2023 Photo Gallery

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Buddha Hall – December

The outside of the Buddha Hall is almost finished, which is fortunate given the weather conditions. While the site is quieter, work is still buzzing on the inside.

Teaching Across Asia – December

Venerable Chodron’s Asia teaching tour, supported by Venerable’s Damcho and Konchog, has been packed full of enthusiasm for the Dharma. From meeting dedicated and eager practitioners In Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia, all the way to meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India, each connection made along the way has been treasured.

Kindness of Others – December

At the Abbey, it’s not hard to recognize the surrounding kindness and to feel gratitude arise for sentient beings. Here’s a look at some of the ways we’ve witnessed small and large acts of kindness in our daily life recently.

Lama Tsongkhapa Day – December

On December 7th we celebrated Lama Tsongkhapa day, commemorating his exceptional attainments and achievements illuminating Buddha’s teachings. We practice in his tradition at the Abbey. We rejoice at the amazing opportunity to learn from his teachings and practice in his footsteps. Here’s a look at how we celebrated.

Easing Into Retreat – December

Winter has finally arrived as we transition into slowing down and stilling our minds to begin our one-month retreat. We now have the opportunity to deepen our refuge in the Three Jewels and contemplate the Four Noble Truths. Reflecting on refuge seems to be the perfect segue for us given the interesting samsaric challenges that have arisen this past year.

Entering Varsa – November

The Abbey community is grateful that we have the fortune to enter our winter Varsa, the annual three month monastic retreat. During Varsa, we focus on community harmony as we deepen our study and practice. The beautiful rituals for entering this retreat period come through centuries of tradition going back to the Buddha himself. Here’s a look at how we live this tradition.

A Cleansing Nyung Ne – November

Guests from near and far came to join us in a beautiful and powerful back-to-back Nyung Ne retreat this year, where we spent four days fasting, purifying, prostrating, and praising Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion.

Beautiful Buddha Hall – November

Work continues on the Buddha Hall: inside and outside, above and below ground. With more sheetrock in place, the main hall is particularly impressive. We are very pleased that the roof ornaments are fully assembled and look forward to their installation on the Buddha Hall.

Sharing the Dharma Worldwide – November

While the Abbey community continues our search for Geshe Chodrak, the Dharma is still being shared across the world. Vens. Chodron, Damcho, and Konchog began their two-month teaching tour in Asia by making connections, reuniting with old friends, and sharing the Dharma in Seattle and in Singapore. Check out the first leg of their journey below.

Mindfulness at Work – October

It’s that time of year again where we prepare for winter, harvest apples, and clean up the grounds. Guests come to offer service, monastics continue to spread the Dharma in many ways, and we do our best to do it all with mindfulness!

Windows and Walls for the Buddha Hall – October

Many subcontractors have worked on the Buddha Hall this month, rapidly advancing different aspects of the building. Every day we can better appreciate the beauty of this building, and how we will be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area from the building.

20th Anniversary Celebration! – October

October 17 marks 20 years since Sravasti Abbey’s founding, when one determined nun, Venerable Chodron, and two fluffy cats, Achala and Manjushri, moved in. Since then, the Abbey has grown remarkably, thanks to the kindness of countless people—grown terms of its monastics, its number of buildings, and even its number of cats! At the anniversary celebration, friends and residents remembered, reflected, honored and celebrated the Abbey’s growth and its meaningful influence on the lives of so many.

Abbey Life – October

While summer comes to an end, a beautiful new fall starts to emerge! And with a recent community outbreak of Covid, residents take the time to slow down, heal, and enjoy the nature outside their windows. We offer some service, guests come and go, and the roof ornaments come to life.

Meet Our Three New Siksamanas – September

Amazingly, just two weeks after our wildfire evacuation from the Abbey, we were able to come home and hold our ordination as planned. Our monastic aspirants—Munsel and Dronsel—officially went forth from the household life into the homeless life. Ven. Karya from the Dharmadatta Nuns Community also joined in to take the siksamana trainings. All three nuns aim to benefit many many beings! Here is a look at the ordination’s beautiful unfolding. Photos are by Gen Heywood Photography.

Buddha Hall Progress – September

Wow, what progress has occurred in the past month! Retaining walls have been built, shingles put on the roof, and stucco work has begun on the upper floor. More of the “guts” of the building are complete, which will soon be hidden behind sheetrock or under soil.

Holy Objects for the Buddha Hall – September

The newly framed Taras made a brief appearance in the Cherenzig Hall dining room before being packed and safely stored until the Tara Room is completed. And at last, the shipment of the exquisitely-crafted traditional ornaments arrived from Nepal! A pair of deer, a Dharma wheel, and three traditional Tibetan spires called ganjira will be installed on the Buddha Hall roof when it is ready. Read more >

Labor Day Retreat – September

We were delighted to have friends from near and far join us for Geshe Chodrak’s retreat on the perfection of ethics.

A Wildfire Evacuation – September

On August 18th, during a very hot, dry, and windy Friday afternoon, some community members spotted a huge plume of smoke 4-5 miles behind the Abbey. We were just about to start part 3 of the Working with Afflictive Minds Retreat, when we were told the fire was headed in the direction of the Abbey and we had to evacuate immediately. This resulted in the massive Oregon Road fire, which has decimated hundreds of homes and structures. Here’s a look at what happened:

Chenrezig Retreat – August

We just spent a beautiful week infusing our minds and hearts with the energy of Chenrezig, the Buddha of Compassion. Venerable Sangye Khadro enthusiastically shared detailed instructions on how to generate bodhicitta, love, and compassion. Community members took turns leading uplifting meditations and facilitating insightful group discussions.

Buddha Hall Midsummer Progress – August

The teacher’s wing has quickly progressed and more infrastructure is in place. With the hot weather, it is fortunate that much of the work is happening in the shaded and cool interior of the building. The construction crew arrives before dawn to minimize the work done in the heat.

Shravasti Varsa Begins – August

The International Mahayana Bhikshuni Varsa, taking place in historic Shravasti, India, has begun! Venerables Chonyi and Damcho have played a role in training the nuns in the varsa rituals, including the chanting. Read more about this historic event and Sravasti Abbey’s role in it here and here.

A Quick Stopover In Singapore – August

Venerable Damcho gave Dharma talks and held retreats while traveling through Singapore on her way to the Sravasti Bhikshuni Varsa in India.

End of Exploring Monastic Life 2023 – July

We’ve come to the end of a very enriching three-week Exploring Monastic Life (EML) course. The participants – including junior Abbey monastics, anagarikas, and three guests – gave sincere thought to monastic aspirations and ideals and received teachings from our three teachers. We also participated in lively discussions, offered service in myriad ways, and acted out hilarious skits to help us laugh at ourselves.

Our Beautiful Buddha Hall – July

One year after the ground breaking ceremony, construction is really flying. With much of the overall structure now finished, we are starting to see the beautiful details of the future temple.

Exploring Monastic Life 2023 – July

We’re halfway into our three-week Exploring Monastic Life (EML) program this year. It’s been a small and lovely group! Participants receive teachings, discuss in groups, offer service together, have meditation class, and get an overall feel for what it means to live a monastic way of life.

Sakyadhita Conference in Seoul, Korea – July

Venerable Samten represented Sravasti Abbey at the 18th International Sakyadhita Conference, a gathering of Buddhist women held this year in Seoul, South Korea. Along with Ven. Jampa, who is now living in Germany, they presented a workshop on Monastic Training for Buddhist Nuns. They enjoyed meeting with and learning from more than 3000 conference participants in this beautiful country with deep Buddhist roots. These photos offer a small taste of the warmth and vibrancy of an inspiring week-long event. See more images at Sakyadhita18 on Instagram. Watch Ven. Samten’s Bodhisattvas Breakfast Corner summary here.

Abbey Life – July

Many guests, CPR training, interfaith meet-ups, Offering Service Saturday fun, a beautiful one-day retreat, community celebrations, and sweet July heat have filled our days here at the Abbey. It’s our busy season, and the opportunities to benefit are many!

Reaching Out & Making a Difference – June

We’re rejoicing in all the Abbey outreach that has happened this month! Community members volunteer at a cat shelter, two Theravada monks come up to learn about community building, Kuni and her lovely staff offer lunch, we have a beautiful one-day retreat, and so much more that goes on behind the scenes.

Buddha Hall Progress On All Sides – June

We’ve watched the Buddha Hall quickly transform during June, with even more machinery and kind construction workers on site. With most of the roof trusses installed (more photos here and here), the outline of the whole building is now visible. The crew has installed all the glass windows in the lower floor and begun applying stucco. The cement footings for the adjacent guest teacher’s quarters have been poured. There is even activity all over the property now. Metta Cabin—the future residence for Venerable Sangye Khadro—has also had its footings poured. Our beloved upper meadow is now being prepared for the geothermal installation.

Young Adults Explore Buddhism – June

Our Young Adults Explore Buddhism retreat flew by this year, again! It was such a joy to be around such enthusiastic, friendly, exuberant, and inspired young friends and to be able to share the Dharma with them. This past week we learned meditation, were given teachings, held discussion groups, and connected in so many ways by offering service to the Three Jewels.

Abbey Life – June

The Dharma is lovely and flourishing here, and we’re so grateful that it is! Lately we connected with new and old friends, enjoyed the great outdoors, held Sharing the Dharma Day, and we’ve kept on offering service day-in and day-out to anyone who can benefit from it.

Memorial Day Retreat – June

Every Memorial Day weekend we hold a big three-day retreat on Venerable Chodron’s book, Good Karma. With a turn-out of nearly 50 people, residents and guests received teachings, guided meditations, and discussed in groups how to create the causes of future happiness and prevent the causes of future suffering. All of us had the chance to reflect on the impact of our actions, so that we can make more skillful choices that lead to happiness.

Buddha Hall’s Second Floor Comes to Life! – May

Buddha Hall progress is steady and well-underway. This past month we’ve seen more upper floor concrete pours and framings, and lots of structural fill. Check out how the Buddha Hall continues to take shape in photos below. Watch Ven. Samten’s short video, A Landmark Day on the Buddha Hall Site.

Our Growing Sangha – May

The Abbey welcomes two new monks into our community—Venerable Thubten Gyatso and Venerable Thubten Konchog! How wonderful that the sangha of both nuns and monks is growing at the Abbey, where diversity, equality, and harmony go hand-in-hand. The Dharma continuously touches the hearts and minds of people, leading some to dedicate their lives to liberation and awakening. Here’s a look into the recent ordination, our day of celebration.

Abbey Life – May

May has given us a chance to spend quality time with friends and sangha members! We played (i.e. offered service) in the woods and rolled mantra on Offering Service Saturday, spent a day out at our friend Kuni’s and a local park, and worked around the clock to share the Dharma with sentient beings.

Peaceful Living, Peaceful Dying Retreat – May

Who knew a day and a half of meditation and teachings on death could be so meaningful! Venerable Sangye Khadro led the Peaceful Living, Peaceful Dying retreat again this year. Guests and residents benefited so much from reflecting deeply on the transient nature of our own lives and the natural world we live in.

Buddha Hall Bonanza – April

We’re still floored by the painstaking work of the Buddha Hall workers, and how the temple is shaping out more and more each day to be what we envision. This month has seen concrete pours, setting of more Faswall blocks, huge window and door framings, and beautiful views from the newly completed second floor.