Santi Forest Monastery offers the opportunity for women and men to train in a monastic setting. Accommodation is available for monastics and lay people to stay. Most dwellings are situated in quiet bush settings, providing the perfect atmosphere to practice simplicity and seclusion. Those who stay are encouraged to rise early, meditate often, practice generosity and learn from the teachings that are available here. Monastics are happy to discuss Dhamma/meditation with you on request.
Santi is primarily a monastic dwelling, rather than a lay retreat centre.
Everyone staying at Santi follows the general daily routine. It is supplemented with other activities such as Dhamma talks, classes in Buddhist studies, and special events.
05:30 – 06:30 Group meditation (optional)
06:30 – 07:10 Breakfast
07:10 – 07:30 Clean up (ALL to help)
07:30 – 10:45 Work meeting and work (Monday – Friday only)
Please notify in advance if unable to attend
11:00 – 13:00 Main meal & clean up (ALL to help)
13:00 onwards Individual meditation time
17:00 – 18:00 Drinks (optional)
19:00 – 20:30 Group meditation and chanting (optional except Wednesdays and Saturdays)
19:00 – 20:30 Dhamma Talk (mainly recorded) and meditation
(Whole Santi resident community to attend. Open to public.)
18:00 – 19:00 Informal gathering with drinks in library
(Optional. At least one monastic present.)
19:00 – 20:30 Chanting and meditation
(Whole Santi resident community to attend. Open to public.)
13:00 onwards Self-study for monastics and anagarikas
(Vinaya and sutta classes)
ALL lay and anagarika residents to help in the kitchen. No other official work or work meetings.
Daily and weekly schedules are subject to change.
Kindly check with a monastic or refer to our notice board for information.
Please notify us in advance if you unable to attend.
Special schedule for Vassa / Rains Retreat (to be announced).
The Eight Precepts
Everyone staying at Santi follows these eight wonderful precepts:
- To refrain from deliberately killing any living being (including insects).
- To refrain from stealing. (Please ask one of the nuns before taking or borrowing anything belonging to the monastery.)
- To refrain from all kinds of sexual behavior in public and in private.
- To refrain from consciously lying.
- To refrain from alcohol and other intoxicants. (Smoking is also not allowed anywhere in the monastery.)
- To refrain from eating food between noon and dawn the next day. (Exceptions for people with genuine medical reasons. Dark chocolate, sweets, fruit juice, tea and coffee are OK.)
- To refrain from games, music, singing, dancing and other entertainments, and to refrain from using perfumes, make-up or jewellery.
- To refrain from using high and large seats and beds.
All services provided by Santi Forest Monastery, including teachings, accommodation and food, are provided free of charge through the generosity of our supporters.
To find out what provisions are currently needed at the monastery, you can call us or take a look at the Dana – page on this website.
Applying to stay
Lay people may apply to stay for up to one month. This period may be extended subject to a procedure of a long term guest review and availability of accommodation. For more information and application forms, please go to the ‘Applying to stay – Lay people’-page.
Female monastics are welcome to apply to stay for a short or longer period of time. Please note that Santi FM is a Nun’s monastery so Monks are only allowed to stay short-term. For more information and application forms, please go to the ‘Applying to stay – Monastics’-page.
Conditions of stay
The Community of Santi Forest Monastery (SFM) welcomes you to stay at our forest monastery.
To ensure our guests’ comfort and safety, we have developed the following Conditions of Stay which we request all our guests to abide by. As this is a communal forest monastery, there are certain risks that you should be aware of.
1. Living in a forest setting
a. The accommodation provided to guests at SFM may be in the forest or close to the main building. It may be in a room, a meditation hut or caravan. It is basic, but well-kept and sealed.
b. As this is a forest setting, insects, spiders, snakes or any other creature may find their way into the room. The snakes and spiders may be venomous or even lethal.
c. Guests not prepared to accept this risk or who have particular allergies should assess whether staying at SFM is suitable to them.
d. Guests are requested to take responsibility to ensure that doors, windows and any other openings of their accomodation are closed, and check at all times that the room is free of any wild life or insects.
e. If guests notice a serious defect, then they should inform the accommodation officer at SFM.
f. The paths at SFM are rugged in nature. There are look-outs (such as the cliff-view lookout), meditation seats and Kutis which are built around steep cliffs and rocks.
g. Guests who wish to venture into the forest take full responsibility when walking around SFM. They are required to ensure they wear proper footwear, to take the whistle/bandage roll issued from SFM at all times, and if going on a long walk, to go in pairs or notify SFM of their whereabouts by leaving a note.
h. Guests are encouraged to stick to the main pathways.
i. There are no lights to the paths in the night and it is recommended that a torch is used.
2. Living in an open space
a. SFM consists of a community of people – monastics and lay residents who are female and male.
b. Monastics and female/male accommodation is clearly segregated, though there is a common area for meditation and partaking of meals.
c. SFM is also an open area. While there is a whistle and bandage roll for any emergency, SFM is unable to guarantee the safety of each guest.
a. SFM is set up in a manner conducive for group and individual meditation.
b. Meditation may not be suitable for those with a mental illness. Guests with a mental illness are required to disclose this upon application. They are recommended to first seek professional medical advice on whether meditation is suitable for them, prior to their arrival at SFM.
c. The monastics at SFM are not doctors or therapists and cannot provide treatment for mental illnesses.
4. Work involved at SFM
a. Part of living in a community is the sharing of duties for the benefit of the community as a whole.
b. Accordingly, guests may be asked to assist with duties around the monastery as part of their stay.
c. If guests undertake any physical tasks or use of equipment, guests do so voluntarily and are required to advise SFM if they have any medical condition or any other reason that prevents them from safely undertaking those tasks.
d. Guests may be given protective gear if required. Guests may be working alongside monastics and other volunteers who may not be professionals. Guests should be aware that there may be risks involved in such tasks and wearing protective gear may not be sufficient to protect themselves. Accordingly, guests are reminded that they should work in a safe and proper fashion to avoid harm to themselves and others.
5. Personal Property
a. Guests are responsible for their own personal property, and are reminded to take care in ensuring its safekeeping.
a. Guests are required to have their own medical insurance, particularly 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 guest to the hospital as required.