Since 2015 Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery (‘Birken’) has offered the Birken Upāsikā Program for Dedicated Lay Practitioners as a formal training structure for lay people to practice and study together under the mentorship of Ajahn Sona. Over the past seven years, four Upāsikā groups have completed the one year training program, while the fifth group will be concluding their studies at the end of 2022.
The current Birken Online Upāsikā Program represents the final group in our Upāsikā training program. Once they have finished their current training, there will be nearly 225 Graduate Upāsikās who will continue their training independent of Ajahn Sona’s instruction.
What began as a bold experiment to share the Buddha’s teachings with a small group of lay people in North America has culminated in an expansive expression of commitment to the Dhamma from Upāsikās and Upāsakas in nearly 30 different countries. We wish to express our boundless gratitude to Ajahn Sona for his vision in moving the program forward, and for his unwavering kindness, generosity, and wisdom over these many years. Anumodana!
For those of you interested in studying under Ajahn Sona’s guidance, please see his YouTube Channel for an extensive library of Dhamma teachings for all levels of Buddhist practitioners.