For phone calls, kindly be patient for the front desk to get a monastic proficient in English on the phone. We recommend scheduling a phone call by e-mail to ensure communication in English.
Please feel free to contact Ven. Dhammananda personally via e-mail. Kindly bear in mind that the number of nuns speaking English is limited and e-mails are checked every other day when addressing your request.
E - mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kindly note that the bhikkhunis have not been recognized officially by the Thai authorizes, which means they receive no public funding at all.
An ongoing petition to formally establish the bhikkhuni sangha in Thailand can be signed online within a minute on https://www.change.org. Thank you for your kind support!
Our monastery and our activities depend on the goodwill of the neighbourhood, well-meaning visitors and donors.
There are two ways you can contribute: by donating or volunteering.
iv. Visitor information
Can I visit the sangha?
Songdhammakalyani monastery is generally open for genuine female spiritual seekers of different religions (rare exceptions for accompanying husbands / teachers may be granted upon personal consultation with Ven. Dhammananda).
With the monastery promoting interfaith dialogue, you do not have to be a Buddhist in order to visit us, however please pay respect to Buddhist traditions and, for overnight visitors, to follow along with our monastic routine.
Please avoid ordination times (April and December) and carefully read the information below.
“Buddhists, Muslims, Christians: We all climb the same mountain. The further up we climb with genuine intent, the closer we all get to the peak. At the bottom of the mountain, one might claim to see a rabbit, the other might see a snake, the next one a pigeon. Some might end up arguing with each other over who sees the truth. But this is not important. The essence lies in the mountain being the same.”
You are coming to a temple, therefore kindly cover yourself properly.
Shoulders and knees should be covered by the dress and long hair tied or pinned up. Please avoid tight or transparent clothing.
Skin tight would not be comfortable for sitting in the shrine room if you participate in morning and evening chantings. It’s ideal if you can wear white for the chantings, if not, it’s not a matter of life and death.
You can visit the temple (e.g. Medicine Buddha, Vihara, library) from 8.30am to 5pm.
For one of our monastics to show you our premises, there is no need to book an appointment in advance. Simply report to the front desk at the left side.
If you would like to receive explanations in English or would like to have an appointment with Ven. Dhammananda, kindly schedule this in advance by contacting us a few days in advance by e/mail. Ven. Dhammananda meets visitors between 2pm-4pm.
Visitors requesting to stay longer:
Please contact us well in advance by email, stating your motivation and desired period. We will get in touch with you to evaluate the options. During your stay, you will be considered a member of the sangha (i.e. following monastic schedule).
Kindly note that we offer very basic accommodation and are located on the highway, meaning this experience is for the interested seeker and will not for tourists.
To cover basic expenses for your stay and the upkeep of the monastery, we will kindly ask you to contribute with a basic donation (currently around 20 USD per person/day).
If you would like to top this up with an additional donation, we will appreciate it very much, but please do not worry about it if your budget is tight.
We work with various international universities and companies, offering motivated groups of up to 30 participants specific programs to taste monastic life. The stay lasts usually around 3 days. Teachers interested in taking their students are asked to prepare their students well in advance on the uniqueness of the monastery, its Theravada lineage and basic Buddhist knowledge (see also publications and social media).
Also, a specific focus of our teachings and dhamma talks for that group can be discussed with us in advance (e.g. talks and games on leadership or teamwork values).
If you would like to arrange a group stay in a different format, kindly consult with us.
At Songdhammakalyani Monastery, we offer samaneri (female novice) ordination twice a year, April 6 and December 5. Each ordination lasts 9 days with full training. If you are interested find the registration form on our website, fill in and mail to us. There is basic expense of B 1000 for the process of registration. All the expenses will be covered by the monastery. Of course, if you want to make donation, that is welcome.Robes and bowl will be provided.
When your registration is admitted, you are expected to arrive at the temple 3 days prior to the actual ordination for both the preparation, and rehearsal for the ordination. During the ordination you will not use mobile phone, and try to avoid having visitors. You will be mostly engaged in classroom, 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon.
You are expected to attend both monastic rituals, morning and evening chanting with 30 minutes meditation after the chanting and communal work in the evening. Also many previous candidates looked forward to going for alms in the morning. Every samaneri will have a chance to receive alms on the morning alms round. We try to keep it the way it was done in the Buddha’s time.
As a monastic you will take a communal breakfast at 7.15 A.M. and last meal of the day at 11.15 A.M. there will be drinks available in the afternoon and evening.
You will be trained to follow monastic behavior as appropriate to Buddhist culture and also Thai culture. Apart from the clothing provided as monastic, you will need no others (there will be no night gown, no fancy underwear, etc.)
As we get up early, we appreciate all candidates to turn off the light before 10 P.M.
Of course, if you come from the west, you will have more questions, feel free to ask.
P.S. According to the vinaya requirement, ordination is not given to those who are not Buddhists. If you are from other culture, make sure you have already been a Buddhist at least for half a year.
What to bring:
For visitors staying at the temple, it would be good to bring working clothes for gardening work that are not white, too.
We will provide you with a pillow, bedsheets and a towel; if needed, also with shampoo and soap.
Flip-flops are convenient as shoes are not allowed in the buildings.
Visitor rooms are double rooms (single occupancy if available) and have fly screens, so there is no need for a mosquito net.
Please also research on Thai weather conditions when packing (e.g. anti-insect repellent etc.).
What to expect:
We have 2 meals a day, breakfast at 7.15 AM, lunch at 11.15 AM
If you are lay, you might request light evening meal at 6 PM.
Going for Almsround
At least 3 Sangha members go out for almsround on Sunday and Wan Pra (Buddhist day). They start out as early as 6 AM as visitors you may like to follow them. The walk is one hour.
The library is open from 8 AM to 5 PM we have both Eng. And Thai books.
Foreigners can enjoy reading the books, with only one request, to put it back where you pick it up from. Please do not take the books out of the library.
You may like to have certain books photo copied, approach Ven.Vanna for payment and arrangement.
This is a requirement for everyone staying at our temple, whether as a guest or regular member. We spend 1 hr. together doing cleaning, raking, cutting grass, branches of the trees, etc.
We consider this time spent together as equalizer.
It is a beautiful way of giving, best kind of giving is to give up our ego, our holding on to illusive self.
Kindly remember that you come to a temple to practice, and the first note for practice is to look inward, into yourself, for improvement. Looking outward, you can end up only criticizing others and missing the point.
We wish that you have a pleasant and productive stay in this unique space!