Update on stages of preparation for COVID-19 at Aruna Ratanagiri

Report and update on stages of preparation for COVID-19

Various friends and supporters have been in touch to see if we are OK and to ask if they can assist. For that we are very grateful. Winter Retreat continues even though obviously there has been some increased activity as we pay close attention to issues of hygiene (Level 1).
Regarding this current situation, after careful consultation we have decided that it is necessary to exercise the next level of caution (Level 2). We trust that you will support us in this decision and view it as a contribution to protecting the resident community and visitors, as well as preventing further spread of the virus.

The formal advice we have received from our medical authority, says anybody who has a continuous cough OR a temperature over 37.8 degrees must self-isolate for 7 days. If you or any family members or close contacts have any of these symptoms please do not visit the monastery.
As of Monday 16th March visitors to Aruna Ratanagiri will no longer be permitted to enter No.2 Cottage unless they are one of the official Support Team (ST). This also means not entering the monastery kitchen. All other public spaces in the monastery are still currently accessible, including the area behind the kitchen and Kusala House.
Please be aware that the front door to No.2 Cottage will be locked. You can get to the back of the kitchen via the little white gate underneath the cherry tree on the front lawn outside No.2 Cottage. There should be a sign indicating ‘KITCHEN’.

Cooked/prepared food offerings
The offering of food will now take place between 10am and 11am at the back of the kitchen in the corridor, where tables will already have been set up. If you arrive at a time when nobody is present to receive your offering there will be a bell which you can ring and someone will then assist you.
Bringing food from outside is still welcome, however, from Monday 16th March, visitors from outside the monastery will not be permitted to cook in our kitchen. One of the Support Team will however reheat food when that is required.
Sponsoring the midday meal by sending a specified donation is still a possibility. Please email the kitchen supervisor if you are considering this option –
Some supporters have been using the delivery service offered by Tesco’s to place a food order. Feel free to ask the kitchen supervisor for further information if you wish.
After presenting your food to one of the Support Team people, visitors are invited to use the dhamma hall (which will be heated all morning).
Around 11am there will be an opportunity to make any further offerings you have brought to the sangha.
We ask for your special understanding at this difficult time and allow that your food offering be formally presented (phrakaen) to the sangha by one of the Support Team people instead of directly by the donors.

Partaking of food
After the anumodana the sangha will partake of the meal as normal in the Reception Room, The visitors are invited to then use the following designated eating places:
- the long dhamma hall conservatory beside the memorial garden
- the ‘bhikkhu entrance’ conservatory already being used by guests to eat their meal
- the area with the black bench in the corridor (where the food tables will be).
Note, food is not to be eaten in the dhamma hall. Also, the other small conservatory on the south side of the stupa at the back of the dhamma hall is not available for use.

After the meal
Since the kitchen will not be available for visitors to enter, you are asked to leave your used bowl, cutlery etc. in the designated place (see sign on the food tables).
We encourage visitors to take home any of their left over food brought from outside, however food that has been cooked in the monastery may still be kept.


• As soon as you arrive at the monastery make use of the hand sanitizers provided.

• If you have any cooked food offerings, go to the back of the kitchen.

• You may use any of of the designated spaces (dhamma hall, conservatories etc. not no.2 cottage) to gather.

• At 11am present any further offerings to the sangha in the dhamma hall.

• Around 11.15am there will be a formal offering of food to sangha by one of the Support Team.

• The anumodana will take place.

• The sangha partake of the food and eat inside No.2 cottage with the support team.

• Visitors take their food and eat in the aforementioned designated areas.

• Afterwards visitors leave their used bowl etc. in the designated place.


Please be advised that as the COVID-19 coronavirus situation evolves we will be altering our precautionary measures in line with the severity and governmental and medical advice. These changes might eventually include:

• cancelling all public puja
• not allowing any externally cooked food to be brought in
• not allowing access to any buildings at the monastery.

Once again, we thank you for your understanding and generosity. Many people are confused and unsettled by this current pandemic so let’s all make an effort to remember and put into practice the teachings we have received over the years. The Buddha would want us to use this challenge as an opportunity to practice patient endurance, compassion and wise reflection. He would not want us to forget the many blessings we have already received in this life and miss the chance to contribute to well-being.