New Year’s Message from the OBS Executive

“The effort we put into providing a program for the year brings gladness to our lives. The value that comes out is immeasurable. Take a brief moment to reflect on friendships you have developed with lay practitioners, and the gift we have from Monastics offering the Buddha Dhamma. May you always feel that you walk the path with spiritual friends. May 2017 bring you protection by the power of the triple gem and provide opportunities to practice and experience true happiness.”  – The OBS Executive


Good afternoon Friends and Members of the OBS,

As the New Year begins, many of us are coming out of a hectic time of celebration. While holidays allow us connect with family and friends, they can leave us feeling disconnected from the natural flow and rhythm of life.

The Buddhist observance of Upasatha is an opportunity to reconnect – both with our practice, and with the larger Buddhist community. This practice has roots in ancient Vedic tradition. On the days of the Full and New Moons, Brahmins would seclude themselves in order to perform Vedic rites and purify themselves. This practice was eventually adopted by the Buddha, who allowed bhikkus to gather, listen to recitation of the Patimokkha (the fundamental rules of a bhikkhu), and teach laypeople who visited their monasteries.

In contemporary times, lunar observances (which we regularly feature on our events calendar) are an opportunity for lay Buddhists to visit their local monasteries, meditate, and reaffirm their commitment to Dhamma.

In these quiet, cold days of early January, we invite you to consider the implications Upasatha and the lunar observances might have in your life. Is this a calling to take time for solitude and reflection? To connect with nature? To strengthen (or begin) a regular meditation practice? We hope 2017 provides you with inspiration, compassion, and opportunity to connect with what is truly and authentically important in your life.

Upcoming Events

January 5 – Waxing (half) moon

January 6 – Friday Evening Meeting with Bhante Jinananda. 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa (click here for map).

Bhante Jinananda


Bhante Jinananda is a resident monk at the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery and meditation centre, Ottawa. ‘Bhante J’ has been in North America for over seven years and is an experienced meditation teacher in the Theravada
Buddhist tradition. He conducts meditation sessions and dhamma discussions at Hilda Jayewardenaramaya.




January 12 – Full moon

January 20 – Waning (half) moon

January 20 – * CANCELLED DUE TO WINTER DRIVING CONDITION * Friday Evening Meeting with Jim Bedard. 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa (click here for map)


In his early twenties, Jim’s spiritual angst led him to the experiential practice of meditation: Christian meditation, Transcendental Meditation (TM), and then Zen Buddhist meditation. In 1980 Jim began practicing Zen meditation and soon after became a student of Roshi Philip Kapleau of the Rochester Zen Center. After completing his formal training in Zen, Jim began practicing with senior Vipassana teachers in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

Today, Jim offers a balanced, direct approach to practices that point directly to the heart of the teachings. He teaches Insight Meditation at Satipañña Insight Meditation Toronto.

Jim has written two books: Lotus in the Fire and Old Pond: The Teachings of the Elders.



January 21CANCELLED DUE TO WINTER DRIVING CONDITION * Day of Mindfulness with Jim Bedard. 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at Trinity United Church, 1099 Maitland Avenue (click here for map). (Dana offering opportunity; see below for more information.)

January 27 – New moon

January 29OBS Annual General Meeting and Social, 1:30 pm – 4 pm. Old Ottawa South Community Centre, 260 Sunnyside Avenue map
The AGM will begin at 1:45 pm, followed by a “Sweet and Savoury Social”. Please bring your favourite sweet or savoury dish, and your mug for tea.

All are welcome!

 Winter 2017 Message from Tisarana Monastery

Dear Friends,

For our 2017 Winter Retreat (January 1st to March 31st) the Tisarana community will not hold its regular Saturday afternoon meditation and Dhamma Talk sessions. The last Saturday afternoon talk this year was held on December 31st, New Years Eve. We will resume these sessions on Saturday, April 1st. During the winter, you are welcome to come here any time you wish and use the Dhamma Hall for sittings or the library for reading. On our Observance Day we will continue to hold the 7:00 pm sitting and 8:00 pm Dhamma talk throughout the retreat. These will fall on:

January 5, 12, 20, 27
February 4, 11, 19, 25
March 5, 12, 20, 27

–  The Tisarana Sangha

Upcoming Dana Offering Opportunities

Dana is the Pali word for ‘generosity’ or giving with an open heart. Generosity is the central principle guiding all aspects of the OBS’s goals and activities.  By gratefully accepting donations, the OBS is able to offer financial support to its monastic and lay teachers, who are not otherwise compensated for their teaching.  Your dana offerings also make it possible for us to continue to run our events in this same joyful spirit of reciprocal generosity.

OBS invites you to consider offering dana on the following occasions:

The Quaker House Meeting/Day of Mindfulness on Jan. 20th and 21st. CANCELLED DUE TO WINTER DRIVING CONDITION *
– The Quaker House Meeting/Day of Mindfulness on Feb. 17th and 18th.
– The OBS’ non-residential retreat with Jim Bedard and Randy Baker on March 11th and 12th.

For more information on what items are most needed, please visit the Dana Offering page of the OBS website

We are also seeking volunteer drivers to transport collected Dana to the monastery. If you would be willing to offer your services, please contact Lisa at and indicate whether you can be a driver for the January or March collection period.

 Sati Saraniya Events

A separate roster of dana providers is managed for Sati Saraniya Hermitage near Perth, Ont. For information contact

 Free Calendar and Podcasts

Forest Sangha Publications offers a free, downloadable Buddhist Wall Calendar that includes all major lunar observances. For access to the 2017 Calendar, please visit Urban Dharma

Access to Insight provides a variety of dhamma talks and resources on the origins of Upasatha, and its implications for Buddhist laity.

Submissions to the next OBS Newsletter are always welcome. Please send submissions by February 1, 2017 to Krista Shackleford-Lye,