S A N T A C I T T A R A M A B U D D H I S T M O N A S T E R Y
Information for Visitors
Please note that we are on silent retreat until 1st April: Programme
Visitors are welcome to participate in the daily life of Santacittarama, whether they come to stay for a few hours or a few days. Those that wish to stay overnight should read the following information carefully and book in advance. Coming for a brief visit during the day there is no need to give notice, unless wishing to speak with a monk, in which case one should make an appointment beforehand. Please remember that Monday is a day of silence and rest.
For further details see below: Information for guests
Monastery postal address
Santacittarama Monastero Buddhista
02030 Poggio Nativo (RI), Italy.
Tel: (++39) 0765 872 528 (During retreat time: 08:00-09:00, otherwise, Tues-Sun, 08:00-10:30)
Fax: (++39) 06 233 238 629
Email: [email protected]
How to get there (see map below)
By car: Leave the A1 motorway at the Fiano Romano (Roma nord) exit and take the Via Salaria (SS4) following all indications for Rieti. At Osteria Nuova, after the 52░ km. sign, take a right, then left to the flyover, following signs to Frasso. After about 300m turn left at the large stone building ('Grotta dei Massacci'), and then take the first right, following the road as it turns behind the animal market place. Just beyond the gas enclosure, take the gravel road to the left right to the end, to the open gates of Santacittarama.
By public transport: From Fiumicino airport trains leave about every 15 minutes for destination Fara Sabina or Orte. Take this train as far as Tiburtina Station (a journey of about 40 minutes), from where you can take the bus as described below. For transport from Ciampino airport to central Rome there are several options. For further information see: www.adr.it.
by bus from Rome: Frequent buses for Rieti leave from the Tiburtina Station in Rome (except on Sundays when there are very few, although it is then possible to take the train to Fara Sabina and then a bus for Rieti: Bus+Treno). On week days they usually leave on the hour, occasionally at half past as well. The journey between Rome and Osteria Nuova takes about 1 hour. The website www.cotralspa.it is useful for checking departure times, inserting "Roma Tiburtina" for partenza, "via S Vecchia /via delle Cave (Poggio Moiano)" for arrivo, the date where it asks for data and the time for ora. Tickets must be bought (tariff N░ 6) in the station before boarding the bus. Get off after the sign for Osteria Nuova, just before the 53░ km sign and the flyover. Cross the road and walk in the direction of Frasso Sabino, following the directions as above. It takes about 20 minutes by foot. Please bear in mind that more than half of the distance is by a gravel road, and thus not very convenient for luggage on wheels. Unfortunately there is no taxi service at Osteria Nuova.
Information for guests
It is possible to visit Santacittarama during the day and there is also limited accommodation for those who wish to spend a period of time participating in the daily life of the monastery. Those interested in such an experience are requested to read the following information carefully.
Santacittarama is a small monastery (vihara), the life of which is regulated by the moral discipline and monastic conventions established by the Buddha. Guests are invited to help the resident community to sustain a quiet and harmonious atmosphere, observing the 8 precepts and conventions of this monastic tradition as well as participating in the communal activities.
It is necessary to book beforehand, preferably by writing to: [email protected]. Usually the first visit is a maximum of 1 week, with the possibility of an extension at the discretion of the senior monk. Having arrived at the monastery, someone will show you where to stay, and then you should write your name, address and telephone number in the guest book.
The daily routine varies according to the season and needs of the moment, but a typical day is as follows:
5.00 Morning chanting and meditation
6.30 Domestic chores
8.00 Work meeting
11.00 Main meal. The Theravada monastic tradition of not eating from mid-day to the following dawn is observed. After the meal no more food is available. The guests help with the washing up.
12.30 Time for individual meditation or study.
17.00 Tea break
19.30 Evening chanting and meditation.
Those that don't have previous meditation experience should ask to meet with a senior monk for guidance. An introductory manual is available on line: (Meditation). Perhaps more important, though, than any particular meditation technique, the monastic convention encourages the use of all aspects of daily life, however ordinary, as occasions to develop awareness and sensitivity and other spiritual qualities that are conducive to liberation.
The Eight Precepts
The monks and novices of Santacittarama follow a code of conduct, established by the Buddha, the basis of which is formalized into the following eight precepts:
1. Harmlessness: not intentionally harming any living being.
2. Trustworthiness: not taking anything which is not given.
3. Chastity: refraining from any sexual activity.
4. Right speech: avoiding false, abusive or malicious speech.
5. Sobriety: not taking intoxicating drink or drugs.
6. Renunciation: not eating after mid-day.
7. Restraint: refraining from attending games and shows, and from self-adornment. (Guests are asked to dress modestly, and not to play radios, musical recordings or instruments).
8. Alertness: to refrain from over-indulgence in sleep
These are intended as a means of promoting harmony within the community and as a framework for contemplation. Guests are expected to observe these precepts during their stay.
It should also be pointed out that it is forbidden to smoke in or near the buildings, and that there is a serious
fire risk especially in the summer months.
Most days include a work period of 2-3 hours, usually in the morning. This is assigned at the meeting at 8am, and depends on what needs to be done as well as on the person's capacity. Typically it involves cleaning, building maintenance, gardening, cooking etc. The work period also offers the opportunity to develop meditation in ordinary everyday activities, extending collectedness and awareness beyond the formal meditation exercises. The monastery also depends for its functioning on a spirit of goodwill and collaboration; occasions for serving the community are many.
Shrine room / meditation hall
As with all monasteries of
this tradition, Santacittarama and its resident community is supported by freewill donations and offerings of food
and other requisites. Although no charges are made, financial contributions are appreciated to cover the running
costs. Any excess is used to finance further building developments and to sustain the teaching and practice of the
Buddha's Way in Italy. Offerings may be placed in the wooden donations box, by the
door in the
entrance hall, or made directly into the current account for Santacittarama
Donations for details).
If guests have any problems or questions during their stay please feel free to approach the senior monk. We hope that your stay at Santacittarama will be both enjoyable and beneficial.