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Household life is crowded and dusty; life gone forth is wide open… Suppose I shave off my hair and beard, put on the ochre robe, and go forth from the home life into homelessness.”
~the Buddha
MN 36

(source)

Guidelines for Residency

Basic Requirements for Residency at the Bhavana Society


  1.  Good health. At this time, the Bhavana Society has a limited ability to provide the accommodations required by some health problems or conditions.  Please let us know if there is any health issues now or pending when considering residency at the Bhavana Society.

  2. Full participation in the religious life of the community. This includes daily meditation and devotional service and participation (to the extent allowed by the work schedule) in the Center’s retreats. Residents must consider the Theravada Buddhist path their primary spiritual orientation.

  3. Adherence to all guidelines and to the Eight Monastery Precepts during the entire period of residency.

  4. All prospective residents are expected to have participated at Bhavana at least one nine day retreat or multiple retreats (more than three), before applying for residency. It is important that each candidate has already completed retreats at Bhavana Society prior to applying for residency.  Once you have fulfilled this guideline, you are welcome to apply but please note we are limited to how many residents we can accept at one time.

  5. Cheerful execution of work assignments for the four hours a day (average) that is expected of residents. Understanding that work assignments will not always be what you would choose to do, but rather what needs to be done.

  6. Willingness to control speech both in terms of quality (avoiding speech that is untrue, malicious, unkind, unwholesome, or foolish) and quantity—recognizing that little speech is better than a lot, and no speech is sometimes best of all.

  7. A willingness to go more than half way to maintain kind, cooperative, supportive, and respectful relations among Bhavana’s residents and guests.

  8. A willingness to accept correction graciously and to observe and understand the effects of your behavior on others. A willingness to work to change your behavior as needed.

And also:

  1. An understanding that unlike other centers, Bhavana does not charge residents for living here. All of our activities are supported by donations. Residents’ contributions are the services they provide to the center, other residents, and retreatants while they are here.  We expect all residence to support the visiting lay community while we are in scheduled public retreats but once each residents work day has been completed, each resident has the opportunity to partially participate in these retreats.

  2. An understanding that Bhavana is not in a position to provide upkeep or support other than room and board. Clothing, medicine, travel, and the like are your responsibility.  If you have a special food diet, medicine or medical needs, it is expected that you will provide what is necessary for yourself throughout your stay.  For instance, if you are lactose intolerant, it will be up to you to provide soy milk or other foods or medical products necessary to maintain your good health.

  3. An understanding that if you bring a vehicle to Bhavana, you are fully responsible for its maintenance including fuel, repairs, registration and insurance.  If you make the decision to change your address to the Bhavana Society, the state of West Virginia will only allow residency in this state up to thirty days before license and registration must be changed.  Please consult with the Abbot before making the decision to permanently change your address to the Bhavana Society.  Please note, it is not necessary to change your currant address to become a resident.

  4. An understanding that if you need to leave Bhavana during your residency, you are required to inform the head monk of your plans with dates of departure and date you plan to return. If you decide to leave permanently, it is recommended that you consult with the head monk about your decision to leave.

Updated: Feb 20, 2015
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