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Birken Forest



1994: Abbot Ajahn Sona established a primitive shack monastery in proximity to Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park. He named the monastery, “Birken”.

1996: Birken Monastery’s growing community moved to a larger location near Elephant Mountain, not far from Princeton BC.

Early 2001: Monks and monastery stewards began searching for a secluded property within 3 hours driving distance from Vancouver. Just as they were putting in an offer on a location in Barnhartvale, they stumbled upon the Smith Lake property almost by accident. Through generous donations, the location was purchased.

11 November 2001: First pabba ceremony held to mark the opening of the new monastery.

Meeting Places

7000 Smith Lake Forest Service Road, Knutsford

Leadership History

1994-Present: Abbot Ajahn Sona

Congregation Website


Meeting Times

Please visit the Visiting Birken: 2023 page of the Monastery's website for information.

Information Sources/More Information

https://birken.ca/about/. Accessed October 2023.

Mike Youds. "Splendid Isolation". Kamloops Daily News. 14 November 2001. B01-B02.