The spacious dining room offers indoor and outdoor seating. An expansive patio provides guests views of the gardens and forests. Buffet meal service featuring healthy mixed diets or vegetarian fare is prepared by volunteer cooks. Dietary restrictions can be handled on request. In accordance with the 8 precepts two meals are served: breakfast and a hearty lunch with tea served at 5:30PM before the Dhamma Talk at 6pm.
The new Meditation hall was completed in 2013 and has sitting space for up to 25 people. It is comfortable with both heat and A/C to keep temperatures conducive to deep practice. It is 36 Feet built in an Octagon and has embedded crystal quartz in its walls.
Morning Precepts and Evening Talks
During the morning precepts are given, and at 6pm the Nightly Dhamma Talk on a Sutta from the Majjhima Nikaya is given by Bhante Vimalaramsi. He comments and explains the Sutta to help the students deepen their practice. Questions may be asked at that time. Recorded suttas and videos are here.
Please keep your 8 precepts strictly while you are on retreat. We say them daily in the morning.
PLEASE, Don't use your Cell phones or any other devices other than for an alarm clock. This will disrupt your meditation.
PLEASE inform your family before you arrive that the standard procedure for a retreat is that you will be out of touch for the period of the retreat. If there is an emergency, your family may contact David Johnson at cell 573-604-1481. Our retreat support staff will alert you if you are needed.
Of course there are no drugs or alcohol allowed!
Please, let us know if you are using anti-depressants or other prescriptions. Smoking is allowed only outside, on your porch and using a metal pot for waste. You can give it up if you wish! Many people have done it in just one 10 day retreat!
No reading unless the book is assigned. No taking books off shelves in the library or dining hall and looking at them if you are on retreat. Bhante will give you all the instruction you need in the Dhamma talks.
Be quiet and do not talk unless it is a necessary communication. No Chatting with other meditators. Please allow everyone the chance to do a silent retreat.
Dining Hall -Do's and Don'ts
Bells will be rung for the Breakfast and for the Noonday meals. Please be on time.
Be quiet and do not talk unless it is necessary like "please pass the salt".
At the noon-day meal a general blessing is performed with Bhante leading it. Please come to the buffet and place both hands on the counter to join us while he chants the blessing.
Monks and Nuns go first in line to be served food at both meals. Not all monastics attend the morning meal.
After each meal we ask that you please help us by washing your dishes in the kitchen- Please help us to clean the kitchen before going for your rest after the noon-day meal. You have 1 hour of rest.
Tea is placed out and ONLY available at Tea time. Please do not prepare it between meals. Wash your cups afterward.
The kitchen is off limits other than at the meal times. The refrigerator, and any additional food is off limits. Please do not go into the kitchen and help yourself to the refrigerator without asking. Do not cook anything outside of the meal time without consulting the cook or retreat manager first. If you are having difficulties with the amount or type of food, please talk to the retreat manager. If you have medical needs concerning food, please alert us and we'll make sure they are met!
After the breakfast meal, please stay after to be assigned your morning task for a short work period of 30-60 minutes long. Please never work more than 1 hr. on any assigned task. Bring your meditation to your job with a smile and remember that “Meditation is life, Life is Meditation”.
Please keep your beds made and the cabin neat. Brooms and dust pans are in each cabin.
Be mindful of the A/C or heat being left on while you are gone for long periods. If it is quite hot, however, it is OK to leave it run because it takes a long time to cool off otherwise and is more efficient.
Bugs may get in every now and then so please use a cup to catch them and release them outside. Do not kill or harm.
We have a washing machine on-site to use if you need to wash clothes. Ask staff to show you how. Do NOT use powder in the machine. Do not wash rugs or other center items without asking first.
Should you need anything at all, we will have it - just ask. Flashlights/Alarms, towels/washcloths, Clocks/pillows etc.
Please do not listen to music or read anything during your retreat. DO not play games on your cell phones either. This is your time to discover your inner mind by being quiet. Turn the notifications off on your phone. If it is annoying and too tempting please just give us your phone for safekeeping while you focus on the jhanas!
You may place your personal items on shelves provided. You can put your towel on a rack there.
Please, lock the door when in use.
If one bathroom's toilet is occupied, then, if empty, you can use the other bathroom.
Please shower only in your assigned bathroom. Towels can be put out to dry on the railing.
Please keep the bathhouses swept and wiped clean.
If your bathroom has rugs, instead of sweeping, please shake them out if they seem to need it.
Please do not use any scented products while in retreat. No scented soaps or aftershaves, perfumes or oils should be used because this may disturb others.
Dhamma Talks Etiquette
Please be on time for the 6PM talks.
Please remove your shoes before coming into the Dhamma Hall.
Stand when the monk enters. Stand when he leaves - out of respect.
You can address Bhante Vimalaramsi as just "Bhante" (Teacher).
Please don't cross your arms or legs while listening to a Dhamma talk. This is a closed thinking position, you cannot retain the information while receiving it in this position, and it is disrespectful to a member of the Sangha who is teaching the Dhamma and actually against monks rules for people to have them listen like this.
You may sit in the chairs while listening to talks.
Please take your bathroom break before the talk begins and do not leave after the talk starts.
Dress Code – Do not wear tight or low cut clothing. Do not wear above the knee shorts or sleeveless shirts - No tights please and avoid showing excessive skin. Women please wear Bras and cover up.
You are invited to ask questions during the talks if you hear something you do not understand.
You may take notes.
There will be a Q&A time at the end of each talk about the talk or you may ask a practice question.
Dhamma Hall Meditation
Please remove your shoes before coming into the Dhamma Hall.
Please do not use timers. If your sitting is going well, sit longer. You can open your eyes to check the clock occasionally.
Always follow instructions and don't mix practices. This confuses mind and slows down your progress.
Always sit for at least 30 min and walk 15 minutes to 45 min -any longer walking period will tire you out.
Do not discuss your meditation with other meditators-Just the teacher at interviews.
Always give honest answers in your interviews so that the teacher can properly assess your progress and offer you the best advice.
Please let us know whether you are maintaining a Bodhisattva vow as it may affect your meditation and instructions.
At night please don't turn off the lights while you are meditating in the Dhamma Hall. It will lead to sleepiness.
Critters - Should I worry? Nope!
We do not have any scary animals roaming around the center. They are all friendly. There are a few snakes that come out on very hot days. They are only rarely seen and best to avoid them.
Please use your flashlight at night to avoid stepping on frogs or tripping on turtles or anyone else!
If you go into the forest please use Bug Repellant especially on your legs and feet.
There are a few ticks in this area. Some are very small "seed" ticks. Its best to stay on the roads for walking meditation. When you take a shower make sure nothing has attached itself. They can be very itchy.
A few wasps are around. Tell us if you are allergic. . There are almost no mosquitos.
Exiting your Retreat
At the end of your retreat, on the last day, please prepare your cabin for the next person.
Empty your trash bag and replace it with a new bag.
Sweep and clean the cabin before you leave.
Sweep off your porch.
Then, please bring your sheets, pillow cases, and towels to the laundry room and place them into the white linen hamper. Please do not use the washing machines without supervision (they are complicated) and don't wash any rugs in them. No Powder detergent is used, only liquid. Ask staff and they will help wash your clothes.
Before you leave it is polite to stop by and see Bhante, the Abbot, on your way out. He will have some tips for you for keeping your practice going following the retreat.
You may offer Dana ( Donation for the teacher/center) in envelopes to Bhante at either your last interview or following the last talk of your retreat after sharing merit.
When you offer Dana to a monk, it is proper etiquette to offer it with two hands and have the happy thought that you are offering to the whole sangha with the Buddha at its head. Bhante receives the Dana as a representative of the World Sangha. These are not personal gifts to one monk. Dana supports the Center and monastics for the ongoing work of the Dhamma here at DSMC. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! ( Well-done!)
Phew! Now that we have gone through all the Do's and Don't we are glad you have come to visit the center and we hope you have a life changing retreat experience! May you attain Nibbana quickly and easily without delay!