In 1975, under the guidance of Kema Ananda, Arrow River Community Center was established. The name was officially changed in 1999 to Arrow River Forest Hermitage, becoming a Theravada Buddhist monastery and retreat centre. Ajahn Punnadhammo, a Canadian monk ordained in Thailand, became the abbot in 1996.
ARFH is located in Northern Ontario, near Thunder Bay. We have 92 acres of forested land adjoining the Arrow River. Our land provides protected habitat and a wildlife refuge in a township subject to clear-cut logging and hunting.
ARFH is a place for dhamma talks (open to the public on Saturday evenings), meditation retreats, or providing service to others. We have four individual cabins to accommodate guests. All cabins are by bookings only; if you are interested in visiting please contact us.
In accordance with the traditions of the Theravada school, Ajahn Punnadhammo and any other monks staying here do not have personal money in any form.
All activities (teachings and meditation retreats) provided at Arrow River Forest Hermitage are offered in accordance with the ancient Buddhist principle of Dana or "That which is freely given". ARFH is entirely dependent on free-will offerings. The generous support received from the lay community provides us with the means to meet ongoing expense for food, supplies, fuel, and building materials.
There are many ways in which the lay community can help support the work at Arrow River Forest Hermitage.
1. Donations of Money or Goods
Under the Canadian Income Tax Act, ARFH can issue official donation receipts for income tax purposes for donations that legally qualify as gifts. For information on "Gifts and Giving" visit the Canada Revenue Agency .
Gift of Money
A receipt will be issued for all donations over $10.00. Arrow River Forest Hermitage will re-allocate all unused donated funds received for specific projects to other charitable programs or activities.
Gift of Goods
The hermitage has need of many consumable items - such as canned goods, materials for ongoing maintenance and/or building projects, propane mantels, and first aid supplies. View our wish list for itemized details.
The lay community is welcome to come to the hermitage for a day or more to help with the many projects that are on the go. There are jobs and chores for all skill levels and ability: ie. cleaning the pavilion, chopping, delivering and stacking firewood, and carpentry work. Before coming, please contact Ajahn Punnadhammo, Abbot for more details.