Visiting

For guests we have free guest rooms available at the guesthouse Nirodhārāma in Brezje, 10min walking from the main part of the Hermitage. If you like to stay here, please write to us in advance for more information. (Alternative option is also that guests stay nearby overnight, there is a bed and breakfast Obolnar in Dolenja vas, 10min driving or 30min walking from the Hermitage.)

In any case, you are welcome to visit Samaṇadīpa any time for the day, keeping in mind the purpose and tranquil atmosphere of a meditation place. If you wish to meet a monk you have to make an appointment in advance.

WEATHER - the current weather at the Hermitage.

 

General Advice for Visitors and Guests

Monks of the Hermitage strictly follow the monastic code (vinaya) as has been laid down by the Buddha. The laypeople who come to the Hermitage are not bound by the rules for monastics. You can interact with them as you would with any friend or acquaintance. However note that,

  • in addressing a monk, it is generally considered impolite to refer to them directly by name without an appropriate form of address. Any monk can be addressed as “Bhante” (in Pali language) or "Venerable" (in English) or "Častiti" (in Slovenian). Alternatively you can address any monastic who has been ordained for more than ten years as “Ajahn” (in Thai). [Occasioanally you might see in some formal writings "Thera" ("the Elder") and "Bhikkhu" ("a monk" or "a "alms-mendicant", abriviation is "Bh."), however usully we do not use them when we address a monk.];

  • according to the rules of celibacy, a monk preferably may not sit or talk alone with women in indoor closed areas. The presence of another man is required;

  • the rules for monks and nuns require that they do not touch members of the opposite sex. No need to feel awkward. If you wish you can greet them by holding your palms together in the praying position;

  • lay visitors are requested to dress modestly when visiting;

  • monks are allowed to collect and consume their daily meal in the period between dawn and noon. Anything they intend to eat or drink, except water, must be formally offered into the hands or placed on or into something in direct contact with the hands.

***

THE GUEST INFORMATION


General introduction

If you would like to come for an overnight visit, just call or write to make a reservation.

First-time guests who are not known to the monks are allowed to stay a maximum of three nights if they are from Slovenia or two weeks if they are from abroad.

There are no scheduled retreats at the Hermitage, rather the Hermitage is always in “retreat” mode. All visitors are asked to observe the Eight Precepts (see bellow) and to participate fully in the daily schedule of the Hermitage. The main emphasis of the Hermitage is seclusion and silence. There are no pujas (group chanting) as it is usually common for other monasteries, however sometime there might be group meditations and teachings. The guests are expected to participate in the kitchen or work in the forest or in the gardens if required.

We don’t charge for rooms, or for teachings. Everything is provided in the spirit of generosity by the monks and supporters of the Hermitage.

Lodgings

Our accommodations are very simple. There in the main guesthouse, Nirodhārāma, 10min walking from the main part of the Hermitage. There are two rooms with two beds each. In addition there is is also one more room available at the Main Cottage when needed; and if there is free kuti in the forest available, a guest might be allowed to use it. The Guesthouse has very modest bathroom with 1 toilet and 1 shower.

Before entering a shrine room or living space, it is necessary to remove one’s shoes. Indoor sleepers are allowed in the bedrooms and in the kitchen.

Food

The sixth of the eight precepts basically limits overnight visitors to a breakfast and one main meal per day: no food can be consumed after midday. If you have a medical condition or other compelling reason to be exempted from this precept please inform the Guardian to your situation.

The food at the Hermitage is not necessarily vegetarian as is sometimes assumed. The monks respect the generosity of all the laypeople and do not refuse any offerings of food. The food available to lay visitors is the same as what’s first offered to the monks. If you have special dietary needs due to illness or allergies, please inform the Guardian so that the kitchen will be able to accommodate you.

Arranging for Transport

We do not arrange transport for guests and request that they organize their own transportation both to and from the monastery before arriving. For information how to get here, click here.

Retreat

The Hermitage is place for silence and contemplation. As guests are sharing in community life, it is not appropriate to come and go without notice or engage in external business during their stay.

To help make the monastery a haven of quiet, simplicity and solitude, guests are asked to refrain from using their cell phones (or smart phones) for calls or email while staying here and to leave their tablets and laptop computers at home. Book readers are OK to be used.

Pets at the Hermitage

The Hermitage is friendly to dogs if they do not have a habit of barking. If a visitor or a guest brings a pet, we ask that a dog be leashed and with the owner at all times when walking in the forest. The Guesthouse is fenced, which enables dogs to have freedom to move in the garden.

Items to Bring with You

- a set of sheets (no need if you are coming from abroad)
- pillow case (no need if you are coming from abroad)
- towel
- toiletries
- flashlight
- alarm clock
- sturdy work boots/shoes (the area can be muddy)
- work clothes
- warm clothing and rain gear for the periods of cold and wet weather
- thermos (if you want to drink tea in your room)

We ask all overnight guests to dress fairly conservatively (i.e. wearing comfortable, loose fitting clothes). This includes wearing pants, long shorts or long skirts and to wear long or short sleeve shirts rather than tank tops.

The Eight Precepts

The Buddha developed the Eight Precepts so that lay people could have rules that would set up the conditions for a more direct path towards awakening. Lay people who stay in the monastery overnight are asked to follow the following precepts:

1. To undertake the precept to refrain from taking the life of any living creature.
2. To undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
3. To undertake the precept to refrain from any kind of sexual activity.
4. To undertake the precept to refrain from false and harmful speech (which includes harsh, divisive, and frivolous speech).
5. To undertake the precept to refrain from consuming intoxicating drink and drugs which lead to carelessness.
6. To undertake the precept to refrain from eating at inappropriate times (refraining from eating after midday).
7. To undertake the precept to refrain from entertainment, beautification and adornment.
8. To undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

If you have questions about these precepts or how to follow them, please write to us for further information.

The Daily Routine

Guests participate in the daily routine, which is very modest.

6:15am: A half hour period for a morning chores while breakfast is being prepared.
7:00am: Breakfast in the Main Cottage.
8:00am: Meal preparation or work in the garden or the forest (sometime work can happen in afternoon instead, depending on weather condition).
11:00am: Meal Offering and the kitchen clean-up.
1:00pm: An open period for individual practice and solitude at one’s lodging.
5:00pm: Tea Time in the Shrine Room of the Main Cottage. Generally one of the monks are available for questions and answers.

* * *

THE GUIDLINE FOR THE RESIDENT AND VISITING MONKS

The main purpose of the hermitage is to provide a conducive place for study, practice and realization of the Dhamma (pariyatti, patipatti, pativedha). The emphasis is put on seclusion, simplicity and individual practice. In order to protect such atmosphere, bhikkhus are advised to follow the following guideline:

  • Monks wishing to stay at Samanadipa are expected to follow the rules of the Patimokkha, especially rules regarding money (Nissagiya Pácittiya 18-20).

  • It is advised to send prior request to stay here as a guest.

  • Use of the computer and internet access are limited. Use of mobile phones and personal computers is not encouraged.

Hermits of Samanadipa take also the following Teaching of the Buddha as their main guideline for the monastic life (Extract from Sutta-Nipāta, Tuvaṭaka Sutta (4:14.7-20)):

He should restrain his eyes
and close his ears to village-talk.
He should not be greedy for flavours
and should not consider anything in the world as “mine”.

Whatever he experiences,
a monk should not be distressed due to it.
He should not strive after existence,
and he should not be shaken by fears.

Food, drink,
things to eat and also clothes:
he should not hoard what he has received
and he should not be upset when not getting any of these.

Meditating instead of roaming around,
refraining from worry,
he should not be negligent.
Also, a monk should dwell in places with little noise.

He should not sleep too much,
he should be devoted to wakefulness, ardent.
He should abandon sexuality, together with
indolence, self-deception, fun and games.

He should not practise magic rituals, the interpretation
of dreams, auspicious signs, and also astrology.
He should not practise animal-communication,
help with fertility or healing.

A monk should not be agitated by criticisms,
or be self-satisfied when praised.
He should dispel greed, together with
stinginess, anger and divisive speech.

He should abstain from buying and selling.
A monk should not insult anyone.
He should not linger in the public,
he should not chat to people in the hope for getting something.

A monk should not be a boaster,
he should not speak words carelessly.
He should not practise impudence,
he should not say argumentative things.

Being aware, he should not lie or deceive.
Then also he should not have contempt for others
because of their way of living,
understanding, virtue and rules they follow.

Being provoked, having heard lots of speech
from other contemplatives or ordinary people,
he should not retaliate with harshness,
for those who are peaceful do not make enemies.

Having understood the Dhamma, a monk, making examination,
ever mindful, should train himself.
Having understood that abandoning is peace,
he should not be negligent of the Buddha's message.

Indeed, this unconquered conqueror is one who sees the Dhamma
through his own experience, not by hearsay.
Therefore being heedful and always paying homage,
he should train himself in line with this Blessed One's instructions.

© SloTheravada, 2018

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