Participation in our spiritual programme depends on abiding by our guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment and course / retreat discipline.

First please check, below, that you have read and understood them.

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Our courses are not something "just for fun" or to tick off on a travel itinerary. They are serious courses. If done properly, however, they can be a challenging but fulfilling and highly enjoyable experience.

Many people are not sure what to expect and that is all right. However, please only register and attend this course if you intend to participate fully in a serious and committed manner. We understand that following all these rules, and especially keeping silence, can be difficult, but it is an essential part of a course or retreat experience, and our staff and volunteers are here to help and support you in keeping to the rules, in order to aid and maintain the retreat environment.

  • To register for this course or retreat, please read ALL of the relevant information.

  • Then complete the online registration form.

  • Please don't email just to ask about availability of places; there will be enough space (unless indicated on our homepage that this course is full and has a waiting list) and you’ll save both yourself and Root Institute volunteers time and effort by just completing the form.

  • For our students' convenience and to make the Dharma teachings as accessible as possible we keep this registration process very simple and don’t ask for deposits, etc. Unfortunately, up to 50% of the people who register don’t show up for courses! This results in long waiting list and a lot of uncertainty. Therefore please only register if you are at least very confident that you want to, and WILL BE ABLE TO join us the day before the course begins.

  • If after registering you realise you cannot attend this course, please let us know asap about your cancellation, so we can give your spot to somebody else.

Most of our accommodation is dormitory-style. We have a very small number of single rooms, and a very high demand for them. Please let us know if you are of a mature age (i.e. over 50) or have a physical condition which would prioritise you for a single room; although we can't guarantee any particular kind of room, we will do what we can to make you comfortable given our limited resources.

For other queries, please refer to our frequently asked questions.

Course/retreat discipline

In order to keep the atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and spiritual pursuit and to minimise distractions, students on our residential courses and retreats are asked to abide by our basic code of discipline listed below.

  • Please settle all outside communication before your course or retreat begins. Telling friends and family that you will be out of contact for the duration, and sticking by that decision, significantly reduces distraction from investigation into the workings of your own mind! Likewise, please settle your travel arrangements, etc. before you come to Root Institute!

  • Please put all communication and/or entertainment devices (laptop / mobile phones /cameras / MP3/CD players) etc. into our safe at check-in.

  • You are expected to follow the guidelines on silence (whether part-day or full-day) according to your course schedule until the end of the course.

  • Participants must attend all sessions of the course and come to sessions on time.

  • Do not leave Root Institute property unnecessarily (the exceptions being courses with organised pilgrimage trips, and those cases where agreement has been reached that you will stay in accommodation nearby).

  • Please be gentle in your behaviour and sensitive to fellow group members.

Guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment

Root Institute is a meditation centre with resident nuns and monks and not a guesthouse, so couples, and men and women, must have separate accommodation.

If participating in courses or retreats, friends and family of the same gender will also be asked to stay in separate rooms to help support silence and their focus on the course / retreat.

We ask all our guests and visitors to observe the following rules of discipline in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation:

  • Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.

  • Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.

  • Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.

  • Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.

  • Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, one can smoke outside the gates.

  • Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the Gompa and the dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.

  • Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts or tight and revealing clothing.

 

 

Please be aware:

  • In April 2016 the Bihar state government passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties, up to capital punishment for those involved in manufacture! Please ensure you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.

  • Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.