Retreat Center Guidelines

  1. In an effort to live the teachings of the Buddha and to encourage the practices of non-harming “the first precept” and compassion, include the subject of animals raised for food production in policy discussions and decisions. Watch our US centers video as well as our Animals and the Buddha film

  2. To reduce suffering for the greatest number of sentient beings adopt a “food policy.” Serve only plant-based foods or greatly reduce dairy products, eggs, and honey. Provide a list of ingredients for all prepared dishes so that everyone can make the best decisions for themselves at the serving table.

  3. Create a policy about purchasing and using cleaning and personal care products that contain no animal ingredients and are not tested on animals. Put the policy into practice.

  4. Prohibit eating animals in the dining room.

  5. If you center is not fully vegan provide alternatives that are as attractive as the animal-based food it would replace.

  6. Provide sufficient lighting of walkways to allow yogis to avoid stepping on worms, slugs, and insects. Provide labeled “bug cups” to help yogis transport bugs back outside. Consider creating a policy on how to handle insect, rodent, and bird issues. If you have a large property look into posting signs to prevent hunting, fishing, and trapping.

  7. When encouraging compassion for insects and other life, also encourage compassion for animals raised for food since billions of lives are at stake. One suggestion for doing this is: during a retreat dining room orientation talk include the reasons why compassionate food is offered.

  8. Create the position of “an advocate for animals” on at least one committee or on the board at the center and fill the position with someone who has the experience and commitment to be a voice for animals.

  9. Phase out all wool, silk, leather, down, and fur products present at the center. Purchase only animal-free linens, bedding, pillows, carpets, etc.

  10. Make available our DVA brochures for yogis to take home to explore expanding their circle of compassion to include other species.

  11. Encourage teachers to identify themselves publicly and to speak about why they are living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

*Please contact us with your questions, comments, and feedback. We want to encourage people to talk about the decision of whether to eat animals in a safe environment.