We will respond to emails again starting in April. Registration for 2018 Personal Retreats, Day Visits, and most of our Scheduled Retreats will open around
April 1, 2018. Please see our Event Calendar and Book a Visit pages for more information in the coming months.

If you would like to be notified when registration opens,
please subscribe to our newsletter.

May your winter be filled with boundless peace and joy.

2017 AGM Report

Birken's 2017 Annual General Meeting was held on Sunday, October 22, 2017 at the monastery.  The Minutes of the meeting, Resolutions, along with Financial Statements for our 2016-17 fiscal year, are attached below. Any questions may be addressed to: meditate@birken.ca

Next year's AGM will be held on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 4pm.

Anumodana for your continued support throughout another great year!
-Birken Forest Monastery ('Sitavana')

Registration Opens Today: Silent Winter Retreat

SILENT WINTER RETREAT FOR EXPERIENCED MEDITATORS - FEBRUARY 7 - MARCH 28, 2018
 
During this time, Birken will accept a limited number of bookings from experienced lay meditators who have visited Birken for extended stays in the recent past and who are willing to lend a helping hand towards the daily running of the monastery. All guests will be assigned light chores for the duration of their stay. Priority will be given to those who have attended previous Silent Winter Retreats at Birken or who have been visiting Birken regularly over the last two years.

 

All arrivals and departures, whether you are driving, flying or taking the bus, MUST be on Wednesdays without exception. The minimum stay is one week; the maximum stay is two weeks.  Longer stays may be possible with special permission from the Abbot.
 
All registrations must be submitted before December 31, 2017 as the Birken Office will be closed from January 1 - March 30, 2018. Ajahn Sona will review all applications and select those who can best benefit from these periods of quiet practice. Accepted candidates will be notified by email starting in mid-October and asked to reconfirm their commitment to attend the retreat. All others will be notified that they have been placed on a waitlist.
 
PLEAES NOTE: the monastery and office will also be closed all of November. If you submit an application during this time we will respond to your request in December.

 

For more information and to register, see our Book a Visit page under "Scheduled Retreats".

Notice: Birken's 2017 AGM will be held on October 22, 2017

Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery's 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Sunday, October 22nd at 4:00pm at the monastery

A draft agenda for this year's AGM is attached below.  The minutes of the meeting, along with financial statements will be posted on this page at a later date.

Please notify us by email at least one week prior if you plan to attend.

Thank you!

Buddhist Literary Festival - September 24, 2017 - Toronto

If you are in the Toronto area, please visit the Inauguaral Buddhist Literary Festival, part of The Word on The Street National Book and Magazine Festival. A press release and information about the presenters is attached in the file link below.

DATE: Sunday, September 24, 2017
TIME: 11am - 6pm
LOCATION: Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Booth 338 (Zone 3)

Pages