There is a growing number of women who wants to experience monastic life. A core aim of Dhammasara is to provide this rare opportunity for lay women to taste the monastic lifestyle firsthand.
There are rooms available for short term residence in the monastery. Local guests may apply online to stay for up to 2 weeks, interstate and international guests up to 4 weeks, subject to room availability. We do not accept walk-in guests. If this interests you, please carefully read the information below.
- Applicants need to have some basic in meditation practice and familiarity with the Buddhist principles in order to live in the monastery. Applicants should have completed at least one Buddhist retreat. There is no formal meditation teaching program at the monastery, so one must be able to meditate independently.
- Applicants should be Buddhist, and a member of the BSWA if living locally.
- Applicants should be in good physical and mental health.
- Applicants are expected to follow daily routine, attend work meetings and participate in work activities.
During Bushfire Season (Nov – Apr), local guests may be asked to return home during periods of Extreme Fire Danger. It would therefore be very helpful for non-local guests to have alternative accommodation during the fire season.
Arrival and Departure
The Monastery opening hours is 10am – 1pm daily. Guests are to check-in by 10am, you will be briefed on the stay guidelines and daily routine. Lunch ceremony is at 10:30am. It is also preferred you are here before the main meal, as one cannot eat in the afternoon. If you are unable to arrive during our opening hours, please arrange with the Guest Nun to check-in on the next morning by 10am.
Taxis are available from the airport and the nearest town Midland. There is no train or bus station nearby our monastery. Please arrange your own transfer to/from the Monastery, arriving by 10am and leaving by 1pm.
If you need to leave the monastery during your stay, or return home earlier than intended, please notify the Abbot or Guest Nun.
On departing, please ensure your room is clean and tidy by 9am on the day of departure, ready for the next guest. Return your key to a resident nun.
Anyone who stays at Dhammasara keeps the 8 precepts. Daily routine includes participating in daily work before Dana, and group meditation/chanting some with teaching. For visitors, daily work usually means helping in the kitchen or any outside work around and in the forest. There is still ample time for solitary meditation.
Guests should dress modestly: no shorts, singlets, or revealing clothing. All external business should be kept to an absolute minimum. Try to maintain silence as much as possible. Food & drinks are donated by the supporters to the monastery. If you have any dietary restrictions, please bring your own suitable food and supplements.
The 8 precepts are as follows:
- To refrain from intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
- To refrain from taking what is not given.
- To refrain from any sexual activity: no physical contact or intimacy with the opposite sex.
- To refrain from dishonest speech.
- To refrain from using alcohol or non-medicinal drugs. (Smoking is banned in the monastery).
- To refrain from eating after noon. (Non-milk drinks, juice, sweets, sugar & honey are allowable. Exceptions can be arranged for legitimate health concerns such as pregnancy & diabetes etc.).
- To refrain from dancing, singing, playing music, and wearing cosmetics, perfume, and jewellery.
- To refrain from using luxurious beds and seats.
What to Bring (Click here for Extra requirements for Bushfire season)
- Alarm clock
- Toiletries and towel
- Sheets, pillow case & sleeping bag. Bedding is available for overseas/interstate guests, but must be cleaned before you leave
- Work clothes and shoes/boots
- CD/MP3 player
- Personal Medication/Supplements
Online (no) Access
To maintain the spirit of a forest monastery, living in a simple, natural environment, we encourage all our guests to minimise the use of e-mail, social media and Internet. You may use your own mobile device – Telstra has better coverage in rural areas.
Monastery internal Internet is NOT available for guests to use.
All overseas visitors must arrange and pay for their own visas and travel to and from Australia. To find out which one is the right one for you follow this link: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-finder. A Visitor visa will cover you to come and stay as a guest at Dhammasara.
The monastery also requires you to have Travel Medical Insurance that covers you during your stay here.
Guest Application form
- Lay Guest Application Form 2019/2020
- Returning Lay Guest Application Form (use this if you have filled the Lay Guest Application Form in 2018/2019)
— Applications may take a few days to be reviewed, we appreciate your patience.
Rains Retreat (Vassa)
During the annual Rains Retreat (full moon in July to full moon in October) we do NOT take short-stay bookings.