Good evening friends,

Ottawa snow falls have set a new record – over 97 cm’s of snow fell in January. That’s the height of a countertop or five steps on a staircase. While considering the measure of abundance, members learned at the recent OBS Annual General Meeting (AGM) that close to $25,000 was donated to four Buddhist monasteries this past year through the generosity and well coordinated efforts of our volunteer board, members and friends. OBS also achieved a new record in the number of meditation retreats that we were able to offer in 2018. In total OBS volunteers offered two residential and three non-residential retreats. Those are some metrics.

The AGM and Social last Sunday afternoon also provided space and time to appreciate the many benefits of sharing the growth of the teaching in ourselves and in our community. As Ajahn Viradhammo wrote in Stillness of Being,

I like to compare the social commitment of being a Buddhist to that of being a member of a guild. If you have a guild of master builders, if you belong to the craftspeople in that guild, then you have certain obligations, certain skills that you have to develop before you are accepted and accredited by that guild. Your work has to be maintained at the standards that all the members agree upon; you have to have a certain ability to do your craft; you have certain obligations to fulfill and standards to uphold… the guild will also protect your interests and it will encourage you to sustain good standards or use better designs or whatever might be the case. And I think monasticism, or any kind of Buddhist culture, is like that. It is an association of people who undertake to live according to certain values, who undertake a lifestyle commitment. They undertake the responsibility of being a Buddhist. This kind of responsibility or commitment gives form to our participation in community and supports all of us in our spiritual work.”

It is with joy and a sense of accomplishment in the ongoing building of our spiritual community that we collectively give thanks to Jane, Sami, Nissanka, Mira, Vivienne, Mark, Howard, Sara, Wendy and the many volunteers who generously share all manner of common values, tasks and precious time in service to the teaching.

~ ~ ~~~

Mary Oliver
September 1935 – January


It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak

from Thirst

~ ~ ~~~

Upcoming OBS Events, Dues and LP Viradhammo Retreat Dhamma Talk

Friday February 1st– Friday Evening Meeting at Quaker House with Bhante Vijitha 7:30 pm 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa click here for map.

Bhante Vijitha is an ordained Buddhist monk and a resident teacher at the Hilda Jayewardenaramaya Buddhist Monastery, Ottawa since 2010. He holds an M.A. in Buddhist studies from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka, and M.A. in Counseling and Spirituality from Saint Paul University, Ottawa.

Friday February 15th – Friday Evening Meeting at Quaker House with Bhante Vijitha 7:30 pm 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa click here for map.

Saturday, February 16th – Day of Mindfulness with Bhante Vijitha 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at Tu-An Pagoda , 3591 Albion Road ~ Map

As the Sangha is on winter retreat from January 1, 2019 until the end of March 2019. The Days of Mindfulness, where we practice noble silence, run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and include periods of sitting meditation, walking meditation, and instructions and a dhamma talk by Bhante Vijitha.

You are invited to contribute to and share in the potluck vegetarian lunch, served between 11:30 a.m. and 12:45 p.m. Any contribution would be warmly welcomed.

Sunday, February 24th – Shepherd’s of Good Hope, 8:30 ~ 1 pm

Once again we are organizing a meal service at the Shepherds of Good Hope. We need 20 volunteers to work the morning kitchen shift on Sunday Feb.24 th. The mission is located in Lowertown at 233 Murray St. at the corner of King Edward.

From 8:30 to 10:45 the work involves cutting and peeling vegetables and preparing sandwiches. Sometimes we have an opportunity to meditate before we are served lunch at 11:00. After lunch we serve the clients and do the clean-up. We are usually finished by 1 pm.

YOUTHS FROM 12 TO 17 CAN VOLUNTEER (under certain conditions)
“Groups are welcome to invite youths aged 12 to 17 to volunteer. They can work in the soup kitchen during the food prep hours; when we open our doors to the community to serve the meal we ask that all minors leave the main floor of 233 Murray Street. At this time minors are welcomed to move down to the clothing/food program at 233 Murray street and can assist with organizing/sorting donations. We ask that one adult be available to supervise in this program as well.”

Please join us for this rewarding and socially enjoyable event.

Ann Waters
OBS Social Service Committee

A Gentle Reminder ….

This is a gentle reminder to remember to renew your OBS membership, or become a new or returning member, for 2019! Our membership year runs from January to December, and renewing your membership helps to support events, gather our community, rent event spaces, and support our monastic teachers who come to teach us on a regular basis. It also enables you to attend upcoming retreats with experienced teachers, at a lower cost and with earlier registration. Please help to keep our organization thriving by remembering to renew your membership () . We thank you kindly!
Sarah Marcus
OBS Membership Secretary

Dhamma Talk by LP Viradhammo from September 2018 Residential Retreat

The OBS is very grateful to Tauhidul Chowdhury, ‘ Moon ‘ from Toronto area for providing professional audio and recording equipment at last September’s retreat at Galilee Centre. The result of his and Nissanka’s efforts are provided in this opening dhamma talk by LP Viradhammo. He speaks of the truth, the pragmatism that he values in Theravada Buddhist tradition, the path of the Elders. LP Viradhammo also expands on the inherent generosity and wisdom in training in, in following the precepts .
Opening Talk LINK

Submissions to the OBS newsletter are always welcome. The OBS newsletter team this month included Ann Waters, Sara Marcus, Jeela Jones, Jane Brown and Colleen Glass. Please send submissions for March’s newsletter by March 1st, 2019 to