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Tisarana Blog

Occasional reports from the resident community

CANCELLATION – LPV’s 75th birthday celebrations, May 15th 2022 at Civitan Hall.

We regret to announce that our May 15th public gathering to celebrate Visakha Puja and Luang Por Viradhammo’s 75th birthday has been CANCELLED

Most of the residents at Tisarana have tested positive for Covid-19 and are self-isolating. Fortunately, the symptoms are generally proving to be quite mild. Nevertheless, we have decided it is prudent to cancel the gathering based on the several considerations: 

  1. Rising numbers in the GTA and Ottawa areas
  2. Health and safety of all attendees
  3. Risk of reinfection to residents.

We thank you for your patience and cooperation as we act in the best interests of our community and society.… Read the rest

Covid 19 protocols are back in effect.

Dear friends & supporters,

Unfortunately, some of our community members have tested +ve for Covid 19 this morning. The good news is that their symptoms are not too bad and as we’ve been told, this variant is more communicable than harmful.

In order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents as well as our larger community, we have cancelled all overnight guest visits until further notice. Day visitors are requested to remain outdoors as we would like to restrict entry into the house.

We’d gratefully receive dana at the table outside the front door as we used to in the past. At the moment, we have only one resident who can enter the kitchen, cook and handle food for the residents.

Once everyone tests -ve and the required amount of time has passed, we will reopen to overnight visitors and restart the New Guest Orientations. Please note that the Orientation Weekend scheduled for May 6th has now been cancelled.

As always, we thank you for your patience, understanding, support and friendship.… Read the rest

Luang Por Viradhammo’s 75th birthday celebrations

Dear friends & supporters of Tisarana,

You are cordially invited to join us as we celebrate Luang Por Viradhammo’s 75th birthday on Sunday, May 15th, 2022 at the Civitan Hall in Perth, ON, which serendipitously coincides with Visākha Pūjā.

This will be one of our larger gatherings after a long break due to Covid as we celebrate Luang Por Viradhammo’s 75th birthday and as we honour his long-standing service as an Elder of the Ajahn Chah Sangha. This year’s Vassāvāsa (Rains Retreat) will mark the completion of his 49 years as a Bhikkhu and a full five decades in robes as he was a Sāmanera a year prior to his ordination.

We will be delighted if you could join us as we pay homage, conveying our love and respect for Luang Por Viradhammo’s decades of selflessness, Dhamma teaching and spiritual friendship.

While we hope that this celebration would be festive, the safety and health of all those gathered are of primary importance. The event will be held indoors with ample space for distancing. We request that participants keep their masks on for the duration of the event and while indoors. Free parking is also available on the premises.… Read the rest

New Guest Orientation Weekends 2022

We are delighted to announce the resumption of our New Guest Orientation Weekends. This is a great opportunity to welcome new guests for an overnight visit and to experience life at Tisarana.

Please refer to dates on our calendar.

Please note that those registering are required to attend for the full duration – arriving on a Friday afternoon and departing on the following Monday morning. … Read the rest

End of Year Reflections (2021) by Ajahn Pavaro

Another round of seasons at Tisarana. The quiet, open space of the previous winter retreat is long past; subsequent seasons have been filled with regular pujas and Sangha gatherings, daily chores, needed kuti repairs, cabinetry, and numerous planning meetings for our prospective Dhamma Hall. Especially since mid-August (when a public ceremony marked the Hall’s formal site clearing) more folks have arrived for visits. It’s been a pleasure to see people’s full faces again and to share in their appreciation for rejoining the Tisarana Sangha, and one another, in person.

Now it’s December 25th. My day has begun by sitting with the community, as Luang Por Viradhammo leads a meditation session, and responds to questions over Zoom from students in distant Singapore. While listening to Luang Por, from time to time my awareness gathers elsewhere. The theme of my delinquent morning attention? Ingmar Bergman’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Watching the film in lay life for many years on Boxing Day has rendered it, seemingly indelibly, into the mood of the season for me. After all, this is a season redolent with perception and memory, even within our rich Buddhist environment. (As further demonstrations, a festive little tree stands near the food-offering area; today’s meal will include shortbread and fruit cake.)… Read the rest

2021 Kathina Announcement

This year’s monastic Rains Retreat, marking another ‘year in the robes’ for Bhikkhus at Tisarana Buddhist Monastery, will end on October 21st. Traditionally, what follows is a month-long period during which a ‘Kathina cloth’ may be offered by lay supporters. This has long been a beloved event in Buddhist cultures, one arranged in advance by the donors. On the day it is offered, some of this cloth is dyed and sewn by the resident Sangha, and presented to one of the monks before the following dawn.

For many reasons – both ancient and altogether contemporary – Kathina is a truly auspicious day of the annual monastic calendar, and one in which gratitude and blessings abound.

This year’s Kathina is being offered by the Royal Thai Embassy, Ottawa, on October 31st.

Covid protocols currently in place for outdoor public gatherings are restricted to 25 people. Therefore our formal Kathina ceremony on the 31st  will be restricted to the Embassy staff and their families. 

However, in what remains of the Kathina month (until Nov 21, 2021), groups of 25 people or less are invited to join the Tisarana community for the meal and to make offerings if they wish. Those seeking to do so are requested to please email the Tisarana Office in advance, to ensure that groups don’t exceed the maximum number.… Read the rest

Important Zoom Update

Going forward, we will be unable to send out Zoom reminders before each individual public teaching event. All event and login details are posted on our public calendar. Please see the website calendar (at the bottom of homepage) to see the teaching dates with the Zoom details, make sure to click on the event to see the details. Thank you for your patience and understanding.… Read the rest

Reflection on Winter Retreat 2021 from Richard

Signs of spring are making themselves felt. The early birds have started arriving, showering us with
their multiple calls and exhibiting their mating dances. The sun now feels quite warm, even on days
where the air is cold. The snow is all gone; the coyote and deer are free to roam unconstrained by their
narrow trails. Hello, I am Richard. I have been a steward at Tisarana for the past two years. Luang por
Viradhammo has invited me to write a blog entry about the winter retreat.
Every year the community at Tisarana works hard to maintain and further establish the monastery,
doing so both on the grounds and in the offices. The winter retreat is thus set aside expressly to provide
an opportunity away from these duties in order to focus on meditation. The winter retreat is quite quiet
both in terms of routine and nature that surrounds us. The pace, with its daily work period, already
begins to slow down as the cold weather arrives. And so, very naturally the monastery settles into the
long wintery quietness of retreat, like the first dusting of snow gently falling to the ground. In order to
relieve the monastic community from their mundane duties yet keeping the monastery functional, a lay
retreat crew is invited to serve on the retreat.… Read the rest

Ajahn Pavaro’s Reflections on 2020

Reflections on 2020

Ajahn Pavaro

December at Tisarana. Each day we walk by the deer in their thickened fur – the does with their observant young, foraging on grass and congregating at the salt lick near our main buildings. The Canada geese have now flown South with their happy racket. Only a few hardy species of birdlife remain, like the chickadees with their pinprick eyes, darting between the low bushes to feeders we fill for the simple pleasure of seeing them thrive.

I’ve now been at Tisarana for half a year; it’s my first Canadian winter after living in Thailand for nine years. Each morning’s community meeting contains a brief weather update – seldom a pressing matter in S.E. Asia. Since returning my supply of clothing and footwear has tripled. Snow has come and gone… and come and gone, and come. Almost without noticing, my acquaintance has returned with the crackle of ice underfoot, the moods of a wood stove, and the uncanny compaction of sound in dense cold.

Yet for all the differences, living as a bhikkhu in this tradition ensures a fair continuity of purpose and practice, something that differing weather, and alterations of flora and fauna, do not disrupt.… Read the rest