News & Events

Closed for Silent Winter Retreat


Birken is now closed for our Silent Winter Retreat, the annual period from January-March when monastery duties wind down and a more tranquil atmosphere is fostered. It's a time when the monastics, residents, and a few guests turn our attention towards personal practice amidst a landscape of snow and all encompassing silence.

2016 AGM Minutes, Resolutions and Financials

Birken's 2016 Annual General Meeting was held on September 25, 2016 at the monastery.  The Minutes of the meeting, Resolutions, along with Financial Statements for our 2015-16 fiscal year, are attached below. Any questions may be addressed to:

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


Birken's New Vehicle

Earlier this year we launched our Haritayana ('Green Vehicle') fund to gather donations for the purchase of a new plug-in hybrid SUV for Birken Forest Monastery.

The car we were planning to buy has been delayed until summer 2017 so we made the decision to shift our resources towards the purchase of a new gas-powered Toyota RAV4. It is not the car we were hoping for, but it is twice as efficient in fuel economy as our former van. We plan to use Tiyana, our third vehicle, for the next 4-5 years at which time we hope to purchase an all electric vehicle.

Notice: Birken's 2016 AGM to be held on September 25, 2016

Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery's 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Sunday, September 25th 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!

Registration for Silent Winter Retreat is now open

January-March is the annual period of monastic-centred Silent Winter Retreat for the resident community of Birken. Monastery duties are wound down and a more tranquil atmosphere is fostered, as the monastics and residents turn their attention towards personal practice. During this time, Birken will accept a limited number of bookings from experienced 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.

Sāmaṇera Nandaka's Ordination

On the auspicious day of August 20, 2016 (2559), Birken Forest Monastery’s resident community, along with many upāsikās and friends, was witness to a very special sāmaṇera (novice monk) ordination ceremony. Ajahn Sona ordained Espen Østrem Nesse (former upāsaka and long-term steward) as Sāmaṇera Nandaka.

It is said that, at the time of the Buddha, a householder named Nandaka was inspired by a monk named Sona to enter the robes and thereafter attained arahantship. Sāmaṇera Nandaka will be trained as a novice monk under Ajahn Sona’s tutelage at Birken during the coming year and will then move to another monastery to pursue his higher bhikkhu ordination and training. We wish Sāmaṇera Nandaka the very highest blessings as he embarks on this auspicious new life in the robes!