Dhammasala is available for retreats by individuals or groups from May to September of the year. This includes weekends or weekdays. The reason for this is the unique nature of our retreats. The length of stay depends on the applicant, some stay a weekend, some stay a week or longer.
Dhammasala has a large forested area that is perfect for secluded meditation. We also have available 2 monks huts for single meditators, a few tents, a gazebo, a tipi, a 2 person camper and the meditation hall. This is Thai forest retreat style, comfortable for those who like solitude. There are walking paths and many places to sit under the trees, meditators can pace themselves according to their individual abilities.
When we say "forest retreat" we mean that there is not a lot of "structured togetherness". We do offer a place that is safe and conducive to both meditation and concentration. Monks are available for Dhamma talks, instruction in walking and sitting practice. The monks are here to answer any questions that you might have pertaining to either your practice or concerning the doctrine of Buddhism. Both beginners and practiced meditators are welcome and we can meet the needs of both. Virtue, Concentration and Wisdom are taught here as a way of life, not just “meditation”.
On retreat we encourage "wise silence". If there is something that needs be said in connection with the whereabouts of things, for instance, then it is allowed, do not talk unless necessary. Questions can be asked and answered directed at monks. Practitioners may also participate and assist in temple routines.
The food is not vegetarian but there is vegetarian food available. The food is a mixture of Asian and Western. The meditator may have one, two or three meals a day. Each morning at 10:30 members of Dhammasala bring food offerings to the monks and retreat participants.
All meditators will be asked to take the five precepts and follow a few simple rules. The precepts are; not taking the life of any living being; not stealing; no sexual activity; refraining from lying, gossip, slander, harsh speech; taking drugs and intoxicants. The other rules are no music, cosmetics or perfumes, personal jewelry, nor singing or dancing. Also radios, musical instruments, newspaper, magazines, cell-phones and pagers should not be used on retreat.
If you are coming for an extended retreat, bring appropriate clothing, toiletries, mosquito repellent, sleeping bag and/or blankets, etc. You may also bring food for the daily food offering.