Guidelines & What to Bring
"I want to thank Venerable Chodron very much for having established (this) beautiful place here, this Abbey."
Lama Zopa Rinpoche
Guidelines & What to Bring
Our daily life activities have a profound spiritual significance, and an important part of Buddhist training is to do all actions calmly, with gratitude, care, and kindness.
We ask that all guests follow the daily schedule, arriving on time and participating fully. Doing this enables us to drop our opinions and preferences and to cultivate a kind heart.
In our busy world, having the opportunity to live and practice the Dharma in a monastic setting is rare and precious. Here we learn and practice the Buddha's teachings in order to calm our minds, gladden our hearts, make our lives meaningful, overcome self-centeredness, and progress on the path to full enlightenment.
We hope you’ll join us.
Before You Come
Please take care of telephone calls you need to make and business or errands that need to be done before arriving at the Abbey.
Your emergency number while here is 509 447-5549. Please give this number to your emergency contact. Your your family and friends will not be able to reach you by cell phone since you will have put it away during your visit (The reception at the Abbey is very poor anyway).
If you have a contagious illness, including cold and flu, please postpone your visit.
Marijuana, THC products, alcohol, tobacco products, & weapons are not allowed on Abbey property.
To Help Us Live Together Harmoniously, We Live Within The Five Precepts
- Respect life and do not physically harm any living being, including insects.
- Respect others' property and do not take anything that hasn't been freely given or use anything that is not for your use.
- Do not engage in sexual behavior, including flirting.
- Speak truthfully, wisely, kindly, and at appropriate times.
- Do not use intoxicants (alcohol, recreational drugs, tobacco). Anyone using these substances will be asked to leave.
What to Bring:
- Twin-sized sheets, pillowcase, and towel (If you are traveling by plane, we will supply blankets; if you're traveling by car, please bring a sleeping bag or blankets as our supply is limited.)
- Alarm clock
- Toiletries (toothbrush, hand lotion, lip balm, deodorant, etc.)
- A shawl or blanket for the meditation hall.
- Hiking shoes and work clothes.
- Clothing that is appropriate for a monastery—baggy pants and tops and long skirts in solid, subdued colors are fine. (Please do not wear shorts or tight, revealing tops, including tank tops or T-shirts with graphics or logos.)
- Indoor slippers or thick socks.
- Medicines taken with a doctor's prescription. Allergy medicine if you are allergic to cats.
- Bring enough clothes to last your visit if you are visiting for a week or less. Laundry facilities are not available for short term visitors.
- If you are visiting in the winter, expect snow and bring warm clothing, snow boots, gloves, and a hat.
- If you have an allergic reaction to bee stings, etc., please bring an Epi Pen or two with you if you visit in the summer months.
- Notebook and pen (optional) to take notes during teachings
- Monetary offering
- Please consider making a food offering. Following the traditional Buddhist custom, the community (including guests) eats only food offered to the monastics. The monastics share these offerings with the residents and guests as meals and snacks. We welcome whatever you would like to offer. We've also gotten feedback that people would appreciate some guidance. Check out the Offering Food page for ideas. Or you can call the office at 509-447-5549 and we will assist you.
- Bring meditation outlines, prayer books, and Dharma books to read.
- Please bring Pearl of Wisdom, Book I and II if you have them. The Abbey also has copies you can use while you' re here.
- We recommend that you bring with you the books that you want to study and read. While the Abbey has a small library for guests, it may not contain the books you wish to read. In addition, to prevent book loss, books frm the Abbey library may not be taken to your room.
- Please consider bringing any items on the Abbey's current wish list that you would like to donate.
- A mind ready to enjoy meditating in the Abbey's beautiful, natural setting!
What Not to Bring
- Cell phones
- Alcohol, cigarettes (including e-cigs), marijuana & derivatives, illegal drugs
- Music or video players (including radios, iPods and CD players) or musical instruments
- Do not bring reading material that is not related to the Dharma or the work you are doing at the Abbey.
- Laptop and netbook computers
- Firearms or other weapons
- Chewing gum
- Athletic clothing, revealing or tight-fitting clothing, tank tops, shorts, patterned fabrics and T-shirts with graphics/words on them
- Make-up (including nail polish), jewelry (including “spiritual” items)
- Perfumes, after-shave, or strongly scented lotions or hair products
We Practice These Trainings And Ask Our Guests To Practice Them Too
- Attend all morning and evening meditation and chanting sessions and Dharma talks
- Maintain silence during the prescribed times. We keep silence from medicine meal until after breakfast the next morning (6:45 p.m. to 8 am). During retreats and teachings, we keep silence throughout the day unless otherwise noted.
- Speak and act quietly. Shut doors quietly. Be aware of your talking, laughing and actions and their effect on others.
- We do not play or listen to music, sing, or dance.
- We do not use cell phones or personal computers except for Abbey business.
- We do our best to work happily, kindly, and efficiently at whatever task or job we are given.
- We do not stretch or do yoga etc. in the common areas. Rooms are designated for exercise.
- Guests must take medications prescribed by their physicians. Do not try going off your regular medication while here.
- We ask guests to lock valuables in your car. Sravasti Abbey is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
Respecting the environment
- We conscientiously turn lights off when not in use.
- We conserve water by taking short showers and not letting the water run when brushing your teeth.
- Our septic system is fragile. Please do not flush hair, sanitary products, dental floss or anything else except human waste and toilet paper.
- Since the Abbey is in a high fire risk area, please do not burn candles or incense.
- We keep our rooms clean and tidy.
- During the winter, please do not add wood to the furnace. Someone has been designated for that task.
- Don't adjust the temperature in the meditation hall. Bring a shawl or blanket.
- Once here, we don’t leave the Abbey except for approved errands or for emergencies.
- When you get ready to leave, vacuum your room and participate in the general cleanup.
- A snack table and teas are provided. Please do not take food from the kitchen or pantry.
- We do not eat or drink while standing up. We practice mindfulness by sitting down and becoming aware what and how we are eating.
Contacting the outside
- Guests may not use Abbey computers or their own personal computers without permission.
- All personal correspondence should be done by post.
- Please turn off cell phones and store them safely in the Abbey office until the end of your stay.
- If a call becomes necessary, request permission to use the Abbey phone, use a phone card, and limit your call to five minutes.
- Promptly return all kitchen equipment and tools to the place they belong.
- If something breaks, please tell us immediately.
- Do not use broken equipment or engage in any tasks that could be physically dangerous for yourself or others.
Before Leaving The Abbey
- Rejoice in the service you offered to make the Dharma available to others.
- Rejoice in your meditation practice and all you gained by visiting the Abbey.
- Dedicate the positive potential that you and all others in the past, present, and future create so that all sentient beings may be freed from suffering, generate bodhicitta and the wisdom realizing emptiness, and quickly attain enlightenment.
- Check your room, the meditation hall, and shoe racks for your personal items. We donate the left-behind clothing and so forth to charity.
If you have more questions after reading this material, click here to email our Visit Coordinator or call the Coordinator at (509-447-5549).