Visiting Arrow River
Sign by Esko Parviainen
If you are thinking of making a visit to ARFH Please
- Read the relevant material in this section of the web-site
- Do not hesitate to ask a question.
- Make yourself aware of our policy on supporting the center with that which is freely given.
- Fill out the visitor's form .
- Please try and make your request well ahead of time. We have limited space and can very seldom accomodate last minute requests.
- If you require a pick-up from the airport or bus depot we request that you contribute $20 to cover the cost. Please pay the driver.
What to Expect When you Visit Here
The Arrow River Forest Hermitage is located in Northern Ontario on 92 acres of forested land. We are fifty miles from the city of Thunder Bay in an undeveloped area off the grid. We have several buildings. Accomodations are best described as comfortable but rustic.
Go here for details about the facilities and environment.
At present Ajahn Punnadhammo is the only long-term resident monastic. Other monks or nuns may be staying here from time to time. There must always be one lay person serving as monastic steward, and often there are three or four additional people staying, especially in the summer. Sometimes a few more if people are willing to stay in tents or double up.
What Is Expected of Guests
- Meditators are required to keep the eight precepts . Others are strongly encouraged to do so, but all must keep the five precepts in any case.
- Dress and Deportment
- Both sexes should dress modestly, especially in the meditation room. Guests are expected to behave in a restrained and gentle manner at all times.
- Conditions here are rustic and can be very challenging for anyone who is not in good health. You should be capable of walking in rough terrain, handling firewood and buckets of water, using an outdoor toilet etc.
- Care of the Facilities
- It is expected guests will keep their kutis clean and will be conversant with fire-safety before using the wood-stove.
- Helping Out
- All guests should be willing to help out with community chores.
- What to Bring
- Guests should bring sufficient and proper clothing and footwear, their own medicines and toiletries etc. Please be sure to bring a clock or watch and a flashlight. It is helpful to bring a sleeping bag. We have posted a detailed list of suggestions for what to bring.
Various Reasons to Visit
- As a small hermitage in a non-Buddhist country, Arrow River operates by dependence on a lay steward who lives here and takes care of the duties which monks cannot. This is an opportunity to live at the center for an extended period of time and to serve the Triple Gem. The duties are not time consuming and leave ample time for study and meditation. More information about stewardship at Arrow River.
- Meditation Retreat
- Arrow River occassionally offers group retreats but mostly we teach on an individual basis. Retreats of three-days to three-months can be scheduled by arrangement. More information about doing a meditation retreat at Arrow River.
- Work Retreat
- Other lay people are welcome to come and stay for short to medium periods if space is available. You can help with the on-going chores and meditate part-time. This is a good option for those not ready for more intense practise.
Duration of Stay
- Work Retreat
- As a general rule, visitors in this category will be accepted for a period of one-month only, with the possibility of extension, provided space is available, and by arrangement with the abbot.
- Meditation Retreat
- Length of stay will depend, in part, on previous experience. Those not having any prior experience with meditation retreats will be limited to three days only, allowing an additional day before and after the retreat, for a total of five days duration.
In general, people with some experience will be allowed a stay of two weeks with ten days devoted to solitary practice, although longer retreats are possible with the abbot's permission. Note for retreatants: it is considered very important that you complete the time you commit for. All retreatants will be expected to attend daily interviews with the meditation teacher.
- As it is useful to have continuity in this position, stewards will be accepted for an initial period of up to three months, with the possibility of extension, depending on space and other stewarding arrangements.
Fill out the Visitor's Form
Potential visitors to ARFH, please fill out the form for visitors. Thank you for helping us to keep organized.
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