Coming to Stay
Guests can stay for a few days or longer, taking the opportunity to deepen their understanding of Buddhism and themselves in an environment that encourages peaceful reflection.
All guests are asked to observe the Eight Precepts, follow the daily routine, and join in community activities during their stay. Individual retreats are generally not possible.
Guests may request an interview with a senior monk to discuss their practice. Newcomers to meditation are encouraged to plan their first visit to coincide with one of the monthly Meditation Workshops if possible.
In keeping with tradition there is no charge for staying at Hartridge Buddhist Monastery. Financial support is needed and appreciated, however; the community has no source of funds to pay running and maintenance costs other than donations from the laity.
The Eight Precepts
The Eight Precepts are a fundamental part of the monastic code of conduct. Guests are asked to follow these Precepts during their stay as a framework for community harmony and personal development.
1. Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
2. Trustworthiness: not taking anything that is not given.
3. Celibacy: refraining from any sexual activity.
4. Right Speech: avoiding false, abusive, malicious or unnecessary speech.
5. Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drink or drugs.
6. Renunciation: not eating after midday.
7. Restraint: refraining from attending games and shows, and from self-adornment. (Guests are asked to dress appropriately, and not to play radios, musical tapes or instruments.)
8. Alertness: refraining from over-indulgence in sleep.
The Daily Routine
The daily routine that guests are expected to follow is outlined below, although there may be seasonal variations and unexpected changes.
5:00 am Morning group meditation
6.30 am Cleaning
7.00 am Breakfast
8.15 am Meal preparation or Work period
11.30 am* Meal offering (Dana)
2.00 pm Personal meditation and quiet time
5.00 pm Tea
7.00 pm Evening group chanting (Puja) and meditation
8.00 pm Personal time or on Sunday a Dhamma talk
*The meal is served at 11.00 in Winter
Arranging a Stay
Anyone wishing to stay overnight should book as far in advance as possible, preferably by email or post. Accommodation here is limited, so occasionally it may not be possible to accept people on the requested dates.
Guests coming for the first time are welcome for an initial stay of up to a week; if they then wish to stay longer they may consult the Guest Monk. Special consideration can be given to those from overseas.
Accommodation at Hartridge is fairly basic, with separate living-spaces for men and women. Toilet and bathing facilities are in a separate building. Families can sometimes be accommodated for short periods.
Things to Bring
Clothing and footwear suitable for chilly weather, work and meditation.
Slippers or thick socks for indoors.
Sleeping bag, sheets and pillowcase, if possible.
A torch and alarm clock.
Before leaving, guests are asked to notify the Guest Monk, and to clean their living-space with care.