Visit - May 2018

Issue 5: Successful inaugural monastic visit and 2019 Plans


The Aranya Refuge Project’s inaugural visit of Wat Metta monks on Vancouver Island for the month of May 2018 was a success!

Than Will and Than Saulo spent their time on personal retreat at the home of Piriya and David Nowak in Maple Bay, B.C.  It was a pleasure for everyone involved to support the monks with their sincere dedication to the Dhamma-Vinaya.

For half of the month, Piriya and David provided steward support for the monks. For the other half of the month, Piriya and David travelled away from their home, and Brock Brown from Victoria, BC stayed at the house to be the steward.

On Saturdays, visitors travelled to Maple Bay and offered a dana meal. Visitors from six cities came to one or more of the Saturday dana meals. Following the meal, the group listened to a recorded guided meditation from Ajaan Geoff. After meditating, there was time for the monks and visitors to learn a little more about each other. 

The monks were also invited to two dana meals, one in Vancouver and one in Victoria. As well, they were invited on an outing to explore the southern shore of Vancouver Island. A highlight while travelling in the car was seeing a black bear!


Ajaan Geoff is in favour of the Aranya Refuge Project continuing. We have extended an invitation for two monks to return in May 2019. 

For 2019, we are looking to rent a suitable place that has access to forested areas where the monks will be able to meditate in solitude. We would like the location to be within an hour’s drive of Victoria. We will continue with food offerings and a meditation on Saturdays. In addition, people can offer food on other days of the week

How to Get Involved
Open Meeting on July 29th  - Noon

You are invited to a meeting on Sunday July 29th at Noon.
Place: Brock and June’s home - 4013 Magdelin St. Victoria
Come learn about plans for the future, and to see how you might wish to be involved.

Please RSVP to  A light lunch will be offered.

If you cannot come to the meeting and have information about  a suitable home to rent for the May 2019 visit, please be in touch.  Or if you would like to offer dana meals on weekdays in May 2019, please let us know so we can get a sense of how many are available to contribute in this way.

Financial Contributions
Expenses for the monks’ visit included airline tickets, baggage fees, travel insurance and food. We were able to cover the cost of all these expenses from donations made to Aranya Refuge.

We are happy to share financial records for anyone wishing to view the contributions and expenses.

Should you wish to offer financial dana for the Aranya Refuge project, please go here for more information.

Please also know that contributions to Wat Metta can be made directly to the monastery.

AR Project Team

Brock Brown - President
David Nowak - Vice President
Jacqui Balfour - Treasurer
June Fukushima - Secretary
Piriya Nowak - Director

Kiko Brown - Bookkeeper
John Jordan - Website and Newsletter
Lex Acker - Steward Support


Issue 4: Update on the visit by the Monks of Wat Metta

Anumodana to all who have made it possible for Than Will and Than Saulo to be on retreat on Vancouver Island.

Both monks have settled with ease at the home of Piriya and David Nowak in Maple Bay, BC.
Mount Tzouhalem trails are just behind the house. As Thai Forest monks, they welcome the opportunity to walk daily in the forest.  The monks are well supported by Stewards Piriya, David and Brock.

Visitors have come on Saturdays to offer food and to meditate with the monks.

On Saturday, May 12th, participants came from five communities: Nanaimo, Victoria, Sooke, Salt Spring Island and Seattle.  We rejoice in everyone’s wholesome efforts!

There are three more opportunities to offer a dana meal to the Wat Metta monks while they are on Vancouver Island:

Maple Bay (10 min from downtown Duncan)

  • Saturday May 19
  • Saturday May 26

Victoria (Gordon Head neighbourhood)
Home of Brock Brown and June Fukushima
Easily accessible by the 27/28 busses.

  • May 29 - Vesak

Food offerings are at 11 am.  Arrive before 10:45 am.

If you cannot make it to the food offering, you are welcome to join the monks for the meditation gathering around 1 pm.

Please contact us at to receive addresses and further details.

Please also let us know if you have room to drive someone, as we have people who would like to attend but do not have access to a vehicle.

We wish you good health and happiness.

The Aranya Refuge team

Piriya Nowak
David Nowak
Jacqui Balfour
Brock Brown
June Fukushima
Kiko Brown
John Jordan