Monastery gates open:
6:00am – 6:00pm, Monday – Friday
6:00am – 1:00pm, Saturday and Sunday
Visitors are welcome to walk quietly around the Monastery grounds that are not marked as ‘Restricted’ or use the hall for individual meditation. Smoking, alcohol and music are prohibited on the monastery grounds.
Most people come for the daily offering of the meal at 10.30 am and participate in the ancient tradition of the alms round by putting rice in the monk’s bowl. Before sharing the meal together, everyone will gather upstairs of the dining hall for a short blessing. After the meal, the monks are available to speak informally with the visitors.
The monks’ huts are open to the public on formal occasions like the opening to the Rains Retreat and Kathina. It is a perfect opportunity for visitors to have a glimpse into a monk’s simple livelihood and residential area.
Please remove your shoes and head-gear on entering the kitchen or food areas. Please wear modest clothing which covers you. This applies to both men and women, and includes not wearing short skirts, shorts, thigh slashes in skirts, sleeveless or low-cut tops and singlets. Please switch off you mobile phone and avoid making loud noises.
Every day the community of monks and lay supporters come together at 10:30am to share a meal. Anyone is welcome to come to the monastery and share in the meal.
If you wish to contribute by bringing food, a good time to arrive at the monastery is around 10am.
If you wish to drop off food on arrival, you can drive down to the kitchen (take the road to the left of the car park), and after dropping off dāna, please ensure your car is parked in the upper car park next to the main hall.
If you need assistance with food preparation or have any questions on arrival, please talk to one of the lovely young men dressed in white (known as ‘anagarikas’), as they are happy to help.
Once the food is ready, you can place it on the large tables in the main room next to the kitchen. It can be helpful to prepare and cook as much food as possible before arrival, as sometimes with large numbers of people needing to use the kitchen facilities, space for preparation is limited.
If one wishes to donate requisites, they can be given directly to the anagarikas on arrival, or brought upstairs for offering to the senior monk shortly before the meal. If you need any assistance with requisites you can ask the anagarikas.
Before the meal, visitors are invited to participate in a custom dating back over 2500 years ago to the time of the Buddha; offering rice to the monks, also known as piṇḍapāta.
If you wish to participate, you may collect a plate and spoon from the kitchen and help yourself to a small portion of rice from rice cookers in the dining area. If you need assistance, the men dressed in white will be glad to help you. Please do not collect any food from the dining area at this time as the food is brought by people visiting the monastery and is not to be given during the rice offering.
You can then join the line of people forming outside the main building. When the monks are finished preparations upstairs, they will walk down to the main area to collect rice, and you can spoon a small portion into the bowl of each monk.
After the offering, please make your way upstairs to wait for the blessing.
Offering of Requisites and Blessing
Once all monks have gathered their food from downstairs, they will make their way upstairs to the visitors. A senior monk will address the visitors, and at this time requisites can be offered to the Sangha.
As a simple tradition, a short verse will be recited in pāli (a language spoken at the time of the Buddha) to offer the requisites, and then people are invited to step forward to make any offerings to the Sangha.
After the offerings, a traditional pāli blessing is chanted by the monks to share the merits of the gifts given with any departed loved ones.
After the blessing by the monks comes the blessing of the tummy!
Guests are invited to make their way downstairs and help themselves to lunch. The monks will remain upstairs to eat. Should you wish to speak to a senior monk, it’s best to return upstairs after you have finished your meal, and a senior monk will be available from around 11:30am.
Sharing the meal with others is a beautiful way to make new friends and connect with the community here at Bodhinyana. Many people from different cultures and backgrounds come to the monastery, and there is always a relaxed, friendly atmosphere in which it’s easy to feel at home… and if you really want to feel at home, you can even stick around after the meal to help clean the dishes!
After the meal is finished, you are welcome to take a stroll around the main area and visit the meditation hall, although we do ask that guests refrain from walking into areas reserved for monastic residence so that monks may retain privacy. These areas are signposted as ‘meditation area’.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the opening hours?
Monastery gates open:
6am – 6pm Monday – Friday
6am – 1pm Saturday and Sunday
What time do I arrive for the meal?
The best time to arrive is 10am.
What kind of food can I bring for the meal?
There is no fixed rule on what to bring or how much to bring, but a basic guideline is a plate to share. The monastery is not strictly vegetarian, but of course one is welcome to provide vegetarian food.
You may bring rice to serve to the monks in the rice offering, but there is no need to provide cooked rice for the meal, as the monastery will provide rice.
Can I re-heat my food when I arrive at the monastery?
There is a simple kitchen at the monastery to heat and prepare food. With many people passing through the monastery, it is often quite busy in the kitchen, and so it is often easier to leave your food with a man dressed in white who will heat it for you.
Can I give anything besides food for the meal?
The monastery often requires breakfast cereal, condiments, jams and spreads, long life milk, soy milk, yoghurt, dark chocolate, butter and cheese, dried noodles and tinned foods. Frozen foods are welcome as they can be stored in our freezer. Our little black cat (his name is Spot) likes cat food, and we sometimes require requisites like shavers, toilet paper, soap, and cleaning supplies.
With many people donating to the monastery, we often have a surplus of certain items, so it can be helpful to call the monastery on 08 95252420 to ask if there are any specific items needed. If the phone is unattended, please leave a message and we will return your call.
Can I walk around the monastery?
You are welcome to take a stroll around the main area of the monastery.
The meditation hall is a lovely place to spend a few moments relaxing and soaking up the silence, and you can walk around the two small dams and lawn downhill from the main eating area.
We do ask that guests refrain from walking into areas reserved for monastic residence so that monks may retain privacy. These areas are signposted as ‘meditation area’.
Any questions can be directed the men dressed in white (known as ‘anagarikas’)