Conditions of Stay for Lay People

We have developed the following Conditions of Stay which we expect all our visitors to abide by.

All visitors must keep the 8 Precepts below for the entire duration of their stay, even when visiting the city. They must also agree to the Conditions of Stay listed as on this page.

Visitors must have sufficient funds to support their personal needs, including onward travel (monastic accommodation and basic food, as offered to monastics, is shared with guests at no charge).

We can only accept your stay with proof of either a Medicare card (for Australian residents or people on Permanent or Temporary Visas) or proof of valid Comprehensive Travel/Health Insurance that will cover you for the entire duration of your stay at Santi.

Please send us the scanned documentary evidence of:
1)  your medicare card or insurance document
2)  your identification documents, with your face clearly showing
[eg: your Passport or Australian drivers licence]
via email to  BEFORE you complete and submit this application.

Type in the subject line: “your name – Proof of Health Insurance”.
Eg. “Lucy Lieu – Proof of Health Insurance”.

The maximum period you can apply to stay is one month. The minimum period is seven days. After two weeks you can apply to extend your stay, subject to long term guest review and availability of accommodation.

The Eight Precepts:

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
  2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
  3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.
  4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.
  5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.
  6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the forbidden time (i.e., between noon and dawn).
  7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.
  8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami
    I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on a high or luxurious sleeping place.

Please also see: Notes on Noble Silence and Practice at Santi

You must understand and accept the following Risks

This is a communal forest monastery, there are certain risks you should be aware of.

1. Living in a forest setting

a. The accommodation provided to visitors at SFM may be in the forest or close to the main building. It may be in a room, a kuti or caravan. It is basic, but well maintained and mostly sealed. However, as this is a forest setting, insects, spiders, snakes or other creatures may find their way into the room. Snakes and spiders may be venomous and potentially lethal. (Visitors not prepared to accept this risk or who have particular allergies should assess whether staying at SFM is suitable for them).

b. Visitors are requested to take responsibility for ensuring that doors, windows and any other openings belonging to their accommodation are closed when you are absent, and, as much as possible, maintain a constant check to ensure that the room is free of wild life and insects.

c. If visitors notice a defect with their accommodation, then they should inform the accommodation officer at SFM.

d. The paths at SFM are rugged in nature and you may encounter steep cliffs and rocks. Visitors who wish to venture into the forest must accept full responsibility for their own safety when walking around SFM. Whilst hiking, visitors must ensure that they wear appropriate footwear and carry at all times the whistle/bandage roll issued by SFM. If visitors intend on going on a long walk, they are advised to go in pairs, leave at a suitable time to ensure that they arrive back during daylight hours and notify SFM of their whereabouts by leaving a note.

e. Visitors are encouraged to stick to the main pathways.

f. There are no lights on the paths and it is necessary that a torch be used during the night.

2. Living in an open space

a. SFM consists of a community of people – monastics and lay residents – both female and male.

b. Monastic and female/male lay accommodation, toilet and bathing facilities are clearly segregated. There is a common area for meditation and partaking of meals.

c. SFM is situated in a eucalyptus forest bordering Morton National Park. While there is a whistle/bandage roll for emergencies, SFM is unable to guarantee the safety of each visitor.

3. Meditation and Mental Health

a. SFM is most conducive for experienced Buddhist meditators. The schedule emphasizes individual meditation time in the afternoons and evenings, with just a couple of group meditation sessions and teachings scheduled through the week.

b. However, both meditation and long periods of solitude may not be suitable for those with a mental illness. Applicants with a mental illness are required to disclose this upon application, with details of any mental health condition and how you manage it (i.e. medications or otherwise). Such applicants are recommended to first seek professional medical advice from their doctor as to whether or not meditation is suitable for them prior to their application to SFM.

c. The monastics at SFM are not doctors or therapists and are not qualified to provide treatment for mental or any other type of illness.

4. Work involved at SFM

a. Santi Forest Monastery is not a meditation retreat centre. It is a Monastery where we live in community and there are daily duties to perform every day as part of the practice of the noble eight-fold path.

b. Part of living in a community is the sharing of duties for the benefit of the community as a whole. Accordingly, visitors are expected to share in the duties around the monastery as part of their stay.

c. Whilst we are not able to provide facilities for people who wish to go on a fully supported personal retreat, most days there is time available after lunch cleanup for individual practice.

d. Visitors voluntarily undertaking any physical tasks and/or using any equipment do so at their own risk. If required, visitors will be provided protective equipment. Visitors may be working alongside monastics and other volunteers who may not be professionals. Visitors should be aware that there may be risks involved in such tasks and further, must be aware that they should always work in a safe and proper fashion to avoid harm to themselves and others.

5. Personal Property

a. Visitors are responsible for their own personal property, and are reminded to take care in ensuring its safekeeping.

6. Medical

a. Visitors are required to have their own medical insurance if they do not have the benefit of Medicare.

b. In the event of a medical emergency, SFM will administer First Aid and/or transfer a visitor to the hospital as required.

c. Visitors should bring with them any medications or supplements that they may need during their stay.

d. SFM is unable to cater for special dietary needs.

e. SFM is predominantly vegetarian.

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