General behaviour within the monastery
The monastery as a place for spiritual practice fosters and maintains a contemplative atmosphere, which is based upon the mutual respect and thoughtfulness of its visitors and the resident community.
We therefore ask our visitors and guests to give consideration to their behaviour and their mode of dress in accordance with this atmosphere. Our guests are requested to dress appropriately [no shorts or mini skirts; no shoulder or belly-free clothing] and to behave considerately within the public areas [no martial arts training or other loud and vigorous exercises].
The ‘Space of Stillness’ (our official meditation room) on the third floor is exclusively for quiet meditation practice alone.
We appreciate a clean and tidy outward appearance, but ask you to refrain from the use of perfume, cosmetics and jewellery.
Monks, nuns and novices avoid physical contact with members of the opposite gender as part of their monastic discipline. We kindly ask our guests to respect this and to likewise refrain from unnecessary bodily contact with members of the opposite sex.
Proper care and general attentiveness
Everything you see within the monastery we owe to generous donations. We therefore kindly ask you to handle items consciously and carefully.
Please maintain an overall tidyness, especially in those places, which are used communally. Please keep your room tidy and use your own towels, sheets, duvet covers and pillow cases. In rare exceptions such items can be borrowed from the monastery. Please do not bring any sleeping bags along!
On your departure, please clean your room thoroughly, take borrowed linen to the scullery, empty the rubbish bin, replace the plastic liner inside the bin, close the windows and turn down the heating.
We generally expect your cooperation, especially with the daily cleaning chores, with the cooking and washing up and with small work projects during the mornings. If you notice that something is in need of repair or has to be replaced somewhere, then please inform the guest monk.
If you need to smoke, then please do it outside the building and a short distance away from the monastery, so that you don’t bother other people. Smoking inside the building – as well as with open windows or on the balcony – is strictly prohibited! Because of an extremly high fire risk in an entirely wooden building, candles and incense should only be lit in the communal areas in the basement and in the meditation room on the third floor – under no circumstances in the bedrooms! Please familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and have a look at the maps on the inside of your bedroom door.
Please note also, that talking, telephoning and the playing of audio devices in your bedroom might disturb your neighbor. Should you have to leave your room late at night, please move around gently and carefully within our poorly soundproofed house, so that you will not disturb the night rest of the other guests.
The daily routine at Dhammapala monastery
Following the daily routine is an important part of spiritual practice. We therefore ask our guests to abide by the daily schedule. In particular it is obligatory to take part in the communal meditations in the mornings and evenings and in the daily meetings with the guest monk. If you are sick or are otherwise unable to perform the daily duties, then please inform the guest monk.
The monastery is a place for reflection and contemplation, for retreat and solitude. It is meant to be a place outside of the bustle of worldly business. If you are a monastery guest and take part in our life, it is not suitable for you to attend to other duties during your stay. Therefore we kindly ask our guests, to turn off all their electronic devices (especially mobile phones) during their stay. Inside the monastery there is no WiFi access for guests.
5:30 communal meditation
6:30 morning chores
8:30 house meeting
9:00 work period
11:30 main meal (during wintertime: 11:00)
17:00 afternoon tea
19:30 evening puja & meditation
The above schedule generally applies five days a week. Two days a week are quiet and spacious days, when the normal routine is relaxed. During these days there are no formal group meetings and guests are encouraged to practice under their own guidance. During the summer months one of those two days can be used to walk and practise within the beautiful mountain environment of Kandersteg.
Every Saturday the evening meeting is extended with a formal Dhamma talk or a group dialogue theme.
We explicitly do not offer individual retreats, but instead encourage our guests to participate fully in the daily activities of the monastic community. Besides that there is always plenty of time available for personal meditation and study.