You may have questions about what to expect when you arrive at Aryaloka for a retreat, class or special event. The information and handy tips below will help to prepare you for your visit.
For Tuesday Sangha Nights:
Sangha Nights at Aryaloka are from 6:45-9:00, when we gather to meditate and explore aspects of Buddhism through workshops, talks, study, ritual, or discussion. The emphasis is on practical application of Buddhist principles in our own lives. Although there is no fee for this event, donations are appreciated.
For more on Sangha Nights, see a full description of activities here.
Classes are typically held on a weekend day or in a series of evening sessions. Day classes include lunch and all classes typically include needed materials.
Overnight retreats are held on weekends or during the week.
Instructors for classes and retreats are experienced teachers and members of the Triratna Buddhist Order and the Triratna Buddhist Community who have dedicated their lives to the practice of the Buddha’s teachings (the Dharma) for the benefit of all beings.
Please Note: For weekend retreats, dinner is not included on Friday evening. Please be sure to eat before you arrive.
• Healthy, well-balanced vegetarian meals (Vegan meals and special dietary needs available upon request)
• Meditation materials – mats, cushions, benches, chairs, and blankets
• Shared bedrooms for overnight stays, two to four beds per room (separate rooms for men and women)
• Bed linens, blankets, comforters, pillows, towels and facecloths
• Shared bathrooms
• Additional nights’ stay if you wish to arrive before or stay after an event. Please contact the office at 603-659-5456 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
We recommend that you bring:
• Warm socks, slippers, or other indoor shoes
• Casual, comfortable clothing
• Writing materials for taking notes
• A flashlight
• Insect repellant, sunscreen, boots/shoes for outside walking
For Festival Days:
Buddhist festival days are held throughout the year. We observe:
- Wesak (Full moon of May/June), a celebration of both the Buddha’s birthday and his Enlightenment
- Dharma Day (Full moon of July), a time to focus on the Buddha’s teachings
- Sangha Day (Full moon of November), a celebration of our Buddhist teachers – past and present – and spiritual community
- Parinirvana Day (Full moon of February), commemorating the Buddha’s death.
For more on Festival Days, see a full description here.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do I know which events to attend?
“Open to all” means that everyone is welcome to participate – newcomers through experienced practitioners. Instruction is offered on “open to all” retreats unless otherwise stated.
“Introductory” classes/workshops include instruction in the fundamentals of Buddhism as well as Mindfulness of Breathing and Metta Bhavana (the development of loving-kindness) meditations. No prior experience is necessary for introductory classes. A combination of day classes and/or an evening series are recommended for a full introduction; however, any weeknight series or weekend day class can be taken on its own.
“Experienced” level events assume prior exposure to Buddhism and a familiarity with the meditation practices listed above. These events are suitable for newly established practitioners as well as those with more extensive experience.
“Order Member Event” These events are only for ordained members of the Triratna Buddhist Order.
Do I need to be a Buddhist to come to Sangha Night?
One does not need to be a Buddhist to come to Sangha Night. Please feel free to participate or just simply watch and listen
Do I need to register for all events?
You needn’t sign up for Sangha Night or festival days. Registration is requested in advance for classes/workshops, retreats, and some special events such as our annual picnic.
Can I commute during overnight retreats rather than stay at Aryaloka? Can I come late to a retreat or leave early?
These are questions that would be up to individual instructors to decide.
Can I have a schedule of the retreat in advance?
It is usually not possible to provide schedules in advance since they vary from retreat to retreat. Generally, most retreats include meditation, study/discussion, meals, and unstructured time for walks, and relaxation.
How do I get to Aryaloka?
Please visit our directions page. If you are flying, the best option is to use Logan Airport in Boston, MA and bus service to Portsmouth, NH on C&J Trailways. There is no bus service to this area from Manchester, NH or Portland, ME. More information on air, bus, or train travel can be found on the directions page.