During the Buddha’s time, he established a unique and radical relationship between the monastics and the lay community, which continues today in the Theravadan tradition. The monastic code requires the ordained Sangha to live in dependence upon the laity for all their physical needs. Monks and nuns do not grow or prepare their own food, and they can only accept food that is freely offered by laypeople. This tradition has been successfully implemented for more than 2500 years.
Offering food to the monks provides an opportunity to visit with monks and historically, this is the traditional time to visit a monastery, ask questions and consult with the monastics.
After the meal, the monks are available for discussion and consultation. At 1 PM, the monks return to their hermitage schedule.
Multiple people may offer a meal. You might like to prepare and offer a meal with a group of friends. Also, even if someone has already signed up on the calendar to offer a meal, you are more than welcome to offer dana, too. Just inform the Dana Coordinator of your plans.
Some people may wish to offer a meal on a regular basis. If you want to schedule a meal offering on the same day each week or month, let the Dana Coordinator know and she will put your name on the calendar for those additional days.
The meal is offered at 11:00 am. Please prepare (or purchase) the meal in advance and plan to arrive at the hermitage by 10:30 am. There will be half an hour to reheat food or apply the finishing touches on your meal at the hermitage. The monastic code requires that they finish their meal by midday.
Three monks live at the hermitage. Please remember that the monks eat only one meal each day. The meal itself can be simple.
Because the monastic code prohibits monks from cooking or storing food, please take home any food left after the meal.
Daily the monks walk on alms-round in the town of White Salmon. This traditional monastic practice offers an opportunity for local members of the community to connect with the monks and offer support to sustain the monks for their daily meal.
Their monastic rule forbids them from accepting or using money.
For more information contact the dana coordinator or the monks at the hermitage.