Dear friends,

Ninety one year old Bhante Gunaratana recently spoke celebrating Vesak (way-sak) at the United Nations in New York.  One web site describes this celebration of the Buddha’s birth, death, and enlightenment as a chance to jump-start your practice. There are many opportunities to build on the import of Bhante Gunaratana’s words. it seems we can awaken more ease fully to understanding the teachings of the Deathless when we are in community, practicing with kaliyana-mitta (spiritual friends). At events, visiting the monastery and hermitage we hear the dhamma, we are comfortable sitting together in silence watching our minds. We awaken to what is. The OBS invites you to come out, participate and practice together wherever you find yourself in this time of summer. This Friday, June 1st and then again on Friday, June 15th and Saturday, June 16th, Ven Khemako will be teaching at the Friday Evening Meetings at Quaker House. Meanwhile, this coming weekend a full roster of retreatants are heading up the Ottawa Valley to Arnprior to meditate for seven to ten days with Bhante Rahula. On Sunday June 24th, a gathering of volunteers, led by Ann Waters, will be preparing and serving the lunch meal at the Soup Kitchen at the Shepherds of Good Hope. The team that is meeting early on that Sunday morning still needs a few more volunteers, please join in and contact Ann Waters: If you are hoping to register for Ajahn Viradhammo’s annual September 7 Day Residential Retreat at Galilee. please note the online registration opens at noon on Monday July 16th for OBS members and Thursday July 19th for non members.

Shakayamuni Buddha, 2-3rd AD Afghanistan, now Glenbow Museum Calgary



Upcoming Opportunities and Events

Friday, June 1st – Friday Evening Meeting with Ven Khemako 7:30 pm at Quaker House, 91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa. All dana offerings for the monks at Tisarana will be gratefully accepted on Friday evening. To find out what food and supplies they need, please check the Tisarana Dana website

Venerable Khemako was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1959 into a large Catholic family and received his primary education from priests and nuns at the local Church-run school. His long-standing interest in the core questions of philosophy and religion led him to begin lay Buddhist practice in 1997. As his practice and faith in the Dhamma increased, his interest and involvement in lay life waned. Ven. Khemako trained for two years as an Anāgārika and Sāmaṇera, ordaining as a Bhikkhu on June 2, 2012 with Ajahn Pasanno as preceptor. In June of 2014 Ven. Khemako moved to Tisarana. During the winter of 2016 – 2017, Venerable Khemako stayed at Arrow River Hermitage.

Friday, June 15th and Saturday June 16th – Friday Evening ( at Quaker House ( 7:30 pm and Saturday 8:30 am to 3:30 pm at the Tu An Pagoda, OBS Days of Mindfulness ( with again Ven Khemako from Tisarana Monastery.Please click on each event above for full details.

Thursday, June 21st – Summer solstice 6 AM EDT

Sunday June 24th – Shepherds of Good Hope a team of volunteers prepares and serves the noon day meal for clients at this crucial Lowertown shelter. If you could lend a hand on June 24th please email Ann Waters


 For Contemplation

by Marie Howe

(after Stephen Hawking)

Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity
we once were?

so compact nobody
needed a bed, or food or money —

nobody hiding in the school bathroom
or home alone

pulling open the drawer
where the pills are kept.

For every atom belonging to me as good
Belongs to you. Remember?

There was no Nature. No
them. No tests

to determine if the elephant
grieves her calf or if

the coral reef feels pain. Trashed
oceans don’t speak English or Farsi or French;

would that we could wake up to what we were
— when we were ocean and before that

to when sky was earth, and animal was energy, and rock was
liquid and stars were space and space was not

at all — nothing

before we came to believe humans were so important
before this awful loneliness.

Can molecules recall it?
what once was? before anything happened?

No I, no We, no one. No was
No verb no noun
only a tiny tiny dot brimming with

is is is is is

Illustration by Lizi Boyd from ‘Flashlight



Submissions to the OBS newsletter are always welcome. This month was put together by David Young, Jeela Jones, Vivienne Bartlett, Jane Brown and Colleen Glass. Submissions welcome please send for next month by June 25th to Colleen Glass,