Right Effort

sammāvāyāmo / sammappadhānāni


Meditation Retreat at


May 1 - 15, 2019

The application period to join this retreat has ended. Ajahn Sudanto will decide on the participant list and an email will go out the week of January 14, 2019 to all those who applied.

You can still apply to get on the waitlist.

The theme for this year's retreat is Right Effort. In the language spoken by the Buddha (Pali), right effort is sammāvāyāmo or sammappadhānāni (right exertion), and is part of the Noble Eightfold Path.

Learn more about what the Buddha said on Right Effort.

The retreat will take place at Birken Forest Monastery ('Sitavana'), a Canadian Theravada Buddhist monastery following the Thai forest tradition of Ajahn Chah. The monastery is located south of Kamloops, British Columbia, amidst trees, near ponds and lakes, and with access to many forest trails. Read more about the monastery here.

There is no cost to attend. Like Pacific Hermitage, Birken Forest Monastery is supported solely through the generous donations from the lay community.

Join this retreat by applying here. The application period is from November 1 - December 31, 2018.

One week or two weeks?

You can apply to stay for one or both weeks.

  • Week #1 (May 1 to 8) - Arrive the evening of May 1 and depart early May 8.
  • Week #2 (May 8 to 15) - Arrive the evening of May 8 and depart early May 15.
  • Both Weeks (May 1 to 15) - Arrive the evening of May 1 and depart early May 15.

What's the retreat like?

A typical retreat day at Birken is something like the following. You’ll receive the final schedule when you arrive.

Morning: Meditation begins at 5:30 am, then there is breakfast, chores, and time for sitting or walking meditation, or exploring the surrounding roads and trails.

Mid-day: Main Meal at about 11:00 am

Afternoon: More free time, sitting or walking meditation, then late afternoon optional interview with Ajahn Sona and tea time question and answer period with Ajahn Sudanto.

Evening: Group meditation at 7:00 pm, followed with a Dhamma talk by Ajahn Sona.


Almost everyone is a little apprehensive about going to their first retreat, wondering if they’re really up for it, will be able to handle it, etc.

Reach out to the retreat coordinator (chevy) with questions by emailing retreat@pacifichermitage.org.

Please do not contact Birken Forest Monastery as they have limited stewards and time to devote to questions.