Southwest Sangha
A contemplative lay monastery

General Information

Ways to Experience Southwest Sangha

  • Visitors are welcome at any time.
  • Guests devise their own schedule or follow the community schedule.  Guests may do work-practice as they choose.
  • Retreatants stay in individual kutis (small meditation huts), maintain silence, and create their own practice schedule. Instruction, interviews, and assistance are available on request. To help maintain the monastery, retreatants are asked to do a short period of mindful work practice each day.  
  • All retreatants must interview with a teacher on a regular basis. If a retreatant is interviewing with Michael, the frequency of interviews will be discussed prior to arrival.
  • If a retreatant plans to interview with a teacher outside of Southwest Sangha, please discuss your plan with Michael or the Watch prior to coming to Southwest Sangha.
  • If the retreatant would like to stay longer than 2 weeks, we would like to talk to the outside teacher before agreeing to the dates.
  • Those retreatants interviewing with a teacher outside of Southwest Sangha must also check in with Michael or the Watch on a weekly basis.
  • Work retreatants are the same as retreatants, except they choose to include more work in their practice schedule.
  • The community is made up of residents and long -term guests/prospective residents.

All necessities (meals, linens and toiletries) are provided.  Occasionally fish or meat are served in addition to vegetarian main dishes.  Here at Southwest Sangha we practice eating what the cook prepares.  We ask that you use your time here at Southwest Sangha to reflect on your relationship to food and accept what is freely offered. If you have specific health issues that requires that you eat certain foods and avoid other foods please discuss this with us prior to coming to Southwest Sangha, i.e. diabetes or other medical conditions.

The Watch
The Watch is a knowledgeable resident or long-term guest who volunteers on a monthly basis to watch over Southwest Sangha.  They are responsible for the operation of Southwest Sangha during that period: leading meditation practice and chants, organizing meals and work practice, seeing to needs of visitors, guests, and retreatants, and caretaking the property.

Sitting Days

There is one-half day of meditation practice every Saturday from 8:00 until 11:15 a.m. followed by a Dhamma discussion and lunch.  Southwest Sangha also sponsors residential retreats.