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 quite separate from each other, the bookings are held a little differently:
The minimum stay for male guests, new or returning, is 3 nights. The maximum stay for new guests from the UK or Europe is 7 nights. If one is coming from further abroad, then a stay of up to two weeks may be requested. Previous overnight guests can request to stay longer based on how their prior visits 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/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: Booking requests can be made up to 2 months in advance of your requested start date if you live in the UK or Europe or 3 months in advance if you live further abroad. Please do not write further in advance than this.
From January 5 to April 1 we hold our winter retreat and do not have overnight guest stays. During this retreat time the booking form will be disabled and any incoming emails to the Guest Monk email account will not be read or later attended to. We ask all prospective guests interested in making a booking for the new calendar year (April 1 to January 4) to begin doing so on March 25 of that year.
Please follow these guidelines by waiting until the proper time to make a request to stay.
If a potential guest has received a confirmation to stay and less than two weeks before their arrival date cancels it or doesn't show up for it, depending on the situation, it is possible they will be asked to forgo staying at Chithurst for some time.
This policy deals with non-emergency and non-health related situations. In cases of emergencies or illness, please contact us as soon as possible to let us know of your need to cancel or your reasons to have not shown up for a reservation.
We have this policy in place due to the high number of overnight guest requests, our very limited accommodations, and a history of last minute cancellations and no shows. Thus, we ask that reservations not be made until one can firmly commit to the dates reserved without the likelihood of changing or cancelling. If a guest makes a reservation and then cancels or changes it, this usually means that someone else has lost the chance to stay here.
Before clicking on the booking form below: Please do not ask to book a stay in MAY to MIDDLE JUNE. We are fully booked then and you cannot stay.
As of May 21, we have very few openings: June 17 - 21, July 14-19, 27-30, August 4-8, 5-12. Middle August and later is more open. If you would like to request one of these dates please click on the male booking form below.
We are fully booked for women in 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 and then complete the: