If you have considered becoming a Steward at Aranya Bodhi, whether for a week, a month, or longer, this is a good time to arrange it. Stewardship is ideal if you feel your practice could benefit from following a monastic lifestyle of devotion, meditation and service, and you feel happy to live in rustic "camping" type conditions. It is for monastic life aspirants, meditators, and whoever appreciates the Bhikkhuni Sangha and wants to help.
We would like for there to regularly be three women residents who can participate in the tasks that bhikkhunis are restrained by the Vinaya from doing ... tasks such as driving, using money, cooking, storing food, digging, and cutting plants. The most essential work is not very strenuous; strong physical work is offered for whoever has the ability and enjoyment of it.
If you would like to stay for an extended visit, please come for a day visit first. We need to meet each other, to get to know you, for you to get to know us and our forest.
After your day visit, you are welcome to apply to visit us for a few days. If this works out for you and for us, then an extended stay can be considered.
Our Daily Schedule:
Our goal is for all residents to be able to balance their work practice with time to be in stillness.
Almost every day is bookended with communal chanting and meditation, with time reserved for silent meditation from early evening through the night and early morning. Daily chores are done in the morning up to 1:00 pm. Afternoons are protected for personal maintenance, study, and time to be in the forest. Tea-time is our chance to discuss the Dhamma.
On our quiet days (see calendar), there are no formal programs.
Visitors are asked to:
* observe the 8 renunciate/monastic precepts
* participate in daily periods of chanting
* listening to, reading and discussing the Buddha's teaching (Dhamma)
* participate in communal times of meditation
* participate in mindful hermitage caretaking work
* be in harmony together with hermitage residents.
Our climate may seem very different to those who have not been to the northern California coastline. Summers are very cool and misty. Winters are mild and rainy.
The temperature can vary from 50 degrees to 95 in a single morning depending on your location and the time of year. Most of our areas do not have electricity, please be sure to have a flashlight.
Though we don't often see them, we share this land with a cougar, foxes, bobcats, coyotes, venomous snakes, scorpions and many other friends. Our native flora includes poison oak. If you've never seen poison oak, please ask one of us to identify it for you so you can avoid it on the trails.
You will need to bring:
long thermal under clothing, sandals and a change of shoes with good traction
(wet weather shoes during winter)
a sunhat and/or sunscreen for the sunny areas
some warm layers for the cooler forested areas
flashlight with batteries
alarm clock or watch
sheets or sleeping bag liner, and pillow case
cold weather sleeping bag or blanket (we have some to lend)
cushion and blanket for sitting meditation
sitting mat for outside
personal medicine and supplements
personal supplies for washing up.
A more comprehensive list of useful things may be provided with your application.