General Information for Visitors and Guests
Monks of the Monastery strictly follow the monastic guidelines (vinaya) as have been laid down by the Buddha. Laypeople who come to the hermitages are not bound to follow the guidelines for monastics. You can interact with them as you would with any friend or acquaintance. However, note that:
Any monk can be addressed as “Bhante” (in the Pali language). You can address any monastic who has gone forth for more than ten years as “Ajahn” (in Thai). Occasionally you might encounter the title “Thera” (“Elder”) in formal writing and “Bhikkhu” (“monk” or “alms-mendicant”) which, however, are usually not used in addressing a monk.
According to the monastic guidelines, a monk should not sit or talk alone with women in closed or secluded areas, indoors or outdoors. The presence of another man is required.
If you wish to greet a monk you can do so by holding your palms against each other at your chest (añjali), as is common in Asian countries.
Monks are allowed to collect and consume their daily food in the period between dawn and noon. Anything they intend to eat or drink, except water, must be formally offered into their hands or placed on or into something in direct contact with their hands.