Hartridge Buddhist Monastery is in the same tradition and has the same basic rules (8 precepts) as Amaravati.
However it varies in a couple ways:
- It’s more laidback
At Hartridge allowables are always available. (cheese and chocolate, food you can eat on the 8 precepts after midday) The chore period before breakfast is a little more laidback. And for breakfast there is bread every morning! (freshly baked right there) which I loved.
- It’s small
There were less than 10 monastics there, including an Anagarika and a Bhikkhuni (Buddhist nun) There were 4-8 or so guests at any given time. And I had a whole room to myself. It felt like a luxury after the 22 person hostel room and the 8 person dorm at Amaravati. It reminded me of Temple Forest Monastery in NH.
- There’s a cat (two in fact!)
Okay. I was more excited about this than you might expect. Winkie, a monastery cat, mostly hung around the main building and almost always made himself available to be pet. This was good for me because I really miss my cats at home. There was also a black cat with a german name (possibly Kushelige Katze?) that translated to cuddly cat. But he wasn’t around the buildings much.
I stayed there for just a week. The area was really beautiful, it’s near Honiton. I’m glad I got to stay and would definitely go back. I didn’t take a lot of pictures because I put my phone on airplane mode for the week and hardly touched it. But I did get a picture of the sunset on top of the hill above the monastery:
And a picture of the two main buildings
A friend of mine also taught me how to make chai while there!
Next: A couple days in Bath