Frequently Asked Questions

May I visit the monastery during the pandemic?

Yes, the monastics warmly welcome visitors. The vihara is open for afternoon & evening visits and for meal offerings. We are also open for overnight guests with COVID care practices.  We are not open for program participation in person due to inside space not sufficient for COVID care.  Please see our online teaching offerings.

Do you have a newsletter, and how can I sign up for it?

The monastics send out a newsletter every three weeks, except during the annual winter retreat period (January 15 – April 15). You can sign up here.

What if I’m not Buddhist? Can I still visit the monastery?

Yes, absolutely. The monastery warmly welcomes everyone.

Can only women visit Aloka Vihara?

No. Aloka Vihara is a monastic residence for women, but we welcome everyone, regardless of gender identity to visit the vihara and take part in daily monastic life.

What is the etiquette in the monastery?

Please visit our etiquette page for more information.

Can I help with work at the monastery?

Yes, please visit our volunteer page for more information.

How is Aloka Vihara supported?

Aloka Vihara is supported entirely by donations offered to the Saranaloka Foundation, which is the stewardship organization for Aloka Vihara. Please see our financial data page for more information.

When can I visit to attend a meditation session or listen to Dhamma teachings?

During the pandemic, we are not open for in- person program participation.  Please see our online teaching offerings.  Please find additional information about day visits here.

Are children welcome at the monastery?

Yes, children are welcome accompanied by an adult.  (see previous question around COVID restrictions.)

May I bring my dog, cat or other pet to the monastery?

Sorry, we do not allow pets indoors. Also, because of wild animals, it can be dangerous to leave them outside. We recommend you keep your pets at home.

If I need to stay locally, are there accommodation options available?

Yes, please see our accommodations page for more information.

If I stay at the monastery overnight, do I have to keep the Eight Precepts?

All residents of the community observe a minimum of Eight Precepts. Exceptions for the 6th precept can be made for medical reasons.

Is there cell phone access at the vihara?

There is patchy to no access depending on your provider. There is a land line in the office.

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