In general, the emphasis in the monastery is on developing awareness through living in community, and on following a daily routine which includes silent meditation, social interaction and service. The whole is held within the ethical norms of the precepts and observances, which help to check the mind’s impulses and also promote harmony and trust. Teachings are given on a regular basis, and there are opportunities to talk with monks and nuns about Dhamma practice. There are also periods of time when the monastery is observing silence, and there are periods of relative solitude. Accordingly guests are expected to have a good degree of self-motivation and self-reliance.
All teachings, accommodation and food at Cittaviveka are offered by the Sangha and its supporters. As befits a sanctuary, there is no charge to stay in the monastery (though donations to cover costs are appreciated). If a person wishes to stay here, then it’s important to enter fully and sincerely into the daily life and practice of the community. This will make the stay more meaningful for oneself and harmonious for others. Please see these other practical considerations for further information.
As the men's and women's accommodation is located in different places in the monastery and the nun’s and monk's communities are mostly separate from each other, the bookings are held a little differently:
We ask that all male guests, new or returning, stay for a minimum of three nights. New guests coming from the UK or Europe are allowed to stay for a maximum of 7 nights. Those coming from outside Europe, can stay for a maximum of 14 nights on their first visit depending on their circumstances. All male guests who have stayed overnight at Cittaviveka Monastery at least once can request to stay longer based on how their previous visit(s) have worked out.
We ask that all female guests coming from the UK stay for a total of three nights on their first visit. After arriving and staying for a day, if a new guest asks to stay longer than three nights, the Guest Assistant or Guest Nun will decide if an extension is appropriate, but please do not count on this extension as it may not be possible. For a guest coming from the UK who has stayed at Aloka Cottage in the last 5 years: a visit of up to 2 weeks (or even longer) may be possible.
For all women coming from outside the UK (overseas) we ask for a three night minimum stay. The maximum stay for a new overseas guest is 2 weeks, with the first week being a trial week. Please come with an open ticket or arrange alternative accommodation in case you can only stay for one week. For an overseas guest who has stayed at Aloka Cottage in the last 5 years, a visit of up to a month may be possible.
For both Men and Women:
Once we have received the booking form, the Women’s Guest Assistant (or Guest Nun) or the Guest Monk will confirm the booking by e-mail. The booking form is used for each visit one is attempting to make at the monastery. Please do not send us an email in regards to making a specific reservation without having first sent in your booking form.
Before applying with the booking form, please note: We do not take booking requests more than 2 months in advance of guests' requested start dates (if they live in the UK or Europe) or not more than 3 months in advance of their requested start date if living further abroad. For example, if a prospective guest wishes to visit July 17th to July 22nd, he or she will need to wait until May 17th to fill out the booking request form (if living in the UK or Europe or wait until April 17th if living further abroad.
From January 5 to March 31 we hold our winter retreat and do not have short term guest stays (we allow one month minimum stays for known/returning guests who are interested in serving the winter retreat). During this retreat time the booking form will be disabled and any incoming emails written to the Guest Monk or Guest Nun email account will not be read nor attended to at a later date. We ask all new or returning prospective guests interested in making a booking for the new calendar year (April 1 to December 31) to begin doing so on March 25 of that year, but not earlier.
Please follow these guidelines by waiting until the proper time to make a request to stay.
Due to the high number of overnight guest requests and our limited accommodations, we ask that reservations not be made until one can firmly commit to those dates without the likelihood of changing or canceling. If a guest makes a reservation and then cancels, changes it or does not show up, this usually means that someone else has lost the chance to stay here due to our having had to turn them away because we were fully booked. Therefore, we ask guests not to make a reservation unless they can make a firm commitment to follow through on it.
If a potential guest has made a reservation to stay, received confirmation and then later cancels or significantly changes the reservation dates less than two weeks before their visit or simply does not show up, that guest forgoes being able to stay at Cittaviveka for one year from their reservation date. In addition, if a guest comes to stay at Cittaviveka and leaves several days earlier than planned, that guest forgoes being able to extend their next stay past the number of days stayed on that visit (e.g. if someone plans to come for a week and he or she stays only four days, their next reservation can be for no longer than four days).
This policy deals with non-emergency situations. If a guest has an emergency which requires him or her to change or cancel a reservation, we ask that guest to notify us as soon as possible. In these cases the cancellation policy will not be applied.
All potential guests (new or returning) are required to book in advance by filling in and sending us the booking form below. Please do not send us an email requesting to stay as we will most likely ask that the booking form is sent in in rather than make a booking with an email.
Before clicking on the booking form below: Please do not ask to book a stay in APRIL or MAY. We are fully booked then and you cannot stay.
For those wanting to book a visit in JUNE (or July if you are outside of the UK or Europe), please complete the:
We are fully booked for women in April, May, June and much of July. For those wanting to book a visit from July 2019 onwards (please wait until the appropriate time to book (as stated above) and then complete the: