Root Institute has two areas for personal retreat:

  1. Our onsite private retreat space is located in one corner of our property. It is a quiet, shady area and consists of four retreat huts. Silence is maintained at all times in this area.

  2. Close to the main institute land is the Stupa Garden of Compassion, our peaceful Garden of Eden. A brand new two-storey accommodation block which is close to completion will offer retreat space with views of the Mahabodhi Stupa. There will also be a small gompa and kitchen for private use. The land itself is home to our 24-ft Kadampa Stupa, under which is a meditation room. Please note, the stupa garden will be especially reserved for experienced Dharma students who undertake strict retreat.

We have a pre-requisite that retreatants fill in our medical form. Please read the rules of personal retreat discipline, below, before completing the form.

As retreat can sometimes be a condition for mental turbulence and stress, it is very important that each person completes our medical form as honestly, and with as much detail, as possible. Health services are very limited in Bodhgaya and, on rare occasions, Root Institute is required to connect people who experience very intense mental health issues with their family and relevant embassies.

Please complete the retreat registration and medical form in detail. Any applications that are not correctly filled will not be considered. The Spiritual Program Coordinator will be in touch with you to discuss your application soon.

Guidelines of behaviour in a Dharma environment

Root Institute is a meditation centre with resident nuns and monks and not a guesthouse, so couples, and men and women, must have separate accommodation.

If participating in courses or retreats, friends and family of the same gender will also be asked to stay in separate rooms to help support silence and their focus on the course / retreat.

We ask all our guests and visitors to observe the following rules of discipline in order to maintain an atmosphere conducive to inner reflection and meditation:

  • Respect all life: do not intentionally kill any living being, even small insects.

  • Respect others' property: do not steal or take anything not freely given.

  • Be honest and straightforward: do not lie or intentionally deceive others.

  • Be celibate: no sexual activity; this also includes no holding hands, hugging, massages and other physical displays of affection.

  • Be alert and mindful*: avoid intoxicants such as alcohol, drugs and cigarettes; we encourage you to stop smoking while here, but if this is impossible, one can smoke outside the gates.

  • Be considerate of others' silence: keep silence in the appropriate areas and at all times during residential courses, especially in the Gompa and the dormitories; no singing or playing music and, in general, maintain a quiet demeanour while on the property.

  • Be considerate of the monks and nuns: dress respectfully; please no shorts above the knee, tank-top shirts or tight and revealing clothing.



Please be aware:

  • In April 2016 the Bihar state government passed laws totally prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state, with very severe penalties, up to capital punishment for those involved in manufacture! Please ensure you do not carry any alcohol with you in Bihar.

  • Also, please note that those in service or teaching in FPMT centers and projects do not engage in the practice of Shugden.

Personal retreat discipline

We accept applications for personal retreat if retreat students maintain the following requirements:

  • Please settle all outside communication before you begin your retreat. Telling friends and family that you will be out of contact for the duration, and sticking by that decision, significantly reduces distraction from investigation into the workings of your own mind! Likewise, settle your travel arrangements, etc. before you come to Root Institute!

  • Please put all communication and / or entertainment devices (laptop / mobile phones /cameras / MP3/CD players) etc. into our safe at check-in.

  • Individual retreat schedule must be strict and consist of no less than 3 sessions per day of Buddhist practice (deity practice, ngöndro, Lam-Rim).

  • Generally maintain silence (especially if undertaking retreat in the Stupa Garden of Compassion).

  • Do not leave Root Institute property unless completing practice at the Mahabodhi Stupa.

  • Do not socialise with non-retreat guests.

  • Have your own teacher who is easily contactable should challenges arise in your practice.

  • Please be aware that Root Institute can arrange for retreat supplies to be refilled and meals be delivered on your behalf only if your retreat meets these requirements.