2022 Birken Online Upāsikā Program:
Registration is Now Open
Welcoming Applicants from Around the World
For over 2,500 years, the four-fold assembly of Buddhist monks, nuns, laywomen and laymen have closely supported each other on the Buddha’s path to liberation. The Pali term “upāsikā” (laywoman) or “upāsaka” (layman) can be translated as “one who sits close by”. It has come to refer to dedicated lay Buddhist practitioners who join with monastics in the practice of the Dhamma and who commit to follow the Three Refuges and Five Precepts.
Building on the models established at other Western monasteries in the Ajahn Chah Thai Forest Tradition lineage, Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery (‘Birken’) established the Birken Upāsikā Program for Dedicated Lay Practitioners in 2015 to provide a formal training structure for lay people to practice and study together under the mentorship of Ajahn Sona (with over 30 years in the robes, he is now referred to as ‘Luang Por’ (‘Venerable Father’) by his closest disciples – a traditional honorific for senior monks of the Thai Forest Tradition) and in close relationship with the monastery.
Graduates of the three earlier initiate training sessions, which included an onsite gathering component at Birken monastery, will be known as Alumni Upāsikās. Beginning in 2021 we launched a new generation of the Upāsikā training program that will now be completely online.
Applications are now being accepted for the
2022 Birken Online Upāsikā Program
Please visit the Birken Online Upāsikā Program webpage for program details, eligibility and requirements, and a link to the online application form.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 30, 2021
Questions about the Birken Online Upāsikā Program may be directed to Upāsikā Piyadassī, Birken Upāsikā Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org