- How many participants can attend the retreat
There is a maximum of 30 participants for retreats with Bhante. The reason for that is that Bhante will have a individual daily interviews with each participant.
- I’d like to have a single/double room, what is the process?
There are both single and double rooms available (for NL retreat 16 single rooms, 9 double rooms). You can indicate your preference at booking time, first come, first serve basis.
- We book as a couple, can we stay in the same room?
No. Partners will need to stay in separate rooms during the retreat.
- How many hours a day will I be meditating?
The day begins at 5:30 a.m. with taking the precepts, followed by individual mediation, interspersed by breakfast, lunch, your interview and the Dhamma talk. There is no fixed mediation schedule and you are encouraged to balance sitting and walking meditation. There is a minimum of 30 minutes sitting meditation, and we find most meditators will naturally extend that to longer period within a couple of days. Bhante recommends a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of meditation daily. This is your opportunity to deepen your practice.
- What language is used in the dhamma tallks?
The evening Dhamma talks are in English and no translation is provided. You can always ask for a translation of further explanation if you don’t understand. Interviews with Bhante are in English, and if you prefer translation can be arranged.
- I can’t sit cross legged. Can I meditate?
Certainly. There is no magic in sitting on the flour, and chairs are provided. We find most meditators use the chairs, especially for longer sittings.
- How can I be sure I am capable of doing the meditation?
For a person in reasonable physical and mental health who is genuinely interested and willing to make a sincere effort, meditation (including “noble silence”) is not difficult. If you are able to follow the instructions patiently and diligently, you can be sure of tangible results. The day’s schedule is neither too severe nor too relaxed. Moreover, the presence of other students practicing conscientiously in a peaceful and conducive atmosphere lends tremendous support to one’s efforts.
- Do I have to be a Buddhist to attend the retreat?
No. People from many religions and no religion have found retreats with Bhante helpful and beneficial.
- Can I leave the retreat early?
You should have full intend to participate in the 10-day retreat. If you encouter any difficulties, please raise it in your daily interview with Bhante. Do not leave without his consultation.
- Why is the retreat conducted in silence?
We follow the 8 precepts, and all students attending the course observe “noble silence” — that is, silence of body, speech and mind. They agree to refrain from communicating with their co-meditators. However, students are free to contact the management about their material needs, and to speak with the Bhante during the interview and to ask questions during the daily Dhamma talk. .
- How much does the retreat cost?
Price for lodging and food is indicated on the site. There is a difference between single and twin room. Bhante’s teaching is provided for free and you are welcome to make a dana donation to Bhante at the end of the retreat. Envelopes will be provided.
- What food will be served
Both breakfast and lunch will serve healthy and nutritious vegetarian food in a buffet style.
- I’m on a special diet. Can I bring my own food?
If your doctor has prescribed a special diet, let us know and we will see whether we can provide what you need. If the diet is too specialized or would interfere with meditation, we might have to ask you to wait until you can be more flexible. We’re sorry but students are required to choose from the food provided to them, rather than bring food for themselves. Most people find the choice is ample and they enjoy the simple vegetarian diet.
- Can I arrive or leave late
Preferably not. We have arrangement for the retreat center which includes the arrival and departure window. Please do let us know if you have a specific travel schedule, as then we can see how we can accommodate.