Private Retreats at SBV

Sitagu Buddha Vihara offers the possibility of private retreats for individuals or groups, to meditate, study and work mindfully in a quiet environment, to receive teachings and to participate in the life of the monastery. If you want to come for retreat you should submit a clear statement of purpose and include some relevant information about your background.

There is no cost to the retreatants for housing and generally meals are freely available. This is possible because generosity is the lifeblood of our community and donors have given generously to build cabins  and provide other needs because they believe in the value of your practice. (Likewise, you might want to become such a donor on behalf of others!)

Standard Private Retreat Schedule

In general, this schedule should be followed as completely as possible unless other arrangements have been made. Also, we ask that no special practices such as fasting or noble silence be undertaken. This stipulation allows participants to integrate more fully into community life. Unscheduled time can be used for additional meditation or walking meditation, study, meeting with teachers, volunteer work or relaxing. You can download a pdf of the schedule HERE.


Meditation and chanting are generally in the Dhamma Hall, sometimes in the Pagoda. Sunday afternoon classes are in the Dining Hall.

Principles to observe on retreat

We try to observe mindfulness throughout the day by engaging each task wholeheartedly, with proficiency and without distraction. Please minimize conversation and electronic connectivity. It is best if you not bring your professional or other outside concerns with you. Please ask permission for any significant exceptions. We do not strictly implement "noble silence" because a certain level of light conversation is important to establish rapport with others and to sustain a harmonious community. We ask that you keep your personal space tidy (and leave it clean on departure), that you be respectful toward others and toward the standards we observe, and also that you begin to become familiar with monastery etiquette.

Applying for a private retreat

  1. At this time (November, 2021) we require retreatants to be fully vaccinated; please enquire about updates to this rule. As a first time visitor you may stay up to one week, or two weeks if you are traveling from out of state. Please do not come if you do not have a home to return to at the end of this period. The dates of your retreat will depend on availability of rooms, though rooms are available at most times.

  2. Please submit the private retreat application form to the email address at the bottom of the form. You may want to discuss your retreat with one of the monks. You can contact one of the monks HERE.

  3. If you are planning to bring a group of people, meals and other logistical matters might require planning.

  4. You will be asked to fill out a registration form on arrival. The form can also be found HERE.

What to bring

Not much is necessary. Coffee is available in the dining hall. Although there is no formal evening meal, participants enjoy kitchen foraging rights, and there are generally abundant leftovers.

  1. Bedding is helpful if you are arriving by car, but not necessary, and discouraged if you are arriving by plane or if it is otherwise inconvenient. We have plenty of bedding.

  2. Clothing should be loose for sitting and not so fine that you cannot work in it. Attire should be modest (no shorts, short skirts, tank tops, etc.)

  3. Alarm clock, for we are early to rise.