General Etiquette

  • Please Be Considerate, Be Kind, Be Respectful!
  • Punctuality is very important. Please pay attention to the class bell (5 minutes before class).
  • We ask that all participants practice Noble Silence at all times, especially in the Buddha Hall, during meals, in the meditation room, library, and dorms.
  • Quiet discussion of Dharma or retreat matters is permitted in the classrooms or outdoors.
  • Work in harmony: If you see something that needs to be done or someone who needs help, please volunteer, even if it’s not your assigned job!
  • Turn your cell phones off. Preferably, lock your cell phones in your car. If it is necessary to keep a cell phone on you, we ask that you set it to vibration mode (no sound). In case of emergency, you can also be contacted through the monastery number 973 940 0473.
  • No social calls while at the retreat.
  • Gender separation is in effect in the meditation halls, classrooms, and cafeteria. There should always be at least three people in a room if two are of the opposite sex.
  • Please take your shoes off outside of the Buddha Hall, Library, Meditation room, and dorms.

Etiquette in the Buddha Hall and Meditation Room

  • Quietly enter and leave
  • Bow upon entering when you get to your mat and before you leave
  • Monastics exit first
  • Please fold towels after meditation and neaten up.
  • You are welcome to do moderate stretches before and after meditation, but please do not point your feet toward the Buddha statue.
  • No jumping, exercising, or yoga please!

Etiquette to the Lecturers and in Class

  • Please respect the venerable/teacher during their discourses by holding off on  questions and comments, unless the lecturer indicates that questions are welcome or until the discussion periods.
  • Please give the lecturers a rest after their lectures.
  • No food or drink during discourses.

Dormitory Guidelines

  • Dormitories are divided into cubicles that are furnished with twin beds. If sharing a cubicle with others, please be mindful, kind, and considerate to prevent disturbing your cubicle-mates.
  • Please practice Noble Silence in the dormitory.
  • Please talk only when necessary and in hushed tones.
  • Showers can only be taken at your specified shower time that you chose during the registration. Keep shower time to a maximum of 5 minutes.
  • 9:30 PM begins rest time. Everyone should be in bed at this time, there should be no whispering or showering past 9:30.
  • 4:30 AM is wake up time. Please do not rise out of bed any earlier than this time.
  • When you depart, make sure you have cleaned up your cubicle area and do not forget to take all of your personal items.

Cafeteria Guidelines

  • Wooden blocks call us to breakfast and lunch.
  • There is a Food Offering before meals so please stand at the tables and wait.
  • Monastic are served first.
  • Quietly pick up stools as you sit down at or rise up from the table.
  • Wipe plates clean with napkin before giving it to the dish washer.
  • Please finish all the food in your plate. If you are offered too much, please return some before you eat. You are welcome to go back for another serving.
  • Kitchen area is restricted to kitchen volunteers only.
  • Please only eat food in the cafeteria.

Mindfulness of Waste

  • We ask you to use water sparingly (showers, brushing teeth, etc.).
  • Please do not throw tissue or any kind of paper waste into the toilets.
  • Please use your personal drinking vessel/travel mug (label with your name)
  • If you use paper cups, please reuse for the day and put your initials on them (you can change the paper cup daily).
  • Please turn off the lights when you are the last one to leave a room.


  • You are welcome to walk on the monastery walkways and driveways. Please do not walk on the grass. During the warm season (after the first thaw and before the first hard frost) there are deer ticks in the grass.


  • Park your car in the gravel area at the far right side of the main building. Note, you will pass by both the front parking lot and the kitchen entrance lot and go around to the side of the building.

What to Bring

  • Please prepare a sleeping bag (or blanket and sheets), pillow and pillowcase, slippers; comfortable meditation clothes (suggest shoes without laces), sweater, personal toiletries and medicine; ID and health insurance card, earplugs.
  • Please do not bring meat (the monastery is strictly vegetarian). Also do not bring your radio or other music device. Bodhi Monastery is not responsible for the loss of any personal belongings, so please leave any valuables at home.
  • In order to reduce waste, please bring your personal travel mug/closed drinking container. We recommend that you label it with your name.


  • There is no fee for attending the retreat. The retreat is made possible through the sponsorship of the Yin Shun Foundation, as well as the generous donations of retreatants, friends and supporters. We do, however, welcome donations to support the continuation of these retreats.

Special Reminders

  • Please follow all of the retreat rules and regulations during your stay.
  • Not complying may result in the retreat coordinators asking you to leave.

Thank you for your consideration.