9th to 12th May
As May gets nearer we need to confirm with the monastery who will actually be joining us for the weekend, those who will be staying and those who will be joining us just for the day on Sunday.
Can the women reconfirm with Shirley who, in turn, is our point of contact with Ajahn Metta. Can the men who have not yet reconfirmed with Neil, the point of contact with the Guest Monk, also do so, please.
Rob is coming down just for the day on Sunday and is offering to give a lift to the day visitors.
With all best wishes,
A message from the Guest Monk . . .
Here some more information for our guests: It is very important that you let us know promptly if, for any reason, you are not able to come. We ask this because much too often rooms are left empty when guests don't let us know when their plans change. Keeping us informed is a small gesture of consideration that can allow your place to be offered to someone else.
If there are medical issues which you need to take care of, please let the guest monk know by e-mail before you arrive. He will help you work out a suitable arrangement. If you have an infectious disease (including cold or flu) or have been in close contact with anyone who has one, we ask that you postpone your stay until later. Please contact us to arrange another date to visit.
Accommodation at Cittaviveka is simple, and often in shared rooms. Men and women are accommodated in separate dwellings and there is no shared living space for couples.
How to Get Here:
By Car: The monastery is located approximately 70 miles south of the centre of London, off the main road (A3) from London to Portsmouth. Travelling south on the A3, turn left just before Petersfield, onto the A272. Seven miles along the A272, in the village of Trotton, there is a narrow bridge with traffic lights. After the bridge, take the first turn left, down the lane signposted ‘Chithurst’. The monastery entrance is about three-quarters of a mile up the lane, on the left
Trains: Nearest station is Petersfield. London Waterloo to Petersfield (Portsmouth service): trains every hour. Brighton or Worthing to Chichester; frequent service. Then bus or taxi. See below;
Buses: London Victoria Coach Station to Petersfield (National Express 0870-5808080): 5-6 daily. Petersfield for Midhurst (check it goes via Trotton). Few buses a day go from the railway station. Ask for the Chithurst stop after Trotton Church. (Countryliner Bus 92 Tel.: 0844 477 1623) Chichester to Midhurst: several times a day. (Stagecoach Hants & Surrey 01256-464501)
Taxis: are available at Petersfield Station. Fare to Chithurst is about £13. (2006)
Airport: Bus from Heathrow to Woking, train to Petersfield. From other airports it is best to catch a train to Petersfield via London.
You are expected to keep the Eight Precepts while staying at the monastery. The Precepts are the basic standard of behaviour for our life in the monastery. You will find out more when you come, but as a guide, they are:
The Daily Routine
The day begins and ends with silent contemplation together; there are also periods of work, some time for personal practice and for attending to personal needs. Following such a routine is an excellent support for bringing awareness into our minds and really using it in our daily life. Everyone is expected to follow the daily schedule:
4:30 am Morning chanting and meditation in Dhamma Hall. (Not on Mondays and Fridays)
6:15 am Chore time.
7:00 am Breakfast
8:00 am Work meeting (Not on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays. On Sundays work is in the afternoon: work meeting at 1.30 pm).
10:30 am (11:30 am in the summer) Gathering for the meal in the Dhamma Hall.
12:15 am After meal washing-up.
There are usually no scheduled activities in the afternoon (but please double check the noticeboard in the corridor). It is a quiet time for meditation and study. The Dhamma Hall and library are both available for you to use if you wish.
On Sundays work is in afternoon: work meeting at 1:30.
5:00 pm Tea is available in the Reception Room.
7:30 pm Evening chanting and meditation in the Temple. (Not on Mondays and Fridays)
There is no work meeting on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays, but guest are asked to sign up for work in the kitchen as usual.
Normally there is a Dhamma talk on Saturdays after the evening meditation, and guided meditation on Sundays. If there is a vigil until midnight (in which all are encouraged to participate), there is no morning meditation on the following day.
Meeting Ordained Sangha
The guest monk is really your main point of contact, and if you have any questions you are welcome to approach him. Occasionally a senior Sangha member will meet with all guests in the reception room. The notice board will give the day and time. Otherwise contact, especially with the monks and male novices, usually happens through working and practising together. If you do want to speak to someone more individually please arrange this via the guest monk.
For meditation instruction there is a weekly guided meditation in the Dhamma Hall on Sundays at 7.30 pm.
Arriving and what to bring
When you come you will need to supply your own toiletries, a torch, medicines, transport and medical costs if they are necessary. Warm clothes (including slippers or thick socks for indoors), and work clothes, are important to bring, as well as an alarm clock.
Warm sleeping bag – or at least your own linen: a sleeping bag sheet, a pillowcase and a towel. We do have some communal supplies of work clothes, towels and bedding. If you use these please do so with care, and make sure they are clean and hung to dry when you leave. We have a washing area, where washing can be done (by hand) – if time doesn't allow you to do that, please leave the beddings in the basket in the scullery.
To use a telephone please check with a monk. Please also note that the computer at the monastery is not available for the usage by guests. Please bear it in mind when arranging your affairs before coming here.
Please note that due to current Health and Safety regulations, every electrical appliance - i.e. anything which needs to be plugged into a wall socket in the monastery, must first be checked and approved by a qualified electrician. We regret any inconvenience caused.
The UK government now requires us to comply with the Health & Safety standards of hotels and public access places (!). So we have to ask guests to fill in a Health & Safety Questionnaire with general information regarding their medical history. This also includes providing contact details of a person we could inform in case of their medical emergency. We hope this does not cast too burdensome a light on your stay here!
We like guests to arrive between 7am and 7pm. The best time to arrive is either just before meal time (10.45am or 11.15 BEST), or at tea time (5.00pm).
The allocation of rooms is posted on the door of the entrance to the House, so if no one is available you can settle yourself in, and the guest-monk can meet you later on to talk about the routines if that would be your first visit.
Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any other questions relating to your visit.