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.
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)
Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery's 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM), originally scheduled for Sunday, September 24th, has been moved to Sunday, October 22nd. The AGM will begin at 4:00pm that day at the monastery.
A draft agenda for this year's AGM will be send to email list and posted on this webpage at the beginning of October. Click here to subscribe to our email list for future news updates.
PLEASE NOTE: If you are experiencing difficulties logging onto the Change.org website to sign the petition, stay tuned. We are working on finding a solution...
Anumodana! We rejoice in your generosity and great merit.
This year introduces two new retreats for experienced meditation practitioners:
10-Day Metta Retreat: December 22, 2017 - January 1, 2018
This is a retreat for ‘Experienced Meditators’ – those who have had a regular meditation practice for some years and have previously attended a 10-day residential retreat. Priority will be given to those who have visited Birken for a Personal Retreat or Scheduled Retreat of at least 10 days in the recent past. The retreat includes some instruction, as well as extended meditation periods (2 to 3 hours), allowing meditators to alternate sitting and walking meditation at their discretion. For more information and to register, see our Book a Visit page under "Scheduled Retreats".
One Month Jhana Retreat: January 10 - February 7, 2018
Optimal conditions for jhana meditation practice will be maintained during this very special retreat. Individualized jhana instruction from Ajahn Sona will be provided to each meditator, as well as extended meditation periods throughout the day, with a focus on solitary practice in each meditators' room. For more information and to register, see our Book a Visit page under "2018 Silent Winter Retreat".
Registration for both retreats will remain open from July 1-September 30, 2017. 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 in early October and asked to reconfirm their commitment to attend the retreat. All others will be notified that they have been placed on a waitlist.
Visit our Book a Visit page for more details and to register.
At this time we do not have any Steward Position openings at Birken Forest Monastery. Please read the information below should you be interested in submitting an application for future consideration.
In non-Buddhist countries, remote monasteries like Birken depend on the voluntary help of long-term Resident Stewards. Stewards live at the monastery full-time and volunteer their services free of charge. This is an excellent opportunity for practitioners who are looking for a simple life devoted to the Buddha’s teachings, meditation and meritorious acts of service to the Sangha, in the company of like-minded individuals who are also committed to these ideals.
KITCHEN STEWARD: Kitchen Stewards are responsible for preparing meals for the resident community (set menus/recipes are provided), managing kitchen facilities and supplies, attending to various household chores, driving to Kamloops for weekly shopping / errands, etc. Cooking experience would be an asset, although it is not required; on-the-job training is provided. All candidates must hold a valid Class 5 Canadian driver's license (or its equivalent) before arriving. Meal preparation duties are shared with other kitchen stewards on a rotational basis. Resident stewards are typically expected to work approximately 3-4 hours per day. Minimum commitment of three months.
MAINTENANCE STEWARD: The male Resident Maintenance Steward assists with the daily maintenance of the monastery buildings, off-grid systems and grounds maintenance (including in the winter the daily starting and stoking of our wood stoves, firewood chopping and stacking, clearing snow from roofs, walkways, and paths, as well as snow plowing our 7km logging road with a tractor). Candidates must be in good physical and mental health, with a capacity for heavy labour when required. The ideal candidate will have handy-man skills and experience with basic carpentry / plumbing / electrical work (although this is not mandatory). Experience with tractor driving and off-grid systems would also be helpful. All candidates must hold a valid Class 5 Canadian driver's license (or its equivalent) before arriving. Resident stewards are typically expected to work 3-4 hours per day. Minimum commitment of three months.
OFFICE STEWARD: The Office Steward is responsible for coordinating the monastery’s daily email, mail and phone correspondence; managing overnight and day visit bookings; maintenance of the Birken website and other communications materials; attending to the administrative needs of the resident monastics; providing support to Birken’s Offsite Treasurer/Bookkeeper; fulfilling all Registered Charitable Society requirements (coordination of Annual General Meeting, filing of Annual Charity Returns, etc.); and, generally attending to all administration and communications needs of the monastery. Ideal candidates will have good organizational, communication and computer skills, as well as prior experience in an office / administrative setting. All candidates must hold a valid Class 5 Canadian driver's license (or its equivalent) before arriving. Resident stewards are typically expected to work 3-4 hours per day. Minimum commitment of three months (ideally longer for this position).
Suitable Candidates Will Possess:
- Interest in deepening their practice of the Buddha's teachings in a supportive environment
- Commitment to abide by the Eight Precepts while at the monastery
- Stable personality
- Good physical and mental health
- Willingness to learn and adapt; ability to live and cooperate harmoniously in community
- Class 5 Canadian driver’s license or its equivalent in good standing
How to Apply: If you are interested in serving as a Steward at Birken Forest Monastery, please fill out our Resident Steward Application. Please send a follow up email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm we have received your application and include your current resume. All candidates should be able to commit to serve for a minimum period of three months. Long term stays are subject to a probationary period and require periodic approvals by the Abbot as well as the other members of the resident community.
If you have not been to Birken before, you will be invited for a two-week trial visit at the beginning of your steward service to assess mutual suitability. We also ask that all candidates read through our GUEST GUIDE to get a sense of daily community life here at the monastery, before applying. Please don't hesitate to email us if you have any questions!
Every year the monastics and lay supporters of Pacific Hermitage based in White Salmon, WA, visit Birken Forest Monastery for a silent retreat. Earlier this month they joined us for 14 days (May 3-17), each evening listening to Dhamma talks by Ajahn Sona with a focus this year on metta, loving kindness.
Below is a link to those Dhamma talks as well as one to talks from the 2016 retreat.
After six years of monastery life in Thailand, Venerable Pavaro returns to BC for two events in Vancouver.
Friday, June 9: Evening talk - The Practice of Happiness
Saturday, June 10: Day Retreat - The Practice of Contentment
Registrations are now open for Day Visits, Dana Meal Offerings, and Personal Retreats starting April 14, as well as most of our scheduled retreats for 2017.
We look forward to welcoming you to Birken. May you be well, happy and peaceful.