Good evening OBS members and friends,

A week ago in our Milky Way galaxy, the Cassini spacecraft, at the end of its 20 year mission, transmitted this final image of Saturn’s outer rings (below). Observing and then documenting this unparalleled image NASA entitled it, Waving Goodbye.

Closer to home tomorrow, the autumn equinox will be seen slowly arriving in eastern Ontario, indeed in the northern hemisphere. With the inevitable transition to less sun and therefore colder temperatures, we shall see and experience changes and in habits; more immediately, more directly. Our seasonal awareness will be sharpened as we experience the cooling sunsets, the brightening fall leaves, the chattering squadrons of geese. It is here, now…waving goodbye.

This month OBS member, Sunya /Catherine Collobert, kindly agreed to share her reflections on her winter retreat at Arrow River Forest Hermitage. We are grateful to her for sharing these thoughtful dhamma questions and insights, please read on

Silence, like a diamond, is unbreakable

“Nestling in the forest of Northern Ontario, the monastery of Ajahn Punnadhammo, Arrow River Forest Hermitage, is the perfect place for deep practice for many reasons, the most important being the daily presence and teaching of Ajahn Punnadhammo, to whom I express here my deep gratitude. I’d like also to express my heartfelt thanks to Sister Anuruddha, a dear kalyanamitta, on retreat with me at Arrow River.
To stay in a kuti in a remote and wild place was quite intimidating. It was thus a great opportunity to watch and investigate that state of mind that we call fear. Not feeling safe to do walking meditation outside (on account chiefly of the presence of bears), I intended initially to practice in the kuti. However, not only the sun and its warmth call me, but also fear itself or rather the desire to understand it. I then decided to go out, and to watch the fear, which I did diligently, focusing on the various and rich bodily sensations, which that emotion produces.

.. please continue to either listen or read Sunya’s reflections HERE

Celebrations and Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 1st – Celebration of Ayya Medhanandi and Almsgiving Ceremony

A potluck celebration of Ayya Medhanandi’s 30th anniversary as an alms mendicant nun is being organized by students and friends wishing to express their gratitude for her teaching. All are welcome.

For details and dana information please see Sati’s website HERE ( and/or contact (

Thursday, October 5th – Full Moon

Friday, October 6thEvening Meeting with Ayya Medhanandi, 7:30 pm at Quaker House
91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa – see map

Ayyā Medhānandī, Bhikkhuni, is a native of Montreal and the founder of Sati Sārāņīya Hermitage. This hermitage in Perth, Ontario, is a training monastery for bhikkhunīs in the Theravada Buddhist tradition.
Ayyā Medhānandī learned meditation at 21 and went on a pilgrimage to India to study with an Advaita sage. She also completed a Master’s degree in nutrition, and worked for the United Nations and other aid agencies, managing programs for malnourished women and children.

This free event includes a guided meditation followed by a Dhamma talk, and a question period.

Food donations are gratefully accepted to support the hermitage,

Monday, October 9th – Thanksgiving holiday

Friday, October 13th – Waning (Half) Moon

Thursday, October 19th – New Moon

October 20th Friday Evening Meeting with Ayya Medhanandi, 7:30 pm–9:30 pm at Quaker House:
91A Fourth Ave, Ottawa – see map

Saturday, October 21stDay of Mindfulness with Ayya Medhanandi
3591 Albion Road, Ottawa – see map

This free event will involve periods of guided meditation and a Dhamma talk. Participants may attend for a half day in the morning or afternoon if they cannot stay the full day. Lunch is potluck – please feel free to bring a vegetarian main dish or dessert.

NOTE: Chairs are provided and cushions are available at the DoM. Please feel free to bring your own cushion to QH
Donations are gratefully accepted to support the nuns at the Sati Saraniya Hermitage

Friday, October 27th – Waxing moon

Sunday, October 29th OBS Soup Kitchen at Shepherds of Good Hope 

This is a community event where a volunteer team of members and friends, wishing to donate their time and food preparation skills, are welcome to join in. The OBS helps prepare and serve the Sunday lunch time meal to clients at the Shepherds. Please contact Ann Waters

“All that is known is the knowing of experience, and we are that Knowing. “
Rupert Spira



This newsletter was produced by OBS volunteers: Catherine Collobert, Vivienne Bartlett, Jane Brown, Carol Anne Owen and Colleen Glass. Submissions for the next newsletter are welcome. Please send your article or news item by Oct 25, 2017 to Colleen Glass