Hidden San Diego

Metta Forest Monastery


 

 

 Metta Forest Monastery

  13560 Muutama Ln, Valley Center, CA  

(619) 813-8461

http://www.watmetta.org/

 

 

 "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.

panoramic photo of view of Metta Forest Monastery at sunset

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.

Day Visits

The 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. More information can be found at Monastery Etiquette.

  • The monks’ alms round is at 8:30am every day. If you are running late, the last chance to offer food to the monks is 9:00am at the Sala. This is the only meal of the day. If you arrive after 9:00am, the resident laypeople can receive the food, store it overnight and offer it to the monks the next day.
  • Visitors are welcome to participate in the daily activities of the Monastery. Alternatively, you are welcome to spend the day meditating in the Sala (Meditation Hall) or on the platforms and walking paths located throughout the avocado orchard.
  • There are books and mp3 CDs on meditation and Buddhism in the Sala (Meditation Hall). These are distributed free of charge, and you may take what you find useful.

Overnight Visits

If you would like to come for an overnight visit, we ask that you write or call the monastery to obtain permission and to guarantee that the monastery is not closed to visitors at the time you would like to come.

There are no scheduled retreats at the Monastery as there are at most meditation retreat centers. Rather, one could say the Monastery is always in “retreat” mode, and visitors drop into the routine and out of it according to their own scheduling restrictions. Usually, there are five to twenty visitors at any one time, and the high season is the summertime despite the hot weather.

First-time visitors are allowed to stay for periods of up to two weeks. All visitors are asked to observe the Eight Precepts and to participate fully in the daily schedule of the Monastery. The sixth of the eight precepts basically limits overnight visitors to one meal per day. If you have a medical condition or other compelling reason to be exempted from this precept please call the monastery to alert one of the monks to your situation.

We don’t charge for room or board, as all our activities are funded by donations. Our accommodations are very simple. We have a dormitory-style guesthouse, and there are also 8’x 8’ wooden platforms in the avocado orchard where tents may be pitched in the shade.

The food at the Monastery is not vegetarian as is sometimes assumed. The monks respect the generosity of all the laypeople and do not refuse any offerings of food. The food available to laypeople staying at the Monastery reflects this as all the food is first offered to the monks. If you have strict dietary requirements, e.g. illness or allergy related, or vegan, please call the monastery to confirm that the Monastery kitchen will be able to accomodate them. Lacto-ovo vegetarians can get by just fine picking and choosing as long as they’re not concerned with absolute purity.


The Eight Precepts

  1. Panatipata veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.
  2. Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from taking that which is not given.
  3. Abrahmacariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from sexual activity.
  4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from lying.
  5. Suramerayamajja pamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from taking alcohol or intoxicating drugs.
  6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the wrong time (i.e., after midday).
  7. Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics.
  8. Uccasayana-mahasayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami ― I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on an elevated or luxurious bed.

Monastery Etiquette

  • Our support communities are primarily Thai, Laotian, American and Sri Lankan. Please be sensitive to the differing cultures that meet here.
  • Dress conservatively. Casual and comfortable is fine, but no shorts, and nothing provocative or revealing. This applies to both sexes.
  • Please avoid the monks’ huts and the monks’ area of Monastery. There are small, decrepit, yellow signs posted showing the boundary.
  • Guests are asked to be supportive of the Vinaya rules that the monks follow.
  • Please do not pick the fruit in the orchard without first getting permission from one of the monks.
  • 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. In any case, the Buddha never recommended total silence, but rather Right Speech.

What to Bring

  • It is necessary to bring:
    • a tent (if you’re going to use one)
    • a sleeping bag or bed linens
    • a pillow (if you’re going to use one)
    • a sleeping pad
    • a towel
    • shoes or boots you can garden or work in
    • comfortable, loose-fitting clothing (see also weather and monastery etiquette)
    • your own snacks if you have special dietary needs and cannot follow the 6th Precept in the evenings
      • Avoid bringing personal snacks that require refrigeration, as the Monastery usually doesn’t have extra space in the fridges.
      • And avoid bring snacks or supplements that require cooking, otherwise use of the kitchen would quickly spin out of control.
  • We recommend that visitors bring:
    • a flashlight
    • an alarm clock or watch
    • sun hat
    • sun screen
    • personal water bottle (some visitors like to have one)
  • It’s not necessary to bring:
    • meditation cushions (We have a large, varied (& dusty) supply, but you may bring your own if you wish.)
    • electronic devices such as, among other things, microwave ovens, hair dryers, and irons. The reason is that the Monastery has a solar system with limited power. More efficient devices such as smart phones and laptops are fine, but you might consider leaving them behind if you can do without them.
    • a wardrobe full of clothes as there are no washers and dryers available. There are of course tubs for hand-washing and clothes lines for drying.

Mental Preparation

Meditation instruction follows the teachings of Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo, a member of the Thai Forest Tradition. If you wish to get a head start with the meditation techniques taught at the Monastery, please read and experiment with the following:

  1. "Method 2" in Ajaan Lee’s Keeping the Breath in Mind
  2. Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s With Each & Every Breath

Many of Thanissaro Bhikkhu’s transcribed Dhamma Talks are available in the Meditations series of eBooks. Mp3 recordings of his talks are available at dhammatalks.org.



             Capture

Make a right at this sign.  You will then descend deep into an avocado grove.  The monastery is at the very bottom.  Enjoy the ride!

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

 This place is nestled in an avocado grove.  Avos everywhere!  That is not an invitation to steal their avocados though.

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery


I am not sure what this flower is but BOY was it fragrant!

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery

There are tents everywhere.  People can camp in the avocado groves:

Metta Forest Monastery


Absolute worst. outfit. ever. to wear while hiking.  We went to the monastery sporadically after having a fancier day earlier because it was nearby.  I'm hiking in heels!  Will not let that stop me from making it to the top of the hill for the beautiful view! :P  From now on I will keep hiking shoes in my car and NEVER take them out!

Metta Forest Monastery


The beautiful view up top:

Metta Forest Monastery

Metta Forest Monastery


 


Locations Nearby:

         

HTML Comment Box is loading comments...


Alpine

Alpine Historical Society

 

Anza Borrego Desert

Galleta Meadows

Anza Borrego State Park

 

Bankers Hill

Balboa Park Archery Range

Balboa Botanical Building

 

Balboa Dirt Bike Trails

 

Desert Garden

 

Bridle Trail

 

Centro Cultural de Raza

 

Florida Canyon

 

Free Tuesdays at the Park


Top of the Park


Japanese Friendship Garden


Marston Canyon & Footbridge

 

Marston House

 

Maple Canyon

 

Mingei International Museum

 

Museum of Man

 

Natural History Museum

 

House of Pacific Relations International Cottages

 

Old Cactus Garden

 

Palm Canyon

 

Reuben H. Fleet Science Center

 

Spanish Village Art Center

 

Twilight in the Park

 

World Beat Center

 

 

Bonita

 

The Grave of Kathy Fiscus (Lost History)

 


Campo

Campo Stone Store Museum



Carmel Valley

Carmel Valley Cemetery

 

Carlsbad

Batiquitos Lagoon

Carlsbad Flower Fields

Hosp Grove

Leo Carrillo Ranch

Museum of Making Music

Self-Realization FellowshipHermitage & Meditation Gardens

 

City Heights 

City Farmers Nursery 

New Roots Community Farm

San Diego Peace Garden

Wat Sovannkiri Buddhist Temple

 

Chula Vista

Living Coast Discovery Center

Proctor Valley Rd.

Zorba's Greek Restaurant

U.S. Olympic Training Center

Upper Otay Lake


 

Coronado

Coronado Sand Dune's Secret Message

Hotel Del Coronado


Dog Beach


 

Cuyamaca 

Cuyamaca State Park

 

Dyar House Ruins 

Green Valley Falls

Stonewall Mine




Del Mar

Cinépolis

Four-o-clock Friday's

Exotic Bird Sanctuary

 

Downtown

Altitude Sky Bar

Chinese Historical District

East Village Tavern + Bowl 

Grant Hotel

Horton Grand Hotel


The Noble Experiment

Prohibition

Zombie Walk

Shout House


Syrah


William Heath Davis House


Encinitas

Good Morning

San Diego Botanic Gardens

 

El Cajon

Kuma Bonsai Nursery

Water Conservation Garden

Unarius

Summers Past Farms

Crestridge Ecological Reserve


Escondido


 Altipiano Vineyard & Winery

Cordiano Winery

Daley Ranch

Deer Park Winery & 
Auto Museum

Distinction Gallery

Deer Park Monastary

Dixon Lake

Elfin Forest

Grand Tea Room

Philosophical Library

Felicita Park

Grape Day Park

Harmony Grove Spiritualist Center

Harmony Grove

Kit Carson Park Hiking Trails

Orfila Winery

Lake Wohlford

Lake Wohlford Dam

Plan 9 Alehouse

San Pasqual Cemetery 

San Pasqual Indian Cemetery

Sikes Historic Adobe Farmstead

Street Life

Record Paradise

Questhaven Retreat

Questhaven Rd.

Queen Califia's Magical Circle Garden

Phap Vuong Monatsery

Stone Brewery

Stone Farms


Fallbrook

Dinwiddie Preserve

Grand Tradition Gardens

Masonic Cemetery

Odd Fellows Cemetery

Palomares House & Park

Santa Margarita River & Ruins

 

 Golden Hill

 

Golden Hill Park


Villa Montezuma


Victorian Homes of Golden Hill

 

 

Hillcrest

 

Co-Habitat


Suspension Bridge


 


Imperial Beach

Mt. Olivet Cemetery


Suzie's Farm


Tijuana River Valley Regional Park Community Garden


Jacumba

Desert View Tower

Boulder Park

 

Carrizo Gorge Railyard

 

Coyote's Flying Saucer Retrievals & Repairs

 

Institute of Perception



 

Julian


Wolf Sanctuary

Downtown Julian

Golden Gem Mine

Julian Pioneer Cemetery

Eagle Mine

Three Sisters Falls


Kearny Mesa

 94 Aero Squadron Restaurant


99 Ranch Market


The Fruit Shop

 

La Jolla

Munchkin House 

Seal Beach

Secret Swings

La Jolla's Caves, Coves and Tidepools

Mount Soledad

Salk Institute

Scripps Coastal Reserve

Secrets of UCSD

Sunny Jim Cave

Pottery Canyon Natural Park


La Mesa


La Mesa's Secret Stairs

Mount Helix

McKinney House

Wat Lao Boubpharam Temple


 

Lakeside

Blue Sky Ranch



Linda Vista

Tecelote Park

 

Little Italy

Downtown Little Italy

Washington St. Skatepark

 

 Logan Heights

Chicano Park Murals

Technomania Circus

The Chrch

Writerz Blok



Mira Mesa

Camino Ruiz Trail

 

Misc.

Aesthetigeist Art Collective

Christmas Light Displays

Community Acupuncture

Haunted San Diego Events

Little Free Library

 Urban Ruins of HIghway 80

 

Mission Hills

Pioneer Park

Presidio Park

Presidio Park Historic Spots 

Topiary Garden


Mission Valley 
Adobe Falls


Mission Basilica San 
Diego de Alcala

 

Normal Heights

Folk Arts Rare Records

Herb Shoppe

 

Northpark

Ray St.

 

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach Farmers Market

Sunset Cliffs Caves & Coves


Sunset Cliffs Hiking Trails


Villa Surf Ruins

 

Villa Surf (Lost History)


 

Oceanside

Succulent Cafe

San Luis Rey Mission

 

San Luis Rey Pioneer Cemetery

 



Old Town

Casa de Estudillo

Cosmopolitan Hotel

Dia de los Muertos

El Campo Cemetary

La Casa de Machado y Stewart Museum

Mason Schoolhouse

Old Adobe Chapel

Seeley Stables

Whaley House

Victorian Village Heritage Park



Pacific Beach

Kate O Sessions Park 


Pala


Abandoned Homes of Pala

 

Mission San Antonio de Pala Cemetary

Oceanview Mine & Inn

 



Palomar Mountain

 Palomar Mountain

Palomar Observatory

The Weir



Point Loma

Cabrillo National Monument

  Fort Rosecrans Cemetery

Old Point Loma Lighthouse



Poway


Blue Sky Reserve & Lake Poway 


Meadowbrook Tunnels

Metate Meadows

Lightning Brewery


Old Poway Park


Old Pomerado Rd.


Poway Back-Trails

Meadowbrook BMX Trail

Midland Tunnel

Xpressive Arts Center BYOB Classes


Ramona

Black Canyon


Devil's Punchbowl


Lake Ramona


Mount Woodson Castle


Oasis Camel Dairy


Sutherland Dam

 

 

Rancho Bernardo

  Battle Mountain

Buddha's Peak

Lake Hodges

Lake Hodges Waterfall

Bernardo Winery

 

 

Rancho Penasquitos

Black Mountain Glider Port

Cara Knott Memorial Garden 


Eichar's Grave


McKamey Manor


Rancho de Los Penasquitos 


Rancho Penasquitos Waterfall 

 


Santee


Kumeyaay Lake & Campground


Santee Drive-In Theater


Old Mission Dam


Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center

 


San Marcos

Double Peak Park

Jack's Pond


Scripps Ranch

Ballast Point Brewery


Hendrix Pond

Lake Miramar


Evan's Pond

 

Seaport Village


B-39 Submarine


Berkely Ferryboat


HMS Surprise Ship


Medea Steam Yacht


USS Dolphin Submarine


Star of India


 

Serra Mesa

Murphy Canyon


 

Sorrento Valley

Pet Cemetery

Seabreeze Organic Farm

 

 

 

Torrey Pines

Blacks Beach

Mushroom House

Torrey Pines State Reserve

 

University Heights

Buchanan Canyon

The Massage Center

Soltan Banoo

Red Fox Piano Bar

Lips Restaurant

Rose Canyon


Valley Center

Bates Nut Farm

Lavender Fields

Metta Forest Monastery

Morning Star Ranch

Old Castle Ranch

Valley Center Historical Museum

Yellow Deli

 

Vista

Antique Gas & Steam Engine Museum

Alta Vista Gardens

Butterfly Farm

Koral's Tropical Fruit Farm & Museum

Exotica Rare Fruit Farm

Indian Store

Yellow Deli

Rancho Guajome Adobe

 

 

Warner Springs

Chapel of St. Francis Assisi 

Santa Ysabel Mission

Sky Sailing

Warner Springs Town


 


Big Sur

Andrew Molera State Park

Ewoldsen Trail

The Henry Miller Library

Limekilns

Limekiln Waterfalls

Los Padres Beach

McWay Falls

Cafe Kevah & Nepenthe Restaurant

Partington Cove

Pfeiffer Beach

River Inn

Salmon Creek Waterfall & Cave

Spirit Garden

Soberanes Creek Watershed

Tanbark Trail

Ventana


Carmel

California Market Restaurant

Point Lobos State Reserve


Catalina Island

Trans Catalina Trail System

 

 Los Angeles

Abandoned Zoo (Griffith Park)

Bronson Caves (Griffith Park)

Hidden Treasures (Topanga)

Murphy's Ranch (Pacific Palisades)

Korean Friendship Bell (San Pedro)

Lake Shrine (Pacific Palisades)

Malibu Hindu Temple (Malibu)

Mosaic Tile House (Venice Beach)

The Getty (Brentwood)

The Last Bookstore (Downtown)

Museum of Death (Hollywood)

Sunken City (San Pedro)

Witch's House (Beverly Hills)


Mendocino

Glass Beach (Fort Bragg)


Misc.


Highways 1, 101 & 46


Orange County

Mission San Juan Capistrano (San Juan Capistrano)

 

Riverside

Abandoned Homes of Salton City

Abandoned All-Boys Military School

Cabazon Dinosaurs (Cabazon)

Eagle Mountain Railroad (Bombay)

East Jesus (Niland)

Salton Sea (Salton City)

Salvation Mountain (Niland)

San Jacinto Mountains & Tram (Palm Spring)

Slab City (Niland)

Tios Tacos

 


San Luis Obispo

Bubblegum Alley

 Eberle Winery (Paso Robles)

Madonna Inn

 

Santa Barbara

Solvang


Santa Monica

Willet & Sespe Hot Springs (Ojai)

 

San Simeon

Hearst Castle