I thought I post this here (hopefully in the right spot) to see if anybody would be interested.
The branch of Mahamevnawa Meditation Monasteries in Florida is currently looking for a (male) lay practitioner who would be interested in joining the spiritual community in the monastery. They had a very good experience with Western lay supporters living at the monastery before but their current volunteer who lived at the monastery had to relocate.
Mahamevnawa Florida is running the monastery in Tampa as a traditional (South East Asian) Buddhist monastery which means the whole place is run through donations...this allows them to provide the entire place to the Sangha AND interested lay people can come and stay with the monks free of charge. So if this proposition interests you, if you like to live with the monks as a 5-, 8- or 10 precept lay person you are welcome to join them. The monks speak English and the community is a 20-80 percent mix of American/Lankan Buddhists.
In fact in Sri Lanka it is quite a tradition and so you will always find one or more lay people keeping precepts and living with the monks. They usually use the opportunity to deepen their meditation practice - which of course the time table offers plenty of room for.
Accommodation as well daily breakfast & lunch are provided free of charge by the community. The place is situated in a very calm neighbourhood and inviting for a retreat (even though they don't have much of a garden, there are several National Parks nearby - it's located in North Tampa). Timeframe - entirely up to you. Weeks/Months - the longer the better I was told.
The daily time table includes a morning chanting and group meditation, Buddha puja at lunch time with a Dhamma talk for the lay people who bring food. The afternoon is usually dedicated for meditation and Dhamma study. In the evening there is another chanting session and group meditation to which the public is invited. Weekends usually feature a richer program, some weekends have full day retreats (in English and Sinhala). Every Sunday they conduct Pali study classes as well.
Now all these "benefits" come with one drawback (or opportunity for merit, depending how you look at it) - the main reason why it makes sense to have a lay person at the monastery is twofold:
The Sri Lankan forest monks keep their precepts very strongly. So they are not allowed to store any food over night (after all, they are supposed to be beggar monks). So in the morning, for the breakfast, they do not have enough supporters yet to bring breakfast separately. Walter (the long term Zen-meditator who has helped them so far and resided there) had everyone stock his fridge in the monastery with breakfast items and he would offer them to the monk in the morning. So that is the first "job" a lay supporter would have to do at the monastery. Breakfast is usually between 6 and 6:30am. The monks eat very light but whoever is there would have to prepare something and offer it to the monk(s).
Secondly, the benefit of having a lay person in the monastery is that anybody, including women can stop by and bring food without the monk getting into an awkward situation to be alone with a woman. So during the lunch time someone would bring always enough food for the lay people residing in the monastery as well as the monks.
Other than that let me know if you have any questions. The Mahamevnawa Monastery in Tampa has two extra rooms and an extra bathroom, so enough space right now. There is no other restrictions nor obligations. Just a peaceful and quiet place for practicing the Dhamma.
Let me know if you have any questions or head over to their website:link