History, Vision, Community, and Theravada Buddhism
Spending time in a Buddhist community
We ask that day visitors wear masks except when outside. Pets are never allowed at Bhavana Society.
Between public retreats, Bhavana Society is open to visitors. By visiting, you will experience a taste of the monastic life without having to make a life-long commitment. The Buddha was very clear that it is important to visit the monasteries and speak about his teachings with learned people. Many people tell us that they learn more about Buddhism from a week of visiting our community than they have from years of reading books.
Visitors participate fully in the daily schedule of the monastery. We wake in the morning for silent meditation at 5:00 a.m. After meditation, we chant Buddhist verses in Pali, the language of the Buddhist scriptures. This sets the intention for our day, reminding us to make an energetic effort toward learning and putting into practice the teachings of the Buddha. At 8:30 a.m. we gather for a community work period.
Breakfast and lunch are eaten mindfully in silence. There is no evening meal or snacking after noon. We do this small amount of fasting each day to practice moderation. Most people find that they get used to this very quickly.
In the evening, we meditate together around 6:00 p.m. After meditation, we chant the same Buddhist verses we chanted in the morning but in English.
Between meditation sessions, there is plenty of free time. You are welcome to walk the grounds, meditate, or browse our extensive Buddhist library. There is always ample time to speak with monastics and lay residents. In addition, you may be assigned simple chores to help out the monastery. This is an excellent opportunity to practice mindfulness while working.
We ask that all day visitors please call at least 24 hours in advance and let us know that you would like to come. This lets us plan for your arrival. We ask that all visitors, both day and overnight, arrive by 5:00 p.m.