PREPARE FOR YOUR STAY
All you need to know before coming
> PRACTICAL INFORMATION FOR YOUR RETREAT
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
When planning your trip, please arrange your travels in such a way that you are present on the very first day and remain until the end of the last day of the retreat. It is essential to participate in the first session of a retreat.
STAYING AT LERAB LING
Please keep the following in mind when you stay at Lerab Ling for any retreat of event:
- ● Out of respect for the monastic community, please adopt proper dress code (avoid miniskirts, shorts, tight fitting clothes and singlet tops).
- ● It is not permitted to drive on site – Please leave cars in the parking area for the safety of everyone on site and to keep a retreat environment.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Rigpa is an international community of individuals following the Tibetan Buddhist tradition. It is our shared wish to create a safe environment for the study and practice of the Buddhist teachings, one where we all feel a sense of responsibility for each other’s well-being and spiritual path.
Whatever your participation or role in the activities associated with Rigpa, everyone has a responsibility to conduct themselves in accordance with the laws of the land and the ethical behaviour outlined in the Rigpa Code of Conduct. We ask that you agree to abide by our Shared Values and Guidelines while you are in Lerab Ling.
TEACHINGS AND TRANSLATION
Retreats and events are held either in English or in French. Translation into other languages (French, English, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and Chinese) are available during larger retreats and events according to demand.
Please inform us about your translation needs when you register and check the page for each event to learn more. If you do need translation, bringing your own earphones (3 mm jack) will improve the sound quality and your listening comfort.
There are no translations for Personal Retreats and Meditation Breaks.
CREATING THE BEST CONDITIONS FOR YOUR RETREAT
- ● Make all necessary arrangements – (mail, buying your tickets, confirming your flights, bank transfers, etc.) before you arrive at Lerab Ling. Making sure that all is in order beforehand will allow you to enter into the retreat more fully.
- ● Silence is an essential way of creating a retreat atmosphere – Periods of silence can be expected, and certain areas will be reserved for silence throughout the day.
- ● We discourage you from bringing mobile phones or other electronic devices, books, music or media other than those about the Dharma, as well as newspapers or magazines.
SUPPORTING THE RETREAT THROUGH DAILY ACTIVITY
(For events of 4 days or more)
Like any spiritual center, Lerab Ling depends on the volunteer help of each participant to contribute to the smooth running of the retreat / event. Each person coming to Lerab Ling is invited, upon arrival, to help one hour a day in one of the proposed activities (dining room, temple, cleaning, etc.).
MEAL SERVICE AT LERAB LING
Lerab Ling offers mainly vegetarian meals with vegan and gluten-free options – and some meat on certain days. Unfortunately, the kitchen is not able to accommodate special dietary needs beyond these options. To support allergy safety, the kitchen guarantees that ingredients will be listed on all menu items. If you have severe food allergies, it is your responsibility to report it when you check-in.
Those with more restrictive diets should bring their own food supplements to ensure proper nutrition.
You can find accommodation & meal prices here. Please book all meals in advance, when you register for your retreat.
- ● Coffee, tea and hot water are provided for free at each retreat and event.
- ● Preparing and cooking meals is strictly forbidden in all rooms, tents, and other on-site areas. People staying on-site are obliged to sign up for 3 meals a day.
- ● A microwave is always available for personal use.
- ● Drinks and snacks can be purchased during some retreats at the Windhorse Boutique & Café during the summer.
- ● Mugs and thermos flasks are also available for purchase.
LERAB LING SERVICES
When attending an event or retreat, the following services are available on site:
- ● Welcome Centre – Open from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm for information on accommodation, transport in the region and to post any mail.
- ● Laundry facilities – A token operated washing machine and dryer are available on site.
SPIRITUAL PRACTICES IN LERAB LING
Lerab Ling preserves the unique spiritual traditions, culture, and art of Tibetan Buddhism and there is a spiritual community in residence who hold daily sessions of prayer, meditation and chanting (which are not part of all events).
The Windhorse Boutique is open on certain days during events (opening times are adapted to the programme).
There, you can find books, teaching compilations, notebooks, objects to support your practice (incense, meditation cushions, shawls, malas etc.), as well as other objects (candles, jewerly, clothes etc.).
The shop accepts (french) cheques and cash in euros, as well as MasterCard and Visa.
During the winter time the Windhorse Boutique can be found inside the temple.
Lerab Ling cannot offer medical care, consultations, or medicines, as it has neither the staff nor the appropriate facilities to do so.
The closest doctor is in Le Caylar – 11 km from Lerab Ling. For more serious problems, medical facilities are located in Lodève, 15 km away. If you are currently being treated for a medical condition, or if you have allergies of any kind (insect stings and bites, asthma, etc.) please bring your own medication with you.
All teachings given in Lerab Ling are based on Tibetan Buddhism, and are not intended to serve as a substitute for psychotherapy, psychiatric treatment or medication of any kind. If you are currently following a treatment and/or are taking medication, we ask you to first consult your doctor or therapist to see whether it is appropriate for you to come to Lerab Ling.
We ask you to not interrupt any current treatment and/or medication. Lerab Ling does not accept any responsibility in this regard. We reserve the right to ask those who are a serious threat to others or to themselves to leave Lerab Ling and seek professional help elsewhere.
Lerab Ling is located at more than 800m of altitude, in a mountainous area. The weather is very variable and unpredictable, and temperatures can fluctuate a lot. So please check the weather forecast before coming.
Summers are often hot and sunny.
In the autumn, winter and a part of the spring the temperatures can be cold and it can snow. In the winter, we also recommend to bring chains for your car, in case of snow!
TRANSPORT AROUND THE SITE
There is an onsite transport service available to and from the temple, accommodations, car park and dining services for those who have difficulty walking. Please inquire upon arrival.
FOR THOSE STAYING ON-SITE
Rooms, Studios, Wooden Cabins, and Yurts
Our rooms, studios, wooden cabins, and yurts are equipped with single bed(s), bedside table(s) and lamp(s), shelving for clothes, bedding, sheets and towels.
Platform Tents (Summer only)
Our platform tents are equipped with single bed(s), bedside table(s), bedding, sheets and towels. They do not have any electricity.
Personal Tent Camp Site (Summer only)
Our personal tent camp site has an access to a sanitary block with showers, wash basins, toilets and electricity points. Please bring your tent, bedding and towels. There are no electricity points in the camp site.
> TEMPLE ETIQUETTE
GUIDELINES FOR VISITORS TO LERAB LING
All Buddhist temples contain representations of the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, therefore out of respect it is important to maintain appropriate conduct of ones body, speech and mind whilst visiting. Correct etiquette is an expression of respect and gratitude for one's own Buddha-nature, which is embodied by ones teacher and reflected by the shrine room environment.
When visiting the temple or the stupas, you are asked to circumambulate in a clockwise direction, even if leaving or returning from the toilet. In the Buddhist teachings it says that, “When you circumambulate, it results in enhanced mindfulness, clear perception, intelligence, not to mention a good rebirth.”
Please remove your shoes before entering any of the temple rooms. This is also symbolic of leaving all your worldly life at the door and entering purely.
If lying down or sitting with your legs stretched out, avoid pointing them at the teacher or any images of the Buddha.
As a sign of respect for the monastic community and for the preciousness of the teachings, we are asked to dress well and modestly, it is polite to cover your shoulders and knees and avoid tight fitting garments.
The robes that monastics wear are symbolic and similar to those of the Buddha. With this in mind it is not appropriate to step over any part of them.
Dharma texts should not be placed directly on the floor, stepped over, or stood upon.
As the paintwork on the walls, pillars and thangkas (hanging paintings) are both sacred and fragile, to avoid damage please do not lean against them nor place any items up against them.
The windows of the temple scratch easily so please be mindful not to place bags or other items against them whilst storing them outside.
Photography and the use of mobile phones in the temple is not allowed. Please respect the wishes of long-term retreatants who do not wish to be photographed whilst in retreat conditions.
Security measures – The temple at Lerab Ling is obliged to comply with many and varied regulations. Many of these relate to the spacing of chairs, mats, and aisle widths. To help keep the temple spacious and safe, please leave the layout as you found it, keeping the aisles free from hazards, please minimize the amount of belongings you bring into the temple.
> TRAVELING FROM ABROAD
As a general rule, a visa is required for non-EEC foreign nationals wishing to come to France. It should be obtained before departure.
Long term visas must be issued by the French Embassy in your country before your arrival in France. If you hold a short term visa, you cannot request a long term visa once you are in France. We strongly recommend you visit the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website for more information.
No Visa is required for EEC nationals (citizens of member states of the European Union) or Switzerland.
If you need a residence card you may request one after arriving in France, provided you have obtained a long term visa prior to entering the country.
Lerab Ling and La Source cannot accept payments or exchange any currencies other than the euro. Lerab Ling and La Source are unable to cash foreign cheques.
> WHAT TO BRING
RECOMMENDED ITEMS TO BRING
- ● All your toiletries, soap, etc. to last the duration of your stay
- ● Flashlight
- ● Alarm clock (battery-powered for tents)
- ● For people who will need translation, radios and headsets will be lent to you by Lerab Ling. For your comfort, you may want to bring your own headsets (3mm jack)
- ● The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and your other study books related to the theme of the retreat
- ● Your practice books
- ● Clothes you can layer, to handle different weather conditions (don’t forget a warm jacket, socks, sweater, and thermal underwear)
- ● Waterproof shoes that are appropriate for rough terrain (bear in mind that shoes must be removed in all indoor areas)
- ● If you are using shared showers, you may want to bring a pair of flip-flops
- ● Shawl or blanket, and warm socks or slippers for sessions in the temple (mostly for cooler seasons)
- ● Raincoat and umbrella
- ● Smart clothes for special occasions (empowerments, etc.)
- ● Thermos or mug - in order to help Lerab Ling protect the environment and avoid waste, we request everyone to bring their own thermos or mug with a lid, for your use in the temple. It will also be possible to purchase one in Lerab Ling.
- ● Personal medication, and if necessary, medicines for allergic reactions to insect stings (enough to last you for the length of your visit)
- ● If you have difficulty walking, bring a cane
- ● Your own meditation cushion (Lerab Ling provides chairs and meditation cushions in the temple - however there are none in accommodations)
- ● Notebook and pen for noting insights you may have during the event
- ● Credit card/cash (there is no ATM on-site)
- ● For campers in personal tents: your tent, warm sleeping bag, mattress, and bath towel
- ● For platform tents & rooms: an extra blanket (a mattress, pillow, sheets, blankets and a bath towel are provided)
WHAT NOT TO BRING
- ● For security reasons, candles, incense, camping stoves, etc. are not allowed in the different accommodations and camp site.
- ● Unfortunately, we cannot allow pets on site.
- ● Please do not bring alcohol or other intoxicants.
- ● There is no smoking on-site. If you must smoke, there is a designated area near the Welcome Centre.
> PARENTS AND CHILDREN
Children and teenagers (0–17 years), coming to Lerab Ling with their parents, must be registered regardless of whether they attend the Rigpé Yeshé Programme and/or have meals or accommodation at Lerab Ling.
When you book your event, you can add your child(ren) as well as their meals and accommodation if needed.
Upon arrival in Lerab Ling, we ask you to fill out a Liability Release Form. (Alternatively, you can download it, fill it in, and bring it with you). Please note that you will need to bring a copy of your insurance policy.
Before registering your child(ren), please take the following to heart:
- - Parents are responsible for their child(ren) at all times during their entire stay at Lerab Ling.
- - Children have to be accompanied by an adult at all times and cannot be left unattended. This could mean that parents are not always able to attend all the sessions of the event.
- - Lerab Ling is unable to take responsibility for any actions taken by your child(ren).
- - We ask parents to ensure that their child(ren) does (do) not disturb the environment and atmosphere of Lerab Ling as a retreat centre.
Because of the climate in Lerab Ling (it can get very hot or very cold even in summer), we request that parents come well equipped for all weather conditions.
Additional information for parents of children who are not following the Rigpé Yeshé Programme
- - Lerab Ling does not have a designated children's play area nor do we provide any toys. Please bring all materials that will ensure the comfort and happiness of your child(ren) (toys, diapers etc).
- - Lerab Ling is not able to offer a designated space for children.
- - If you are participating in an event with your children, we will offer a space where you can attend the event through video streaming.
Please see this page for all accommodation and meal prices. Children do not pay for events they do not participate in.
Temple etiquette and what to bring in Chinese here.