March 23, 2023

Information and rules for course participants

Information and rules for participants of meditation courses at the Forest Tranquility Buddhist Center (Shanta Vana)

Course financing

  1. The fee for the course, which covers the most necessary costs, is paid by bank transfer (data will be included in the sent invoice) or in cash on the spot (prior notice is required). Payment is made by e-mailing you an invoice generated by the accounting program before the start of the course. If you want to pay in cash, write in the reply to this email that you will pay in cash on the spot.
  2. The course fee includes the cost of accommodation, meals, value added tax (10% of the tax base) and a local stay fee (CZK 30 person/day). Other fees are not included in the course fee, such as the fee for renting a towel, clean bed linen.
  3. Please remember the tax – a financial donation for the teacher and for the center. The course fee covers only the most necessary costs, and the teacher does not receive any salary for the practice. The amount of the donation is completely dependent on the decision of the donor and his financial possibilities, therefore no minimum amount is set. For gifting purposes, two boxes will be placed in the center.
  4. You can also make a financial donation by transferring it to the center’s account no. 229113660 / 0600. If you want to give a gift directly to a specific teacher, enter TAX or GIFT + in the message for the recipient of the payment teacher’s name.

Cancellation Terms

  1. The course participant who fills in the application form for the meditation course is bound to be registered and the the following cancellation conditions apply to him.
  2. If the participant registers no later than 7 days before the start of the course, he is not obliged to pay any fee. If he has already paid the fee for the stay on the course or part of it, the entire amount paid will be returned to the participant by transfer to the account that he reports for this purpose or from which the fee was paid.
  3. If the participant cancels at the latest 6 to 2 days before the start of the course, he is obliged to pay 50% of the basic fee for the stay on the course.
  4. If the participant withdraws one day before the start of the course or later, he is obliged to pay 100% of the basic fee for the stay on the course.
  5. The above-mentioned cancellation fees may be waived in whole or in part if the cancellation of participation in the course occurred as a result of a serious illness or injury of the participant or his family member, the death of his family member or as a result of force majeure (natural disasters, etc.). There is no legal right to waive the cancellation fee.
  6. The participant is not obliged to pay the aforementioned cancellation fees if he/she offers a substitute.
  7. For the purposes of these cancellation conditions, it is meant
    1. by starting the course the day of the official start of the course published in the information about the course on the website (this is not the day of the participant’s stay, if he is registered for a shorter stay),
    2. the basic amount of the fee for the stay on the course an amount including only the costs of accommodation and meals, while for the purpose of calculating the cancellation fee this amount does not include the local stay tax.

Transport and accommodation on the course

  1. Transport is provided by the participants themselves. Depending on the current situation, pick-up in the center of Malé Skály can be arranged. In case of problems with transportation to the center, call organizational support (currently number +420775717417). You can find a description of the route here.
  2. The course starts at 5pm with dinner (mostly soup with bread). Arrival is possible from approx. 2:00 p.m. The course ends with lunch at 12:00 p.m. (departure during the afternoon). Please try to arrive on time or report a late arrival on time to the e-mail or on the day of the start of the course to the number 602466552. Before departure, usually in the morning, common cleaning of the used spaces takes place.
  3. Accommodation on the course is provided in the premises of three older, partially renovated cottages (depending on course availability). There are multi-bed rooms available. If there is a free dark room, it can be used for accommodation as a single or double room with its own bathroom. Two cottages (B, C) have 2 toilets and 2 showers (shower or bathtub). In cottage A only 1 toilet and 1 shower (bathtub).
  4. Women and men are accommodated separately, an exception can be made for couples.
  5. Sleeping is possible on beds or futons (placed on wooden mats). Clean bed linen is available in the center for a one-time fee of CZK 50. It is of course possible to bring your own.
  6. There are meditation mats and pillows available, of course it is possible to bring your own. Sitting on a chair or kneeler is possible (only chairs are available in the center).

Meals on the course

  1. The food on the course is vegetarian, or a vegetarian option is always available if it is cooked non-vegetarian.
  2. We are not able to prepare other than a vegetarian diet. It is not a problem to separate part of the prepared diet so that it meets the conditions of other diets (vegan, gluten-free, macrobiotic, etc.). However, if this is not possible, the participant must provide food from his own resources.
  3. It is possible to store your own food in the center due to compliance with a special diet (see above), but it is necessary to remember that the space in the refrigerator is preferentially reserved for the purposes of food storage of the center. Alternatively, it is possible to bring your own portable fridge, but this must be consulted in advance due to a slight increase in the course fee to cover electricity costs.
  4. Meals are served three times (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or twice (breakfast, lunch) daily, it always depends on the decision of the specific teacher. It is forbidden to take food from the common supplies outside of predetermined meal breaks without prior agreement. If someone needs to eat more often for health reasons, an exception can be agreed upon. For this purpose, food will be prepared for the person in question more often (if our staffing capacity allows) or he will be allowed to prepare a meal from common foods outside of the set meal breaks.

Rules of stay on the course

  1. The following five ethical resolutions are observed in the premises of the Shanta Vana Center:
    1. Abstaining from killing or harming living beings.
    2. Abstaining from taking what was not given.
    3. Abstaining from lying and hurtful speech.
    4. Abstaining from sexual activities.
    5. Abstaining from alcohol or other similar narcotics to cloud the mind.
  2. Some courses may observe noble silence or other rules (such as refraining from eating solid food after noon). This depends on the teacher’s decision, about which course participants will be informed in advance. However, in most courses only the five resolutions and refraining from loud and unnecessary talk are observed.
  3. Please respect the teacher’s instructions, it is not advisable to come to the course with the intention of doing your own practice. In the premises of the center it is possible to carry out physical activities to relax the body from long sitting. Please respect other practitioners and do this activity in a way that does not disturb them.
  4. In the meditation room and teaching interpretation, the traditional rules of respect for the Buddha’s teaching and the teacher are followed. Therefore, it is not advisable to stretch the legs towards the Buddha image or towards the teacher. In the interior spaces of the center, it is advisable to wear clothes that cover the knees and shoulders and do not emphasize too much the provocativeness of the body.
  5. Course participants are partially involved in the running of the center – joint work during the so-called work period (karma yoga). This is mainly about helping the cook (e.g. cutting vegetables before lunch) or helping with less demanding work in the center (e.g. raking mown grass, digging the garden, weeding flower beds, straightening wood). The working period is not longer than an hour a day. Joint work is part of spiritual practice and in some traditions it is an inherent part of joint meditation practice (in Zen, the so-called samu). The course organizer decides whether to assign work to course participants or whether to post a list of jobs for which participants can apply at their own discretion.
  6. This activity mainly consists in washing and wiping the dishes after a meal together, ringing the alarm clock in the morning and possibly also ringing the bell before the beginning of the meditation period. Again, the course organizer can assign the work, but in most cases it is preferred that the participants sign up voluntarily according to the posted timetable.
  7. The visitor rules of the center also apply to course participants, unless this information and rules stipulate otherwise.