Three times per year the monastery puts down all its activities, to refresh the spirits of guest and monks within a so called quiet week. This means that the monastic community pulls back form its public duties and responsabilities and spends a week or two on quiet retreat.
A small number of guests is welcome to join the monastic community during this time, if they are happy to get actively involved in the daily house cleaning, cooking and washing-up activities.
3 months winter retreat
The three months winter retreat directly follows the New Year’s retreat, which usually ends on January first.
Instead of retreating during the annual monsoon season – as it is customary in Theravada countries in Asia – already during the 1980s some of our Western communities established an extended retreat period during the long European winters.
This means practically, that during this time the monastic community withdraws from all its public responsibilities and all other service and teaching activities around the monastery. It is a period of individual solitude for the monks and nuns.
A limited number of guests are allowed to join the the monastic winter retreat for an extended period of time (ideally a minimum of one month), so that they can also benefit from from the stillness and seclusion of an alpine winter and develop their own Dhamma practice. Note that there are no communal meditations together with the monastic Sangha. So as a prerequisite lay participants have to be experienced practitioners as well as very self motivated.
In addition we expect guests to help with all the daily chores, kitchen duties and of course the snow shoveling.