Issue 11: Successful 2019 Visit and Exciting News for 2020

A Successful Visit and Exciting News for 2020

We invite you to reflect on the joy and goodness that has arisen from the May 2019 visit of Wat Metta monks Than Peter and Than Tim. The monks, organizers and participants enjoyed the experience. We are grateful for the opportunity to be able to host Buddhist monks on Vancouver Island.

Highlights of the monks’ visit:

  • Sunrise meditations on a grassy knoll near the rental property in Metchosin, BC.

  • Several visits to East Sooke Park where they experienced very favourable conditions for their meditation practice.

  • A two-day camping trip to Sombrio Beach complete with west coast rain conditions and sightings of minks and otters. (Photos)

  • A visit to Avatar Grove and Botanical Beach.

  • A tour of downtown Victoria, downtown Sidney, and an ocean-side meditation at Trafalgar Park.

  • Four Saturday dana meal offerings in Victoria - 33 participants from Victoria, North Saanich, Sooke, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, Falkland, Vernon, and Washington state.

  • Opportunity to meditate with the monks and ask Than Peter questions at the Saturday dana offering.

  • Meal offerings at the Metchosin rental property - 14 participants.

  • Dana meal offering at Chon Tong Thai Restaurant, Sidney, BC - 8 participants.

  • Dana meal offering in Sooke - 10 participants.

  • Four stewards who ably provided support for the monks.

    • Thank you to Brock Brown, John Jordan, Russ Callaghan and Norvin Cuentes.

  • Many volunteers who gladly helped with driving, bringing food, cleaning up after the dana meals.

Budget

The budget for the 2019 visit included costs for the monks’ travel, health insurance, property rental, food and other requisites.

Total expenses for the May 2019 visit: $4767.59

The highest cost was $3,000 for the property rental.
A detailed budget is available upon request.

Aranya Refuge bank balance after expenses: $3781.53 CDN; $2427.98 USD

Generosity

Food expenses were lower than budgeted as a result of the generosity of the stewards and participants who donated groceries and meals for the monks at the Metchosin residence.

We also appreciated the financial donations to support the project. Special thanks to John Jordan for hosting the monks for the camping trip to Sombrio Beach.

Plans for 2020

We are honored and very happy that Ajaan Geoff has accepted our invitation to come for the month of May 2020. He will be accompanied by a second Wat Metta monk. Ajaan Geoff has also agreed to offer a teaching weekend, sponsored by the Victoria Insight Meditation Society, on May 23/24 2020.

Vision for the Future

While it is not yet clear if we will evolve to be more than a “pop-up” monastery, we hold the possibility for a hermitage on Vancouver Island for Wat Metta monks to practice and to share the dhamma with the lay community. To this end, organizers are taking steps to become a registered BC Society and are investigating becoming a Canadian charity.

For those inspired to support the Aranya Refuge project to continue, we welcome:

  • Financial contributions - see this page for ways to contribute

  • Participation in dana meal offerings at the rental property (May 2020)

  • Male drivers for bringing the monks to dana offerings (May 2020)

With appreciation,

Aranya Refuge Organizing Team

Jacqui Balfour
Brock Brown
Russ Callaghan
June Fukushima
John Jordan