The Vihāra

A New Building is Proposed for Cittaviveka

The new building will be situated behind the main cloisters, and will offer a quite, private central area for monks and novices. The building will provide facilities to support monks on retreat in the forest as well as create space for community activities. Work is due to commence in 2019, to celebrate forty years of Chithurst Buddhist Monastery.

The new building will provide:

  • Day room for forest dwellers
  • Meeting room
  • Bowl washing facilities
  • Toilets and showers
  • Utility area
  • Storage space
  • Laundry and robe drying facility

The Vision

The Vihāra will separate functions that are purely monastic from the occasions of interaction with the lay community. The lower floor will be communal, while the upstairs will be reclusive and contemplative. The stone floor, large windows and open space of the downstairs hall resemble a forest floor, while the curved beams and dappled light of the upstairs Refuge represent a tree-top canopy.

Refuge (upstairs)

During periods of retreat, while living in kutis (meditation huts) in the forest, monks still come to the main site for their daily meal, for showers and laundry. The Refuge provides a private space where they can attend to these duties, keep personal belongings and eat their meal in silence. It can also serve as an overflow dormitory in cases of large sangha gatherings.

Community Washing Facilities

A section of existing cloister adjacent to the proposed Vihāra will be refurbished and glazed to provide a purpose-built area for washing alms bowls after the daily meal as well as for doing laundry by hand.
Sangha Meeting Hall
A large downstairs meeting room will provide space for bhikkhus, samaneras and anagarikas to come together for Vinaya instruction, sangha business and informal meetings. It may also hold some of the semi-annual inter-monastic Elders’ Meetings.

Ablutions and Utilities

The single story, grass-roofed section of the Vihāra will provide toilets, showers and sauna; laundry facilities and a drying room; and storage space.

Construction

A green oak frame will be used, in the same 
style as the monastery Dhamma Hall, clad with stone reclaimed from the existing building and roofed with red clay tiles in keeping with the surroundings.

Heating

Underfloor heating will be provided by a biomass system fuelled by chestnut logs coppiced in the monastery forest. This will be supplemented by solar thermal panels on the cloister roof.

Support

If you would like to offer support either: put a cheque or cash into a yellow ‘Donations’ envelope and mark it ‘For The Vihāra’ or make an Online Donation via

Cittaviveka Vihara

For other queries please contact the treasurer on treasurer{at}cittaviveka.org

Forest & Garden Work

We set aside certain days for work in the gardens and the monastery forest - Hammer Wood.  Garden work is on a Sunday afternoon, from April following the Winter retreat. We generally meet at the workshop at 1.30 pm.

For forest work, we have monthly forest work days on a Sunday afternoon from April. Meeting in the workshop at 1.30 pm. You can see when these are on the announcement page.

In the summer we have an additional forest work week, where volunteers camp in the woods. Where we carry out a variety of conservation and maintenance activities. If you want to receive occasional updates about forest activities please sign up to the forest mailing list using the box on the right.

In early winter we have an extended forest work month, where we coppice Sweet Chestnut to fuel the Dhamma Hall and Monastery buildings, and also carry out tasks such as maintenance, conservation and tree planting.

No great skill or strength is required, but adherence to the Eight Precepts, some familiarity with the monastic life, and an ongoing meditation practice are essential.

Head over to the announcement for further details, or write an email to our forest manager: forest{at}cittaviveka.org.

Dana List

Friends of Cittaviveka often enquire about what is needed. Please find below a list of what would help, along with things you might like to know. Anumodana.

Food Items

We could use:

Non-food Items

We could use:

  • Soya Milk
  • Vegetables
  • Juice
  • Pillow Protectors (standard size: cotton or polyester) (Example)
  • Large (50-65 litres) Clear Plastic Storage Boxes w/ Lids (Example)
  • Medium (30-45 litres) Clear Plastic Storage Boxes w/ Lids (Example
  • A4 Thermal Laminating Pouches (Example)
  • (1) Commercial Bucket/Wringer for Mop (Example)
  • (3) Mop Handles (Example) and (6) Mop Heads (Example)
  • Tissue/Kleenex (regular size if possible)

Due to the nature of our monastery waste water treatment, we are in need of environmentally friendly cleaning products:

  • Eco-Friendly Washing-up Liquid
  • Body Wash (Liquid)
  • Liquid Hand Soap/Refill (Non-antibacterial)
We can also use the following items:
  • 2nd Class Stamps

We have plenty of:

We have plenty of:

  • Bottled Water
  • Tea
  • Biscuits/Crackers
  • Pasta
  • Toothpaste
  • Tooth Brushes
  • Washing-up Liquid (non-Eco-Friendly)
  • Bleach
  • Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Panadol, Neurofen
  • Energy saving and normal light bulbs

Last updated: November 20, 2019

Financial Report

Report on 2017/2018 and Looking Ahead

Dear Friends of Cittaviveka,

Like other Theravada Buddhist monasteries, we are entirely dependent on freewill offerings from our lay supporters.  Traditionally such support is offered on the ‘alms round’ (pindabaht) principle. This offers those wishing to express their appreciation of the monastery the opportunity to offer a small amount regularly, in accordance with their means.  Our hope and aim is that month on month, we will receive enough to cover our running costs.  

I am delighted to say that last year, 2017/18, as for the previous four financial years, your generosity has been enough to meet all our day-to-day costs, without outside help.  We have also been able to start to save towards the costs of the monks’ Vihara, the final phase in the monastery’s development.
Thank you for your generosity!

2017/2018 Finances

The monastery cost £179,059 to run last year, which is about £15,000 a month.  The money was used for these main purposes (The monastery is run by The English Sangha Trust, registered charity 231310 and full details of  the Trust’s annual accounts can be found on the Charity Commission website):

Maintenance and Estate 47%
Utilities 9%
Welfare and Food 8%
Insurance 8%
Forest 8%
Admin. Telephones, Publications, etc 8%
Travel 6%
Other 6%

 

Donations from supporters were sufficient to cover these costs and we also received nearly £18,000 Gift Aid from the Government, £11,000 from various renewable energy schemes and £13,000 from legacies and a large donation at the end of March 2017 that increased our reserves.  This meant we could cope with the unexpected need to replace the large log boiler for the main house and also put aside an extra £23,000 toward the cost of the Vihara.

Next Year’s Budget

2018/19 could be a very exciting year.  The pattern of general spending should be similar to last year, which will enable us to keep the monastery running and in good repair.  However we plan to create the new bowl washing area, which is the first phase of the Vihara project, and make substantial progress with planning and securing funds for the main project.  This will be a wonderful way to celebrate 40 years since the foundation of the monastery. But we can only do this with your continued support.

Are you signed up to Gift Aid?

If you are a UK taxpayer, the Monastery may be able to claim back 25p for every £1 donated. As a charity the Monastery is exempt from paying taxes. As UK taxpayers have already been taxed, HMRC state we are able to claim this back.  

The claim is dependent on two conditions:

1. You have paid at least as much in Income Tax or Capital Gains Tax in the current tax year as will be reclaimed in Gift Aid.

2. You make a Gift Aid declaration that gives the Monastery permission to reclaim it.

Last year the Monastery was able to reclaim £18,600 from the government in this way.

If you are unsure if your donations qualify for Gift Aid, or if you have any other questions, please ask the lay treasurer who can be contacted at Chithurst Buddhist Monastery Chithurst, Petersfield GU31 5EU, or by email: treasurer{at}cittaviveka.org.

Thank You For Your Continuing Support!

Online Donation

The Trustees of The English Sangha Trust offer the following online facilities as a convenient way of making online donations to the monasteries:

Chithurst Buddhist Monastery (Cittaviveka)

The Vihara (Cittaviveka)

Amaravati Buddhist Monastery

Amaravati Retreat Centre

Amaravati Publications Fund

Online donations using a debit/credit card can be paid in UK Sterling, Euros, or US Dollars. Please note that The English Sangha Trust will incur a transaction charge of 3.6% for online donations, including those from overseas supporters.

You are invited to suggest whether Cittaviveka (Chithurst), Amaravati, or the ABM Retreat Centre should benefit from your online donation. Your choice informs, but does not require, the English Sangha Trust to allocate your gift to the chosen place as the final decision is influenced by advice from the Sangha to the Trust as to what is needed.

Please note that if the amounts donated for a specified project are ultimately more than necessary any excess will be used for the general support of the Sangha.

Offering Skills or Advice

The monastery may have twenty to thirty residents at any given time, who may or may not have skills in terms of painting, decorating, gardening, carpentry, plumbing, electrical work, forestry, vehicle repair….some of the many daily-life tasks that keep the place going.  Any help offered in these areas is greatly appreciated.  If you have an artisan skill that you’d like to offer from time to time please write to the Maintenance Committee c/o the monastery.  We can also can use occasional legal and medical advice. And anyone who can offer a willing hand in the kitchen or the garden will find their presence is welcome.

We set aside certain days for work in the Gardens, or in the Hammer Wood.  Such work is generally on a weekend afternoon, and entails weeding, pruning, maintenance of paths and clearing of heath land.  You will see these Days mentioned in the News section.

In the autumn of most years we have a Forest Work Month (between three and four weeks) which is an opportunity for three or four men to work along with Sangha members in the forest.  It requires no great skills or strength, but adherence to the Eight Precepts, some familiarity with the monastic life, and an ongoing meditation practice are essential.  Write to the Forest Committee c/o the monastery for details.

Offering Requisites

Each monk or nun is instructed at their Going Forth to live dependent on Four Requisites: alms-food, clothing, shelter and medicines. All of these are to be provided through mendicancy – accepting what is freely offered by the laity. Within the spectrum of these basic requisites, the community may need various kinds of ochre or brown cloth from which we can make robes, or offer ready-mades such a socks or sweaters in these colours. The monastery itself may need paint, washing-up liquid, tools, furnishings – many of the things that any household needs. However, as a monastery there are also many things we don’t need – TVs, luxurious and brightly coloured furnishings or clothes. So it’s always good to consult the monastery – by phone or letter – to check what is needed or to have a look at our Dana List. Sometimes we have more rice, washing-up liquid, or tea than we can use. And as we have our own well, we never need bottled water...

Offering Money

One of the most convenient ways to offer support is through financial donations. The Sangha itself requires relatively little - for example, we have a policy of not asking for food to be purchased, preferring to live on whatever food is offered in kind. However, it does cost about £10,000 each month to keep the monastery buildings running, for paying bills for electricity, maintenance, transport, etc., so we do need regular donations.

The use of these donations is overseen by committees of laymen and women, in consultation with a group of senior monks and nuns.  The needs of the various buildings and members of the community are decided through due consultation and consensus. Cittaviveka is administered as one unit and does not have separate accounts for monks or nuns.

In accordance with the original monastic code of the Buddha - the Vinaya,  our monks and nuns are prohibited from handling or holding personal rights over money. Consequently, the finances of the Monastery are ‘stewarded’ by a charitable body, The English Sangha Trust Ltd, and are administered by the charity’s Finance Sub Committee, which reports to the Board of Trustees. Trustees and Committee Members are friends and supporters of the Monastery, who serve in this capacity as an expression of their commitment to Dhamma. All of the funds are administered by the Trust and the Committee who manage the funds in accordance with the wishes of the donors.

The latest audited financial statements of The English Sangha Trust Ltd can be accessed on the UK Charity Commission website by using the following link: Charity Commission

Forms of donation

Standing Orders: It is very helpful to the monastery to know that there is some degree of regular financial support. Standing orders are one way of ensuring this. If you are in a position to make such an offering then you can do so by completing a standing instruction to your bank (monthly, quarterly or annually). In certain circumstances it is possible for the Trust to obtain tax relief on such donations. Please see below to access a copy of the standing order form.

Give as You Earn: Some larger employers subscribe to this scheme, that enables employees to instruct that a monthly deduction from their salary is paid to the charity of their choice. At present the charity receives tax relief on the donation.

One-Off Donations: Such donations can be made in the form of cash or cheques made payable to The English Sangha Trust Ltd and placed in the donation envelopes provided at the monastery. Again, under certain circumstances, the monastery can claim tax relief.

Online Donations

Have a look at Online Donation for more details on how to donate money online.

Bank Account Details

To make domestic or international transfers please contact the Lay Treasurer (treasurer{at}cittaviveka.org) for details of the monastery's bank account. We recommend that you check with your bank what charges will be made for a funds transfer. Please note that if your donation is for a specified purpose and the amount donated is more than necessary for the particular purpose, any excess will be used for the general support of the Sangha.

Standing Order Forms

If you wish to make a donation to the monastery by a standing order with your bank, please click here for the standing order form and, after printing it out and filling it in, post it to:

The Lay Treasurer,
Chithurst Buddhist Monastery,
Chithurst, Petersfield,
Hampshire GU31 5EU

Donations By Post

If you live in the UK there is the option of posting a cheque. Cheques should be made payable to:

The English Sangha Trust Ltd

and sent to:

Chithurst Buddhist Monastery,
Chithurst, Petersfield
Hampshire GU31 5EU.

If you wish your donation to be used for a particular purpose please inform us of this when sending the donation. Please note that if the amount is more than necessary for the particular purpose any excess will be used for the general support of the Sangha.

Alms-Giving Ceremonies

Occasionally, people get together to organise a communal Alms-Giving Ceremony. It is a way both of offering support and of cultivating companionship. Traditionally there is one Alms-Giving Ceremony (called the Kathina) in the autumn of each year, but these can also be arranged at other times.