Information about your stay
Guests can normally 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. However during the covid pandemic we are not accepting any short term guests. Long-term stays are possible from time to time, but we are prioritising guests who can help to support the Sangha and the monastery during the pandemic. If you are interested in this latter possibility, please write to us, and if you are not already known to us, please include full information about yourself, your interest to come, and dates when you are available.
All guests are asked to observe the Eight Precepts (see below), follow the daily routine, and join in community activities during their stay. Individual retreats are 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 through donations.
To arrange a stay, please write or email the guest monk, and if you are new to us please tell us about yourself and your interest to come and stay. If you are staying for the first time we usually limit a visit to up to 3 nights, although we may make exceptions if you are coming from overseas or have extensive experience elsewhere.
Please note that in January, February and March we do not have guests as this is the winter retreat time for the resident community. During these months we only start to take bookings for later in the year during March.
Monastic life is held within an ethical framework, centred on the Eight Precepts:
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 or malicious speech.
5. Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drink or drug.
6. Renunciation: not eating after mid-day.
7. Restraint: refraining from games and attending shows, and from self-adornment. (Guests are asked to dress modestly, and not to play radios, music, instruments etc)
8. Alertness: to refrain from over-indulgence in sleep.
These precepts are intended to moderate our outgoing tendencies, to heighten the sense of conscience and concern for others, and to encourage alertness. There are also a range of observances around maintaining a quiet atmosphere in the monastery, using accomodation and requisites with care, and dressing in a simple way. These also help to check casual or half-aware actions that we may carry out daily without really questioning them. Precepts and observances therefore form a framework for contemplation, a guide to cultivating heart and mind, and a means for daily-life Awakening.