Study Program at Birken Monastery with Ajahn Sona

Ajahn Sona at Birken Monastery in Canada is launching a revised Upāsikā program. Applications will be accepted until October 31, and the program begins on January 1, 2023. Here is the announcement from their newsletter:

Announcing Birken’s Upāsikā Secluded Study Program

Starting January 1, 2023, Birken Forest Buddhist Monastery will launch a new Birken Upāsikā Secluded Study program combining elements of our earlier online program and other resource materials by Ajahn Sona. All initiates to this pilot program must complete the entire one year training to be invited to join existing Upāsikā Graduate groups and access the Upāsikā Graduate website and archives (proof of program completion will be required).

Birken Upāsikā Secluded Study trainees will have the same assignments as previous Online Upāsikās groups, yet will not be able to make comments or ask questions of Ajahn Sona on the Upāsikā webpage, nor engage with other Upāsikā Secluded Study trainees individually or in groups. It is only after graduation that these initiates will learn who else was in their cohort during the past year.

Instead of online engagement, all Upāsikā Secluded Study trainees will be encouraged to seek answers to their questions through the following resources:

  • Monthly source assignment materials which will be uploaded to the password protected website on the first of each month (January-December)
  • Ajahn Sona’s YouTube Channel
  • Ajahn Sona Q&A Directory (link will be available on trainees’ website)
  • Ajahn Sona’s books and articles
  • External research sites such as Sutta Central and Access to Insight
  • In person visits to Birken and/or other branch monasteries in the Ajahn Chah tradition, subject to each monastery’s health and safety guidelines concerning COVID-19

Please see our Birken Upāsikā Secluded Study Program webpage for more information and to apply.