Hello everyone! This is a friendly reminder that any of these fun places we may visit, we are a guest at. Please treat both businesses and trails with the utmost respect. We here at Hidden San Diego follow the 'Leave no Trace' mantra, meaning whatever you bring with you comes back with you. If you see trash on a trail, please do your part to help remove it. Remember, we are not picking up trash from another person but instead cleaning up for Mother Nature. Happy adventures!
13560 Muutama Ln.
Valley Center, CA 92082
Phone: (619) 813-8461
Dog-Friendly: No Kid-Friendly: Yes
Metta Forest Monastery is a meditation monastery in the lineage of the Thai Forest Tradition. Founded in 1990 by Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, it has been under the direction of Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Ajaan Geoff) as abbot and meditation teacher since 1993. Currently there are eight American monks and one Thai monk in residence.
The Monastery is outside of Valley Center, California at the end of a road in an avocado orchard surrounded by the mountains and chaparral of northern San Diego County. Being a monastery, its primary purpose is to give men the opportunity to ordain as bhikkhus to practice in line with Dhamma and Vinaya (training rules) taught by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago.
Laymen and laywomen are also welcomed at the Monastery to practice in line with the Buddha’s teachings. Visitors are welcome to participate in the daily activities of the Monastery. Alternatively, you are welcome to spend the day meditating in the sala or on the platforms and walking paths in the avocado orchards.
Metta Forest Monastery is open every day, year-round to day visitors. It is not necessary to call for permission to visit. The most important facts for day visitors to know are listed below. Before you visit though please read up on their etiquette:
- Dress conservatively. Casual and comfortable is fine, but no shorts, and nothing provocative or revealing. This applies to both sexes.
- Please avoid the monks’ area of Monastery where their huts are. There are small, yellow signs posted at some of the points of entry into the monks’ section. If you’re not sure, ask a monk or a long term guest for guidance.Guests are asked to be supportive of the Vinaya rules that the monks follow. When interacting with the monks they might alert you to certain protocols or restrictions. First, be respectful of their requests. Second, they do not expect the laypeople to know all the Vinaya rules and will be happy to explain them to you, time permitting.
- The Monastery is not a place for total silence. Vistors are encouraged to be quiet to perpetuate an atmosphere conducive to meditating. However, there are certain chores to be done and cooperation necessary among the guests, so some speech is necessary. The Buddha taught the principle of Right Speech. Before speaking ask yourself: Is it true? Is it useful? Is it the right time?
- Please don’t pick fruit in the orchard without first getting permission from one of the monk
People do meditation retreats here and camp out in the woods. Seems like a lot of fun!
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