Southwest Sangha
A contemplative lay monastery


While living at Southwest Sangha, residents, guests, visitors and self-retreatants agree to:

  • Participate in all community practice activities (retreatants do their own).
  • Reserve afternoons for practice and study.  Maintain quiet after lunch and silence after the evening practice until the conclusion of the following morning's practice (retreatants are always in silence).
  • Have good will toward authority.
  • Be willing to experiment with renunciation.
  • Embrace service as a practice.
  • Practice restraint when considering attending activities away from Southwest Sangha.
  • Cultivate impeccability, i.e., "Leave not a trace" by cleaning up after her/himself.
  • Practice humility and respect (the willingness to say "Please," "Thank you" and "I'm sorry"), and be willing to live according to the following training guidelines

1.    Undertake the practice of non-harming.
2.    Be generous and abstain from taking what's not freely given.
3.    Practice celibacy and chaste behavior.
4.    Practice right speech: speak only what is appropriate and useful, and   abstain from false, malicious, harsh and frivolous speech.
5.    Maintain the intention to clarify the mind: do not use alcohol or other intoxicating drugs.
6.    Appreciate the food that is prepared and served. Investigate cravings, and eat only at the times prescribed for meals.
7.    Focus on mindfulness practice, and set aside the use of cosmetics, perfumes, clothing that is immodest or attracts the eye, listening to music, dancing, singing, and reading fiction or secular material.
8.    Refrain from electronic distractions such as laptops and cell phones. If you choose to use your phone or other electronic device, please limit the use to your private space between breakfast and the afternoon sit.
9.    Practice simplicity: be willing to renounce usual comforts and luxuries.