Frequently Asked Questions
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Q. How do you become a monk or a nun?
A. It is recommended that you first contact our Abbot, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, who has overall responsibility for the sangha. Prospective monks and nuns are required to first keep the 5 main precepts (not to kill, not to steal, not to tell lies, not to take intoxicants and to remain celibate) for a period of time within Samye Ling - normally one year. This will allow them to decide whether or not the lifestyle of a monk or nun is suited to them. After this time, if they are still interested and Lama Yeshe Rinpoche agrees, they can take ordination for a period of one year and if they wish they can then renew their vows for another one or three years until such time as they are ready to take life ordination.
Q. Is it possible to get meditation instruction at Samye Ling?
Samye Ling offers many different meditation courses, for beginners and those more experienced. You can see what is currently available on our courses
page. Our Abbot and resident meditation teacher, Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, is available for personal interviews most mornings whilst resident in Samye Ling. For more information please contact his secretary at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Q. I am coming to stay for a few days, how can I contribute to the monastery while I am there?
A. We respectfully ask guests to contribute 2 to 3 hours help a day within the monastery if they are able. Help is often required in different areas such as the kitchen and with cleaning. You can go to the administration department once you have been booked in to find out where help may be needed.
Q. I am coming to visit with my family, is there anywhere we can't go in the monastery?
A. Visitors are welcome to visit the temple, walk around the gardens and relax in the shop and cafe.
The temple is open daily from 6am to 10pm and you are welcome at any time. We do ask however, that if you visit during meditation time (8am to 9am and 5pm to 6pm) you enter the temple at the start and remain until the end, so as not to disturb those who are meditating. After lunch we have our daily Mahakala prayers and you are more than welcome to enter and stay for as long as you wish.
We ask you to avoid areas of resident accommodation such as the monks cabins, guest houses and the log cabins by the river.
Q. I'm booked to come and stay at Samye Ling soon. Is there anything special that I should bring with me?
A. You are required to remove your shoes before entering the temple and dining area and so a pair of shoes that are easy to slip on and off is very handy and some people like to bring a thick pair of socks or slippers. The weather can be changeable here and so a pair of waterproof shoes and jacket is essential - especially in the winter months. During the winter months we also recommend that you bring a torch - especially if you are booked to stay at Purelands. Please note that the nearest cash point is in Lockerbie (14 miles away). Card payments are accepted in the shop and reception.
Q. What are your opening hours for day visitors?
A. The temple opens at 6am until 10pm at night. You are welcome to visit at these times and take the opportunity to listen to the prayers and participate in the meditation sessions. Visitors are free to come and go at these times although we do ask that during the meditation sessions (8-9am and 5-6pm) you arrive at the start and stay until the end.
Our shop and cafe are open daily from 9am to 5pm (the shop closes for lunch between 12.25 and 1.30pm) during the summer months and until 4pm in the winter.
Q. Would it be possible for our company to arrange a staff motivational weekend at Samye Ling?
A. Yes indeed. Please use our contact form to send us times and dates and numbers and we will see what can be arranged.
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Q. I have recently retired from work and would like to spend a few months at Samye Ling to re-orient my life. Would it be possible to volunteer for a restricted period?
Yes. Volunteers are welcome at Samye Ling for any length of time. If you would like to volunteer then please email George at email@example.com
with details of how long you would like to stay as well as a list of any skills that you have.
Q. If a person does voluntary work at Samye Ling, do they recieve some meditation training during this period?
A. At Samye Ling many of our volunteers make a commitment to take full part in the spiritual activities of the monastery and we welcome this. Some choose not too, and they are also very welcome. When he is resident in Samye Ling, our Abbot Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche is available for personal interviews most mornings (excluding Sundays) and it is possible to arrange an interview with him. Volunteers are welcome to attend any of the daily meditation and prayer sessions during their stay.
Q. Who should I speak to about volunteering for a limited period of time? I am thinking of spending my gap year at Samye Ling.
You should send an email to George at firstname.lastname@example.org
with a list of skills you have and when you would like to come. He will be able to advise you on space and availabilty.
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