Please review and commit to the following retreat guidelines:
Following the Five Precepts
The Buddha taught these precepts to facilitate and aid our spiritual practice.
The five precepts are:
Refrain from killing.
Refrain from stealing.
Refrain from engaging in sexual misconduct.
Refrain from lying or slandering.
Refrain from using intoxicants [drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, tobacco, etc.].
Comfortable and Modest Clothing
Clothing in the monastery should be comfortable and modest. Comfortable clothing is ideal for meditation and cultivation because it allows one to bow and sit cross-legged unimpeded. Modest clothing is important because it causes fewer distractions for others. As a visitor, please refrain from wearing clothing such as mini-skirts, shorts, and sleeveless shirts.
In line with our philosophy of non-harming, all food at CTTB is sattvic vegetarian, and for those who choose, vegan as well. There are many reasons people in the monastery are vegetarian: compassion for animals, protecting the environment, and personal health and well-being. We try to minimize the amount of suffering we create through our lifestyles and eating habits. Buddhism also teaches that food has a profound connection with our thoughts and desires, and being vegetarian helps us have clearer minds and more compassionate hearts. We also do not serve onions, garlic, chives, shallots, leeks, or eggs on CTTB grounds.
Separation of Men and Women
Buddhist monks and nuns in our tradition observe a vow of total celibacy. Monastics do not engage in long conversations with a person of opposite gender without the company of a third person. We ask that visitors to the monastery be sensitive to this monastic code of conduct and respect the separation of gender during the retreat. This allows the community to focus on contemplative practice with fewer distractions.
To maintain a inner and outer environment of concentration, we will observe Noble Silence throughout the retreat. However, participants may speak during discussion periods and lectures, and as-needed during community work.
No Digital Devices
Please 'unplug' and refrain from using digital technology like cell phones, laptops, tablets and music players during the retreat. This week is a rare opportunity to look deeply into our minds free of the distractions from our devices (as well as giving others the space to do so as well).
Service as Practice
Service plays a central role in the overall retreat experience by bringing the Dharma into daily life, supporting others, and creating a sense of community. During the retreat, everyone will be given a simple work duty such as kitchen-prep, cleaning, and dish washing. We hope to foster an environment where work, study, and practice are all integrated into one holistic experience.