People are welcome to visit Cittaviveka. Come for an hour, an afternoon, an evening, a day. The Dhamma Hall is always open, and apart from the daily meal time period (10.30 – 11.30 a.m., Winter Time, and 11.30 a.m. – 12.30 p.m, Summer Time ) people are welcome to use it for silent meditation. There are mats and cushions in the vestibule at the back of the building, and chairs inside the Hall if you prefer to use those. There are group meditations most mornings and evenings (see The Daily Routine) which members of the public are very welcome to participate in. These group meditations generally begin with chanting and bowing to the shrine – join in if you feel comfortable, but don’t feel obliged to do so. We would only ask that you use the hall with respect, in silence and for sitting in meditation.
The main house, Chithurst House, has the ground floor as a public area. The upstairs area is reserved for male residents. You can enter the House during the day, and use the Shrine Room, or read in the Reception Room. If you are bringing uncooked food or other such offerings to the monastery, the best time to come is around 10.00 a.m. (or 11.00 a.m. during Summer Time), when you can take them to the Dhamma Hall to be formally received and blessed by the Sangha. At other times you can take food or domestic supplies to the Kitchen in the House. If you are bringing cooked food to offer for the meal, it’s best to arrive a bit earlier and take your cooked food to the kitchen where it can be integrated into the meal-time offerings.
We use Mondays as a day of silence and solitude. Also on most afternoons, the monastery may be quiet, but you are welcome to stroll or sit in the grounds. If on the other hand, you wish to talk with a monk or nun, the best time to come is around midday on Saturday or Sunday, or between 5.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. on Sunday when the Sangha receive people in the House. This is also a good time to meet other lay practitioners and make connections.
As overnight accommodation is limited and booked in advance, we can’t accommodate visitors without prior notification. For overnight stays, or longer, please read Staying as a Guest.
Lastly, if you plan to drive a car to Cittaviveka, we and our neighbours request that you drive slowly and carefully along our single lane roads. We have had reports of several close encounters with other vehicles, children, pets and horses.