News & Events

Ajahn Sudanto on solitary retreat at Birken until April 2015

Birken is pleased to announce that we have a new Silent-Sage-in-Residence!  Ajahn Sudanto, the Abbot of our brother monastery, Pacific Hermitage, has just joined us for a ten-month period of solitary retreat in silence and seclusion here at Birken.  If all goes well, he will be tucked away in solitude in his kuti until April 2015.  We ask that all visitors to Birken take special care to respect Ajahn Sudanto's seclusion during his stay.  If you happen to see him around the monastery or grounds, please kindly avoid all contact as a gesture of respect.  

Birken Closed for Private Ten-Day Retreat with Pacific Hermitage Sangha (May 11 - 20, 2014)

Please note that the monastery will be closed from May 11 - 20, 2014, while we are hosting a ten-day retreat for the Pacific Hermitage Sangha and community.  There will be no visits permitted during this time.  The Birken Office will re-open on May 21st.  Thank you!

Commemorating the End of Ajahn Sona's Year-Long Solitary Retreat: April 5th-6th Events at Birken

On April 5th, the day that marks his 60th birthday, Ajahn Sona will formally end his year-long solitary retreat and the monastery will return to its regular schedule.  All friends and supporters are invited to visit Birken during the weekend of April 5 - 6 to pay respects to Ajahn Sona and join in the serene celebrations.  Overnight stays will be permitted as of April 1st; please note that space will be limited and priority for overnight bookings will be given to long-term friends and supporters during the first week of April.  Everyone (including newcomers) is welcome to visit for the day events taking place on April 5 - 6.  

We are also pleased to announce that bookings are now open for the early Spring period.  As the monastery is still currently in Winter Retreat mode, we will only be taking bookings for the period of April 1 - May 9 at the moment.  The full calendar for 2014 (including Scheduled Retreats at Birken and in other cities) will be posted in April, at which time bookings will open for the rest of May through December.

Please visit our VISITS page for more information on events taking place over the April 5-6 weekend and bookings guidelines for the period of April 1 - May 9, 2014.  

We look forward to welcoming our beloved teacher, Ajahn Sona, back from his year of quiet contemplation and to welcoming all of you to Birken for a visit sometime soon!  

Notice: Birken's 2013 AGM to be held on Aug. 28, 2013

Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery's 2013 Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on Wed. Aug. 28th 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!

Bhante Rahula's Visit to B.C. - November 2013

“Meditation – The Body/Mind Connection”
Bhante Yogavacara Rahula's  Events in British Columbia
November 2–23, 2013 – Vancouver, Kelowna & Birken Forest Monastery

We are pleased to announce that Bhante Yogavacara Rahula, a senior monk in the Theravada forest tradition, will be visiting British Columbia in November 2013 and will be leading public events and retreats in Vancouver, Kelowna as well as at Birken.

...For information on Bhante Rahula's events in Vancouver and Kelowna, please visit:

...*Registration is now open* for Bhante Rahula's 10-day "Mindfulness Meditation with Yoga" Retreat to be held at Birken (Nov. 8 - 17, 2013).  For more info. and details on how to register, please visit:

New YouTube Channel Features Video Talks by Ajahn Sona

During the period of Ajahn Sona's year-long solitary retreat (April 2013 - April 2014), Birken will be uploading a new series of video talks from our 2013 Winter Retreat.  Starting in early June 2013, a new talk will be posted approximately every two weeks so that our many friends and supporters can stay connected to Ajahn and continue to benefit from his teachings throughout his year of seclusion.  

Kamloops Daily News Article Features Ajahn Sona

Kamloops Buddhist Monk Teaches Path to the Simple Life
By Sylvie Paillard, Daily News Staff Reporter
Kamloops Daily News, January 21, 2013

(following a monthly 'Birken in Kamloops' talk at Let's Move Yoga Studio)

When asked to explain why his disciples always looked cheerful, the Buddha said: "They have no regret over the past, nor do they brood over the future.  They live in the present, therefore they are radiant." The comment made thousands of years ago could have been about Ajahn Sona"...

Read the complete article...


Northwest Dharma News Features Interview with Ajahn Sona

"A Year of Living Peacefully:  Ajahn Sona's Upcoming Solitary Retreat"
Interview with Ajahn Sona
Dec. 2012 edition of Northwest Dharma News

"Somehow I hope that my students, and even those who read this article, will benefit from the mere idea that somebody is in peaceful seclusion for a year.  Somehow I hope that you can keep this image in your mind and even visit me in your mind as I sit peacefully and quietly in my kuti.  Somehow I hope that the image of one who is peaceful, who is devoting day and night to the cultivation of deep stillness, can come to your aid in the middle of a frantic day."

Read the complete article...