As alms mendicants, we ourselves do not cook; we try to be easily satisfied with whatever food comes from the kind offerings and generosity of the lay supporters.  Nuns and monks are trained to receive whatever is offered with a grateful heart. There is no prohibition against eating cooked meat or fish, as long as the animal was not killed specifically for offering to a monk or nun.
This is a tradition which dates back to the time of the Buddha. It can be seen as a symbol of renunciation and simplicity.
The Sangha is the community of those following the teachings of the Buddha. It is made up of monks, nuns, laymen and laywomen. However, the term is often used more widely to include anyone sincerely aspiring to implement the teaching guidelines recommended by the Lord Buddha for liberation.
Yes. This is not a cloistered tradition. However, during the Vassa or traditional rains-retreat, a three-month period from July to October each year (the rainy season in India, where Buddhism originated), the monks and nuns usually stay in one place and do not travel unless this is absolutely necessary.
The different coloured robes distinguish between the monks (ochre robes), nuns (brown robes) and anagārikas/novices (white robes).
Yes. All the monastics keep the precept on refraining from any kind of intentional sexual behaviour. This is also the standard for guests and those attending retreats.
Fourfold Sangha in temple by Somkid 25-05-14 (8)

The lay and monastic communities assembling in the Amaravati Temple


This is a contemplative tradition and so the practice of meditation or mindfulness is our main work. However the monastics also serve the wider community, maintain the monastery, receive guests and offer Dhamma teachings and guidance; we try to incorporate all of these as part of our mindfulness practice. See our daily schedule for more information.
Usually about 60: 25 monks, 10 nuns and 25 lay residents and guests.
For day visitors: please arrive before the mealtime if you wish to speak with a monk or nun.

Guest staying overnight: the guest monk/nun is usually available to meet guests who are staying at the monastery.

Others: Please complete an online form to contact the monastery secretary to arrange an appointment.

No. Ajahn Sumedho relinquished his duties as abbot of Amaravati in November 2010 and is now based in Thailand.
No. They have not taken the bhikkhuni ordination. They follow a training comprising 150 rules and observances that are based on the Ten Precepts, and guidelines for community living.
Monks and nuns at Amaravati 2014 by Somkid

Monks’ and nuns’ community at Amaravati


Yes. See the details below for where the groups are, when they are visited and a contact person for each group.

Thursday – Weekly
Anne Armitage (01225) 859217

Thursday – Weekly
Neil Howell (0131) 226 5044

1st Friday – Monthly
Paul Hansen (0141) 564 5994

Friday – Weekly
Daniela Loeb (0113) 279 1375 – Anne Grimshaw (01274) 691447

Wednesday – Weekly
Kate Tribe (020) 8444 8820  –  Clara Grattidge (020) 7267 3913

Please refer to the information relating to bookings in the Retreat Centre section on the homepage.
Yes. There is a meditation workshop from 2 – 4pm on Saturday afternoons in the Temple at Amaravati.

Please also refer to the Retreat Centre Schedule section on the homepage for information about forthcoming retreats at Amaravati, and the Audio & Books section on the homepage for information about books and recorded talks which offer teachings on meditation.

Yes. Please refer to booking information in the Retreat Centre section on the homepage.
Every week on the Observance Day there is a talk in the Temple following the evening chanting and meditation. During the summer months (July, August and September) there are also public talks every Sunday, beginning at 2pm. For details of Observance Days and Sunday talks, see our News & Events section.

Zafu by Somkid 01-06-14 (50)

Supporting the Sangha

Please refer to the Support section on the homepage
Any food or household items are always welcome. For more specific information, please go to the Support section on the homepage
Ajahn Jayasaro with laity by Somkid 30-05-14 (46)

Ajahn Jayasaro with a group of laypeople


Please refer to the Visiting section on the home page.

The Eight Precepts are the basic standard of behaviour for our life in the monastery. You will find out more about these when you come, but as a guide, they are:

  • Harmlessness: not intentionally taking the life of any living creature.
  • Trustworthiness: not taking anything which is not given.
  • Celibacy: refraining from any sexual activity.
  • Right Speech: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech and idle speech.
  • Sobriety: not taking any intoxicating drink or drugs.
  • Renunciation: not eating after midday (1pm in summer time).
  • Restraint: refraining from games, listening to music and other entertainment and from self-adornment (Guests are asked to dress modestly and not to use electronic devices which offer music, social networking, films, TV or similar media distractions).
  • Alertness: to refrain from over indulgence in sleep.

These precepts form the basis of ethics and renunciation on the Buddhist Path and are used as a framework for the development of virtue and insight.

Please refer to the Visiting section of the home page, under Getting Here.
Yes. Please refer to the Participate section of the home page, under Staying Overnight.
Children and babies are welcome to visit with their parents during the day, provided they are adequately supervised. There are several residential family events each year; advance booking is necessary for these.
Yes – although we would ask you to be sensitive to the resident cats; they may be less eager to welcome even the most friendly, well-trained guide dog.
You should wear modest, loose-fitting clothing that covers the body between the elbows, collar and knees, so that you can sit on the floor without embarrassment. Slip-on shoes are also handy, as shoes are removed when entering all buildings.
Most accommodation in the women’s guest house is in small single rooms, with one shared room. For male guests most accommodation is in dormitories.
The monks and nuns are not allowed to accept money, or to consume food or drink (other than water) that has not been formally offered. They may not speak privately with someone of the opposite sex, so in such cases a monk or nun would be accompanied by a suitable chaperone.

This guide is aimed at providing an introduction to some aspects of monastic discipline for those lay people who are interested in understanding something of the background to the rules and conventions which structure the way of life of the monks and nuns of this tradition.

It is best to avoid physical contact. The most suitable greeting is anjali – the hands are raised palm to palm at chest level.

This guide is aimed at providing an introduction to some aspects of monastic discipline for those lay people who are interested in understanding something of the background to the rules and conventions which structure the way of life of the monks and nuns of this tradition.

Yes. There is disabled access to most public buildings. If you wish to stay overnight, please let the guest monk/nun know if you have specific needs. We would hope to be able to make suitable provision for you to stay.
There is no set charge for staying. However the community is entirely dependent on donations so offerings (dāna) of any amount are always very much appreciated.
The initial visit is usually for up to one week (for overseas visitors this may be longer). After that, arrangements can be made with the guest monk or nun for a longer visit.
Not usually. However, if you have a particular medical condition that necessitates eating in the evening, you can inform the guest monk/nun or retreat manager, and special arrangements can be made.
If possible, please bring your own bed-linen (e.g. duvet cover, sheets, pillow case, towel etc), plus personal toiletries, a small torch, an alarm clock, comfortable loose-fitting clothing, slip-on footwear and a small blanket or shawl for meditation.
The monastery is open from early morning until 9.30pm. Good times to visit are the mealtime (11am), tea-time (5pm) or for the evening puja (7.30pm). Each Saturday there is a meditation workshop in the Temple at 2pm.
Ajahn Amaro answering questions in the sala

Ajahn Amaro answering questions in the Sala