Why would a monastery keep their meditation hall locked?
This is Bodhivana Monastery, near Melbourne. My favourite monastery so far.
But one thing I never got a straight answer on, and I found it quite odd;
Why would they keep their hall locked? It's locked all the time, except when monks are using it, or when a lay-guest-resident who knows where the key is, is inside.
Even when people come to give the mid-day dana it is kept locked, and I heard one of the anagarikas say to a layperson that they couldn't go into the hall as it is kept locked.
So when people visit the monastery there is nowhere indoors to meditate.
All other monasteries I have visited have had open halls, which are generally only locked at night.
I was shown the key and also had my own kuti for meditation, so it didn't bother me, but I am very curious.
I asked two of the bhikkhus why; the senior bhikkhu said because there are a lot of criminals in the area, (in the rural Yarra valley?), and the other bhikkhu shrugged and changed the subject. It seemed like there was some subtext I was unaware of... not sure what it could be.