Overnight stays at the monastery are possible for men and for women who wish to support the monastery and to practice alongside the Sangha by following the monastery routine.
If you are interested in staying at Temple as an overnight guest, we ask that you please read the following before making a request to stay.
Information for Guests Staying at Temple Forest Monastery
First time guests may stay for up to one week if coming from within New England (or for up to two weeks if coming from further afield). If your first stay goes well, you may request to stay for a longer period of time when returning for a second visit. We discourage making reservations more than two months in advance of the date you wish to stay.
All guests staying at the monastery are expected to abide by the Eight Precepts, including not eating again after the main meal, which ends around noon, until the 7 a.m. breakfast the next day. (Tea and juice are available around 5 p.m.) Guests are also expected to participate fully in the daily routine, including the morning group meditation, which begins at 5 a.m., and the evening group meditation, which begins at 7 p.m. The morning routine includes a brief chore period and a longer work period.
This document provides more detailed information for guests. Please read through it, and feel free to ask any questions by email to the Guest Monk through the form on this page.
Staying at the Monastery
The monastery is located on about two hundred and forty rustic acres in Temple, New Hampshire. Temple Forest Monastery is not a retreat or meditation center; it is a monastery devoted to the training of monks in the Forest Tradition of Theravada Buddhism, with facilities for interested laypeople to practice and learn alongside them for a time if willing to follow the same routines.
In keeping with our tradition there is no charge for anything at Temple Forest Monastery, which is supported entirely by voluntary donations in the form of food and other material requisites, money, and work. While there is no obligatory charge to stay, guests are encouraged to consider how they might contribute to the needs of maintaining the monastery, developing the virtues of generosity, gratitude and kindness which are important qualities supporting the practice of mental cultivation.
We ask that reservations not be made until one can firmly commit to those dates without the likelihood of changing or canceling.
Arranging for Transportation
The monastery can neither arrange nor provide transportation for guests. Please plan to arrange for your own transportation to and from the monastery.
Outside Business and Coming & Going while Staying at the Monastery
A monastery is a sanctuary from usual worldly concerns for those who have dedicated themselves to spiritual practice; we try to maintain a quiet, contained, contemplative atmosphere. For the duration of your stay you become part of the life of the community, and how you behave affects everyone in the monastery. It is therefore inappropriate to come and go from the monastery without notice, or to engage in external business during your stay. Please take care of all relevant business before your arrival so that you can put everything aside during your stay. As an overnight guest of the monastery, you are expected to stay within the monastery grounds or the immediately surrounding area for the duration of your visit. If you need or wish to go into town or otherwise go out for any reason, first ask permission from the Abbot or the Guest Monk.
Communication: Phone & Internet
To help make the monastery a haven of quiet, simplicity, and solitude, you are asked to refrain from using phones, tablets or computers while staying here. You are encouraged to leave tablets or laptops at home – and to turn off your mobile phone during your stay.
If you have a need that requires use of the telephone or Internet, you can request access from the Guest Monk or the Abbot, and provision to use the monastery phone or computer can be made. Wi-fi access for your own device will not be available.
Special Diets and Times of Eating
Please note that we are unable to host overnight guests who require a special diet (any type of food, outside of what is offered to everyone on a daily basis) or guests who need to eat outside of the two meal times at 7 a.m. and 11 a.m. An exception can be made for diabetics who are on medication, or for similar serious medical needs (please inform the Guest Monk in your follow-up email if this would include you). Guests can have some tea or juice with honey or sugar, and sometimes certain “allowable” chewable calories such as boiled sweets or dark chocolate, in the afternoons at around 5 p.m. These items will be made available to guests on each afternoon – please refrain from keeping your own supplies (like all food offerings, they can be offered to the monastery and will be subsequently shared). Food items should not be stored individually by guests in their rooms or elsewhere.
Lodgings for Men and Women Guests and Monastic Residents
When arriving at the monastery, please pay attention to which areas are designated for Sangha (the monastic community) only, for men only and for women only. Men should not enter spaces designated for women, and vice versa, without permission from a senior monk, and should be accompanied by another man or woman respectively.
One side of the Sala, which is the main area for meetings, cooking and meals, is also a monastic living space. Please be respectful of this by refraining from lingering in conversation in or near the building after 1 p.m.
Items to Bring with You when Staying Overnight
Bedding and towels are available if needed, but due to the difficulty of washing/drying/returning used laundry the day of your departure, it could be helpful if you bring your own:
- (or) sleeping bag
- pillow case
Other items to bring:
- alarm clock
- portable timepiece such as a wrist watch
- sturdy work boots/shoes
- work clothes
- optional: work gloves, sun hat
Recommended seasonal clothing:
Summer: bug clothing or spray, sunglasses or lotion (if sensitive)
Spring/Fall: warm clothing, rain gear
Late Fall/Winter: very warm clothing (gloves, hat, coat), snow boots
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.
Pets at Temple Forest Monastery
As a monastery policy, for various reasons, we do not allow pets in the monastery.
The Eight Precepts
All guests at Temple Forest Monastery abide by the Eight Precepts, examples of these include not eating after the main meal, which ends at noon, until the 7 a.m. breakfast the next day; avoiding physical contact between men and women; and not intentionally killing any living creature including an insect. The Eight Precepts are:
1. To refrain from taking the life of any living creature
2. To refrain from taking that which is not given
3. To refrain from any kind of sexual activity
4. To refrain from false and harmful speech
5. To refrain from consuming intoxicating drink or drugs which lead to carelessness
6. To refrain from eating at inappropriate times (after midday)
7. To refrain from entertainment, beautification and adornment (such as music, makeup, and jewelry)
8. To refrain from sleeping on a high or luxurious sleeping place (not overindulging in sleep)
The Daily Routine
Guests participate in the daily routine, including the morning group meditation which begins at 5 a.m. and the evening group meditation which begins at 7 p.m. The morning routine also includes a brief chore and a longer work period.
5:00 a.m. Morning Puja – chanting and meditation
6:15 a.m. Chores
7:00 a.m. Light breakfast/tea
7:30 a.m. Discussion of the tasks for the morning
8:00 a.m. Meal preparation and general work period begins
11:00 a.m. The main meal (the last meal of the day)
1:00 p.m. Period for personal practice
7:00 p.m. Evening Puja – chanting and meditation
On the day of the Lunar Quarter (half, full, new moon), the Evening Puja is normally followed by a Dhamma Talk.
On Sunday there is a meditation workshop offered from 1 p.m.–3 p.m. Guests staying at the monastery are encouraged to attend. After the workshop there are no evening or morning meetings until Tuesday evening. Mondays and Tuesdays presently are Quiet Days, with minimal or no work period scheduled in the morning.
Before you ask to stay at the monastery, please also read through the following primer on some of the traditional etiquette guests are asked to observe:
We hope that your stay will be peaceful and enriching to your spiritual life.
Directions to the monastery and a map are available on the following page:
On a GPS or maps program, copy or type in:
32 Derbyshire Ln, Temple, NH, 03084
* Please be warned that GARMIN GPS systems tend to give inaccurate directions when very close to the monastery (they do not recognize North Road as the correct way, and can send you onto a very bad dirt road instead). Google and other GPS turn-by-turn systems will get you to the monastery easily.