If you would like to come for an overnight visit, just call or write to make a reservation.
All spots for guests are usually taken 2 to 3 months in advance, but you can call on shorter notice in case of cancellations. Usually, there are five to twenty visitors at any one time. Summer is the high season despite the hot weather.
First-time guests are allowed to stay a maximum of two weeks.
There are no scheduled retreats at the Monastery as there are at most meditation retreat centers. Rather, the Monastery is always in “retreat” mode, and visitors drop into and out of the routine according to their own schedules. All visitors are asked to observe the Eight Precepts and to participate fully in the daily schedule of the Monastery.
Our accommodations are very simple. There are 8’x 8’ wooden platforms in the shade of the avocado orchard where tents can be pitched. Each platform has an accompanying walking path for meditation. There is also a dormitory-style 8-room guesthouse. The rooms are private and have a sleeping platform with some storage and a space heater, but no air-conditioning. The guesthouse has 2 full-baths and a half-bath.
The tent-dwellers have bathroom and shower privileges in the guesthouse and bathhouse, and space to keep some toiletries. There are almost always some vacant platforms and walking paths in the orchard for the guesthouse-dwellers to use for meditation.
If you’re not sure which, stay on a platform. If you can’t camp in San Diego, you can’t anywhere. See the page on the weather.
The sixth of the eight precepts basically limits overnight visitors to one meal per day. If you have a medical condition or other compelling reason to be exempted from this precept please call to alert one of the monks to your situation.
The food at the Monastery is not vegetarian as is sometimes assumed. The monks respect the generosity of all the laypeople and do not refuse any offerings of food. The food available to lay visitors is the same as what’s first offered to the monks. If you have special dietary needs due to illness or allergies, please call to confirm that the kitchen will be able to accommodate them. Lacto-ovo vegetarians do well enough as long as they’re not set on absolute purity. The Monastery cannot accommodate vegan diets as it’s proven to be too disruptive.
We don’t charge for room or board, or, of course, teachings. Everything is provided in the spirit of generosity by the monks and supporters of the Monastery.
You should bring:
a tent (if you’re going to use one)
a sleeping bag or bed linens
a pillow (if you’re going to use one)
a sleeping pad
an alarm clock or watch
shoes or boots you can garden or work in
comfortable, loose-fitting clothing (see also weather and monastery etiquette)
your own snacks if you have special dietary needs and cannot follow the 6th Precept in the evenings
Avoid bringing personal snacks that require refrigeration, as the Monastery usually doesn’t have extra space in the fridges.
Avoid bringing snacks or supplements that require cooking.
You might bring:
a sun hat
a personal water bottle
You don’t need to bring:
meditation cushions (We have a large and varied supply, but you can bring your own if you want.)
electronic devices such as microwave ovens, hair dryers, and irons. The Monastery has a solar system with limited power. More efficient devices such as smart phones and laptops are okay, but you might consider leaving them behind anyway.
a wardrobe full of clothes as there are no washers and dryers available. There are tubs for hand-washing and clothes lines for drying.