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 will launch a new generation of the Upāsikā program that will be completely online.
Registration for the 2021 Birken Upāsikā Online Training Program is now open. Please visit the Birken Online Upāsikā Program page for program details, eligibility and requirements, and for a link to the online application form.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: October 31, 2020.
Questions about the Birken Online Upāsikā Training Program may be directed to Upāsikā Piyadassī, Birken Upāsikā Program Coordinator, at email@example.com