staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

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staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

Postby Gregor » Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:55 am

Dear forum members,

I will be staying at Amaravaty monastery for 24 days starting on 1st of August. I was never in monastery before. Only similar experience I have is doing 10day retreats in S.N. Goenka tradition. Since I'm coming from southern Europe to UK only to visit Amaravati, guest monk over there was kind enough to offer me 24 days stay instead of usual maximum 10 days for the first time visitors. The reason I wanted to visit monastery in the first place was to see how monks life looks like and to evaluate if that is maybe something for me.
I'm happy to go to Amaravati and grateful for the opportunity but at the same time a little frightened cause I don't know what to expect.
If anyone of you guys has any advice to share about what to bring with me to the monastery, how to behave etc. please feel free to advice. Thanks.
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Re: staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:59 pm

Hi Gregor

I think it is quite normal to have some jitters. You will probably need the same things you will take on holiday with you- perhaps more dhamma oriented!

with metta

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With Metta

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& Upekkha
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Re: staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

Postby Ytrog » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:14 pm

I was in the same situation a few weeks ago: I was staying for 5 days at Cittaviveka (Chithurst Buddhist Monastery) without any prior visit to any monastery at all.

Some tips I can give you based on my stay at Cittaviveka (not Amaravati, but shouldn't be too different) are:
  • Don't be too nervous, I was nervous and discovered that you can't really do things wrong there.
  • Bring some sandals or slippers with you. Anything that you can put on and off in a second or so. You will be going between buildings sometimes and you aren't allowed to wear shoes inside. People usually walk on socks indoors, so slippers aren't needed there.
  • Buy some food nearby to donate. Cereal works fine ;)
  • Don't expect to be able to shave electrically. I did and ended looking like a bum until I could shave again at Heathrow Airport. Use a razor based system instead or at least don't have an old electrical shaver with dead batteries like I have. At Cittaviveka they have an electrical outlet above the sink in the bathroom, but it is blocked by a wooden ornament, so you can't plug anything in.
  • Expect to get dirty when doing some jobs there. I did some digging in the woods (with a Japanese/Irish Roshi who was a guest there :lol:), so bring some clothes for that. Alternatively just wash your trousers there (I don't know if Amaravati has a scullery though).
  • Experiment a lot with cushions and benches while you're there. It is the perfect opportunity to work on postures.
  • Observe what others do. I learned that you do a prostration thrice when you enter a room with a Buddha statue inside and thrice when you leave. I honestly didn't know :embarassed:
  • Don't be afraid to talk to the monks. Remember the first point ;)

You're going to have a great time.
Enjoy :D
Suffering is asking from life what it can never give you.


mindfulness, bliss and beyond (page 8) wrote:Do not linger on the past. Do not keep carrying around coffins full of dead moments


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Re: staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

Postby Gregor » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:44 pm

Thanks guys. Ytog, I think I'll bring some nuts with me but if I don't find them in Hemel Hempstead, cereals will be fine too. :)
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Re: staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

Postby aniccasati » Sat Jul 30, 2011 8:47 pm

hello Gregor,

Don't worry about your stay at Amaravati, it's going to be lovely, they're lovely people. Very laid-back place, no stress whatsoever.
If you travel to Berkhamsted (instead of Hemel Hempstead) you find a Tesco supermarket very near to the station, where you can buy some cheese or dark chocolate to take as 'dana' (donation). They're allowed to eat those in the afternoon. Also there's a taxi point right outside the station (about £9 the ride) but you can walk from there, if you're clever enough to find your way (I'm not!).

Enjoy your stay :namaste:
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Re: staying at Amaravati for 24 days, looking for advice

Postby householder » Mon Aug 01, 2011 5:05 am

Check out the library - they have some great books! Also say hi to Manapa!
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