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General Information

General information regarding any stay in Blue Cliff Monastery

Mindfulness Practice helps us weave mindfulness into all our daily activities.  This enables us to meditate throughout the day; while eating, walking, working, or enjoying a cup of tea together. All visitors are invited to help in the communal activities such as general cleaning, washing dishes, gardening, etc., as a way of continuing to practice mindfulness while performing everyday tasks. Our guests are encouraged to participate in all scheduled activities, focusing fully on the practice of mindfulness during their time with us.

We also ask our guests to observe the Five Wonderful Mindfulness Trainings, and thus to refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol. Please do not bring non-vegetarian foods or alcoholic beverages here. 

Example of Daily Schedule

05:00 am

Wake-up

05:45

Sitting Meditation/ Chanting

07:00

Exercise

07:45

Breakfast

09:15

Working Meditation

11:30

Walking Meditation

12:30 pm

Lunch

 

Personal Time

03:00

Dharma Discussion /Activities

04:30

Sitting /Chanting

06:00

Dinner

07:30

Personal practice time

09:30

Noble silence

10:00

Lights out

 

Noble Silence is practiced from 9:30 pm until after breakfast the next day.

 

General Stay: Throughout the year our doors are open to receive guests.  You can come for a stay outside of our Retreat Program.  We encourage you to come for a minimum of one week in order to really settle down, to relax, and to have the opportunity to thoroughly absorb the practice.  It is also possible to come for a weekend.   A stay longer than two weeks will require formal request from you in the form of a letter and a decision made by the community.

(Please note that each retreat on our program may have different arrival days.  Also, after each retreat, the community will be closed for a few days to clean up.  You may contact us to find out about these dates.)

 

Annual Summer Retreat takes place around the last week of June or first week of July and lasts for about one to two weeks.  It is a family retreat where a program for children (6-12 years old) will be provided. If there is sufficient number of young people, a teen program will also be provided. 

 

Annual Winter Retreat takes place around mid-November and lasts for three months.   The Retreat is a wonderful opportunity to deepen our practice and understanding of the Dharma. It is our main monastic retreat and is equivalent to the traditional 3-month Rainy Season Retreat, which has existed since the time of the Buddha. During this time, monks and nuns gather to practice as a Sangha, a community of practice. However, lay practitioners who are eager to deepen their practice are warmly invited to join the monastic community during our Winter Retreat.   You do not have to attend the full three months, but a minimum stay of one week is requested. 

 

Other Retreats:  Retreats emphasizing various themes are also offered.  Please see our Calendar or Events-Section for the dates.

 

Accommodations are simple rooms. Most are dormitories with 3 - 6 bunk beds.  Each room has its own private bath/shower.  No single rooms are available.  Camping is possible between June and October. If you wish to camp, please bring your own tent.

 

Donations, contributions, and scholarships: We wish to open our doors to as many people as possible and for this we have established as low a suggested contribution as we can. We rely on the financial support of visiting practitioners and donations in order to cover the costs of running, renovating, and upkeep of the monastery. Contribution is per adult per night stay, with lower amounts for seniors, students, teens, and children.  Contribution covers food, utilities, tuition, and housing. 

 

However, in order not to turn anyone away because they lack financial resources, we also have a scholarship fund.  Your generosity will benefit others who might not be able to afford to come but who aspire to learn and cultivate this beautiful path of transformation and healing.  Everyone who would like to contribute to this fund, is invited to do so.

 

What to bring?  Sleeping bag, towel, alarm clock, flashlight, house slippers, personal toiletries, and stereo headphones (with a long extension cord if possible) for translated talks.

 

Transportation: All guests are encouraged to come on Arrival Day.  For a general stay, the arrival/departure day is Friday of every week.  Please arrive before 6 pm. For information about how to get to Blue Cliff Monastery, see our Directions.

 

We look forward to practicing with you,

The Brothers and Sisters at Blue Cliff Monastery