Taking more time for first timers
As Tisarana has grown and become more popular we have noticed an increase in sincere guests who never get to properly understand the monastery or how it works. We think this is because there’s so much going on during the “work year”, and we haven’t set ourselves up to properly orient guests who may have very little prior exposure to monastic traditions.
To address that issue we are implementing a new 3-day training program for new guests. We have cleverly named this the “New Guest Orientation Weekend“. Catchy, eh?
The schedule for these trainings can be seen on our Calendar. The first one is scheduled for next weekend, starting 05 April.
The program is meant to thoroughly orient new guests to every important aspect of Tisarana, our lineage from Ajahn Chah, key monastic regulations, the economic, social, and spiritual functions of the monastery, along with such practicalities such as how to bow properly, or where to sit in the Sala, or where are the good hiking trails. The program will be delivered by our own resident community, including our main steward, Niraso, along with the guest monk, the senior monks, and the junior monastics.
We’re still developing the curriculum and will test it out on unsuspecting new guests starting in early April. When we have it fully formed and tested we’re sure it will add greatly to the value new guests experience at Tisarana, and create many benefits in terms of harmony and understanding. Along with the good comes a burden, however. New guests will be constrained to schedule their first visit to coincide with one of these trainings, and the resident community will have to set aside other tasks to properly deliver the content. We are optimistic that the value for all will far outweigh the costs.