2021 Photo Gallery

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Monastics Too Can Have Fun! – September

This month we took some time to rejuvenate and have fun on an outing to Priest Lake and to celebrate Ven. Chodron’s birthday.

Offering Service at Sravasti Abbey – September

Offering service to the Three Jewels in different ways is an essential part of everyday life at Sravasti Abbey. We clean the surrounding forest of overgrowth to protect it from fire and to support its health. We grow vegetables in our community garden, take care of the property’s infrastructure, and much more.

Labor Day Retreat 2021 – September

This year’s Labor Day weekend retreat focused on generosity, the first of the six paramitas. Ven. Chodron gave clear teachings on generosity from the book Nagarjuna on the Six Perfections and enriched each session with lots of stories.

More Ordination Pictures by Rev. Gen Heywood – August

Rev. Genevieve Heywood, pastor of the Veradale United Church of Christ in Spokane Valley, is a gifted and generous photographer. She brought her talents to capture the recent ordinations that took place at the Abbey.

Abbey Life in August

This month, we enjoyed the company of guests who helped us take care of the Abbey’s facilities and grounds. We connected with friends during Sharing the Dharma Day and offered a short weekend retreat with Ven. Sangye Khadro on mind and mental factors.

Exploring Monastic Life 2021 – August

Exploring Monastic Life is our annual program for Dharma practitioners wishing to explore monastic life. A daily schedule of meditations, teachings, discussions, and offering service provides participants the opportunity to discover their deepest aspirations and share them with others. This year, people participated both in-person and online.

Ordination Day – August

Ordination days are some of the most joyous times at the Abbey. On August 11, Venerable Thubten Chodron and the bhikshuni sangha ordained anagarika Nicole as Ven. Thubten Rinchen and Andrea from the Dharmadatta Nuns’ Community as Ven. Thubten Trinley. In addition, Stacy, Stephen, and Munsel (aka Sydney) took the eight precepts to begin their anagarika training. The ordination marked the end of this year’s Exploring Monastic Life retreat and gave participants a chance to witness this rare and meritorious event.

Abbey Life through Rev. Heywood’s Lens – August

Reverend Gen Heywood, pastor of the Veradale United Church of Christ and founder of Faith Leaders and Leaders of Conscience of Eastern Washington and North Idaho, is a close friend who visits us to photograph special events and daily Abbey life. She recently visited and took photos for a photojournalism article she is writing on spiritual communities. All photos courtesy Gen Heywood Photography.

Abbey Life – July

This month we welcomed many Dharma friends that we hadn’t seen since before Covid the lockdowns began. They brought lots of joy and support to help reorganize and clean out an office, stack firewood, and nourish flowers. We also reviewed our fire safety plan and supported Ven. Semkye with spreading the ashes of her dear sister Jane, who died three years ago. We thank all our volunteers for their immense kindness and support!

Medicine Buddha Retreat 2021 – July

The Medicine Buddha is a healer whose Dharma medicine addresses the root cause of suffering. We turn to Medicine Buddha when we are sick and when loved ones are ill or dying. This July, we had the opportunity to focus on the Medicine Buddha practice for one week to support the healing of others and ourselves. Ven. Chodron also continued giving commentary on Nagarjuna’s “Letter to a Friend,” containing advice to a king on how to improve his Dharma practice.

Sharing the Dharma Day – July

The community was thrilled to reopen the Abbey’s doors by celebrating a “hybrid” Sharing the Dharma Day in July. About 20 participants joined us in person and many others online via Vimeo Livestream and Zoom. Chenrezig Hall was full of joy as we reconnected with our friends and discussed the Dharma face-to-face.

Saying Goodbye to Our Old Log Cabin – June

In the beginning, Sravasti Abbey had only four buildings—Ananda Hall, a garage (converted into a Meditation Hall), a barn, and a small log garden shed. With a little work, the shed soon became a meditation cabin. It’s been the site for many personal retreats and preliminary practices, and has occasionally served as a bedroom. But now it’s gone, having been removed to make space for a new home for our teacher Venerable Sangye Khadro. We gave the cabin to a neighbor down the road, who stopped by with his family and friends to dismantle it.

Summer Courses, Retreats, and Much More – June

June has given us lots of opportunities to benefit our environment and serve all the beings that share our land. We finished building a woodshed, hosted an Exploring Buddhism course for young adults, received teachings on the mind, and did many other fun things.

Colors of Summer – June

Brilliant blue skies, fluffy white clouds, lush green meadows, and pink and purple blossoms invite beings of all kinds to enjoy the beauty of the Abbey’s spiritual and natural abundance.

A Lively Spring – June

These days, we are spending lots of time outside in the garden and forest. We were delighted to welcome a handful of fully vaccinated guests for an Offering Service Saturday after so many months of quarantine.

Good Karma Retreat with Ven. Thubten Chodron – June

For our annual Memorial Day Retreat, Ven. Chodron began teaching from Good Karma, her commentary on “The Wheel of Sharp Weapons” by Master Dharmarakshita. He wrote these verses on how to create the causes for happiness and avoid creating the causes for suffering centuries ago, but they are still applicable today.

An Active May

May brought a variety of activities, from building a new woodshed, to hosting a Sharing the Dharma Day and online teachings, to our Moving Day when all monastics change rooms. This annual practice helps us learn to let go and loosen attachment.

Wildflowers in May

The forests, meadows, and trails surrounding the Abbey are blooming with fresh flowers, green leaves, and tender needles. Stopping to look at the ground reveals a variety of wildflowers that are show-stoppingly beautiful, making our walks a feast of offerings to the buddhas and bodhisattvas.

It’s Blooming and Flourishing – May

May brings the community lots of opportunities to reach out to all sentient beings, not just by teaching the Dharma, but also by nurturing the garden and the forest. We are grateful to have this opportunity to study, practice, and benefit all kinds of beings.

Spring Activities at the Abbey – April

After a long winter, we now have many opportunities to go outside. Even our four-legged friends are using their outdoor “kitty condos” to watch the frogs and birds return. We joyously performed our annual Kathina ceremony and received the robe of merit.

Samsara, Nirvana, and Buddha Nature – April

In this five-day course, Venerable Chodron’s began teaching the third volume in the Library of Wisdom and Compassion series co-authored with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. About 100 participants joined, including residents and online listeners. Ven. Chodron did not shy away from presenting the reality of samsara by teaching us about the Four Truths of the Aryas. She will continue teaching from this volume on Friday nights. Go here to find the live and archived teachings

Abbey Life in Spring – April

Each spring brings magnificent skies, lots of sun, sweet smells, and animal mating calls to the Abbey. The community has begun to cultivate the gardens and put out the lawn furniture, while Ven. Chodron has offered a number of online teachings.

End of Retreat Celebrations – April

Abbey residents conclude Varsa, our annual monastic retreat, with the ceremony called Pravarana in which we invite feedback from fellow monastics to restore our precepts, promote harmony, and strengthen our commitment to the Dharma. Pravarana is one of the four main ceremonies that monastic communities are required to hold each a year.

Emerging from Winter Retreat – April

After a long winter retreat, we are slowly returning to our regular Abbey schedule with teachings, meetings, grounds care, and housekeeping. We welcome the upcoming months with joy and enthusiasm and look forward to benefiting sentient beings far and wide.

End of 3-Month Winter Retreat – March

It’s been a wonderful, full retreat, with five meditation sessions daily and times of offering service to support the retreat. We are grateful to all the supporters who made this possible and commit to repaying your kindness through our deepening practice and service. We dedicate our merit to the quick awakening of all sentient beings and are grateful to continue providing the Buddha’s teachings to students far and wide.

Early Signs of Spring – March

Early spring awakens nature and gives residents more opportunities to engage in various outdoor activities to benefit sentient beings..

Tara Retreat – March

We’re still in the middle of our winter Green Tara retreat. Over the weeks the community has been going deeper into our minds and hearts. We celebrated the Day of Miracles by taking the eight Mahayana precepts and reciting all of our monastic precepts. The days have been in silence otherwise, very serene and very peaceful.

Nature’s Beauty in Winter – February

After a very mild winter, we finally had some good snow storms recently. During the winter months, we offer the local wildlife food and protection. The generosity of giving safety and food is one of the six far-reaching practices of bodhisattvas.

Retreat Life During Winter – February

During the annual winter retreat, Abbey residents connect deeply with the Dharma in order to transform our minds. This year, we are focusing on Tara’s swift compassion, trying to cultivate her qualities in order to benefit all sentient beings. We are also purifying our body, speech and mind from non-virtuous deeds done in this and previous lives. This is a rare and precious opportunity and we are grateful to all those who make this retreat possible.

Lunar New Year Celebration – February

On February 13, we celebrated Lunar New Year with a Cittamani Tara puja requested by students from Singapore and Malaysia. The event was streamed online. It was a happy and inspiring occasion as we celebrated with each other and with Arya Tara.

Winter’s Glory – February

Sparkling snowfalls and stunning sunrises and sunsets provide a beautiful backdrop to our winter retreat. We’re in silence, but friendly wildlife keeps us company between meditation sessions.

Winter Retreat Life – January

Winter retreat is a special time for Abbey residents to reconnect with the most nourishing aspects of their practice. This year, half of the community offers service to keep the Abbey running, while the other half is devoted to “strict” retreat. Then, halfway through the three-month timeframe, our roles will switch. Most residents are doing the Green Tara practice, while some are doing refuge, mandala, and prostration ngondros (preliminary practices) or deity retreats.

Dharma Pets – January

Our pets are important Dharma companions along the spiritual path. With each exchange of affection, we plant the seeds of love and compassion in each other’s mindstreams that will help us become buddhas. May we always have friendly companions along the path to awakening!

New Year’s Vajrasattva Retreat – January

A record 164 people participated in the 2021 New Year’s Vajrasattva Retreat, our most popular retreat held online this year. After all, what better way to bring in a new year than letting go of our regrets, making amends, and recommitting to our deepest values?

Entering Varsa – January

Varsa—the annual three-month monastic retreat—is one of the rites the Buddha stipulated for a functioning monastic community. The Abbey’s annual varsa coincides with our winter meditation retreat. It’s a time for community meditation, study, and deepening in the Dharma. This year’s varsa includes 12 fully ordained nuns (bhikshunis), one fully ordained monk, and four shiksamanas—nuns in training for full ordination.

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692 Country Lane
Newport WA 99156 USA
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