General Guideline for kopan Monastery
To create and maintain an environment supportive of spiritual practice and life we need your support..
We respectfully ask that our guests follow the simple rules below to ensure a pleasant and harmonious stay.
Abide by the Five Precepts
1. Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.
2. Respect others’ property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.
3. Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others. This is easy when observing silence!
4. Be celibate: no sexual activity. This also includes no holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.
5. Be alert and mindful: no intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes are acceptable. We encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, one can smoke outside the gate.
Respect the monks and their vows.
Monks live in their vows and follow a strict discipline of studies and practice, or work. Do not distract them from their studies.
Do not invite monks to your room, or visit them in their rooms.
Do not engage in idle gossip with them. If you are in need of advice or would like to talk to a senior monk, please ask the reception to put you in touch with the right person.
Be mindful of your behavior and your speech
Try to be polite, quiet, and mindful of others needs.
Observe the dress code
We request that you wear non-revealing clothing at all times while staying at Kopan Monastery.
Long or short sleeve shirts covering the upper body and shoulders, and pants, long shorts, or dresses, that are roughly knee length, are appropriate. Simple, casual clothing, that is easy to wash, is best. Inside the meditation hall, please wear a proper shirt, long pants or a calf-length skirt.
We respectfully ask that you do not wear attire that is see-through, skin tight and/or with obscene language and inappropriate messages. For women, please no spaghetti straps, shoulder free dresses, miniskirts, tights or low cut trousers. For men, please no singlet, tight short shorts, or low cut pants.
Do not bring any animals with you
Please do not bring your pets, or stray dogs or cats to the monastery. We will not be able to accommodate you if you do. The monastery has its own dogs and is caring for them. Our animal Sanctuary does not accept animals of any kind.
Do not play music anywhere.
If you are listening to teachings or music, please do so with earphones only. If you bring a musical instrument, it will have to be stored in the reception during your stay.
Accommodation for male and female visitors is segregated.
Please respect the privacy of our other guests and do not visit each other’s rooms.
Families with children.
Families with children are welcome for a private staying between courses. However, Children are not accepted during courses, as this will be disturbing to the course participants and also distract you from following the teachings. The recommended minimum age for children to attend the course under parental supervision is 16 years. Unaccompanied young adults are welcome from 18 years onwards with written permission and recommendation from the parents or guardians.
Guideline for Course (Course Discipline)
The practice of meditation requires the development of spiritual discipline. To help you to develop this kind of discipline, we have put together a set of guidelines.
To get the most benefit from the course, and to ensure that it is harmonious and enjoyable for all participants, we request you to follow these simple rules
1. Attendance at all course sessions is mandatory. This includes meditation sessions and discussion group. If you cannot attend a session because of illness, please contact your group leader, or the course coordinator.
2. Keep silence from 10 pm in the evening until you have finished your lunch. Breakfast and lunch are eaten in silence. This practice helps to focus one’s attention and to develop outer and inner awareness.
Be considerate of others’ silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas during residential courses, especially in the Gompa and the dormitories. No singing or playing music. In general it is recommended to maintain a quiet demeanor during the course.If you wish to keep silence throughout the course ask for a yellow ribbon in the reception.
3. Stay inside the monastery grounds throughout the course.
4. Please respect the monks and their vows. Do not distract them from their studies or work. Do not visit the monks in their room, or allow them to visit your room. Do not encourage the monks to break their monastic rules.
5. Keep the five precepts. They are: no killing, stealing, lying, sexual activity, no tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs of any kind.
6. Check your mobile (cell) phone and other electronic devices in the reception safe at the start of the course. This will help you stay focused on the teachings. If you use your mobile as alarm, then we request you to remove the sim card and store it in the reception.
7. Do not bring any non-Dharma reading material, radio, or computer to your room, but store it in the safe in the reception. You can use an mp3 player for recording the teachings, but please do not play music.
8. Men and women are accommodated in separate rooms. Please do not visit the rooms of the opposite sex. If you are attending as a couple, we suggest you sit separately in the meditation hall
9. Your dress should be loose, simple, comfortable and appropriate for a monastic environment. Please adhere to our suggested dress code.
WHEN VISITING KOPAN, BE AWARE THAT YOU ARE VISITING A MONASTERY, A SACRED PLACE.
To show respect, here are some useful hints on how to dress and not to dress.
Dress Guideline for Kopan monastery
This is appropriate:
For men: long or short sleeved shirts covering the upper body and shoulders, T-shirts, pants, long shorts.
For women, long shorts or pants, T-shirts, dresses that are roughly knee length and fully cover the upper bosy and shoulders are appropriate. We recommend to bring a light shawl to cover shoulders.
We respectfully ask that you do not wear:
Attire that is see-through, skin tight and/or with obscene language and inappropriate messages.
For women, no spaghetti straps, bra straps showing, shoulder free dresses, miniskirts, tights or low cut trousers.
For men, please no singlet, tight short shorts, or low cut pants.
We also recommend to wear footwear on your visit: Meditation halls and other public places require you to remove your shoes, and walking barefoot just brings the outside dirt and pollution right into our most revered places.