Dhammadharini Monastery
Women upholding the Dhamma

Here aspirants can explore monastic life, learn, train & ordain. Here lay friends of the Sangha  can visit or stay for periods of immersion, sanctuary & service. Our monastery is located in Penngrove, Sonoma County, CA a small community near Sonoma State University. It is easily accessible by car and public transportation.

Thanks to the Dhammadharini Support Foundation our Bhikkhuni Sangha can put down deep roots in this land. The monastery will function as a space of refuge, sanctuary & practice for those inspired to fully live the monastic path. As sufficient funds are raised, our goal is to transform the property into a true monastery including lodgings, meditation garden area and spaces for gathering.

Click here to support our efforts.


Daily Schedule 

Wake up until 6:00 am
Silent meditation on your own
Meditation Hall and personal rooms
6:00 am
Morning Puja Devotional and Sutta Chanting
Meditation Hall
6:30 am
Silent Mindful Work Period for sweeping, tidying and preparing breakfast
Throughout the monastery Silent Period until after breakfast
7:00 am
Optional breakfast (After breakfast: may start quiet mindful talk)
Community Hall
8:00 am
Morning Meeting for brief Dhamma reflection, work assignments, logistics.
Community Hall
9:00 am
Morning work period
Throughout the monastery
11:00 am
Main Meal Offering; sometimes followed by Dhamma reflection. Post-meal cleanup
Meditation Hall
1:00 - 7:00 pm
Flexible Time for personal care, Dhamma study and practice, and meetings. OK to continue practical work if one is able to balance practical work and Dhamma activities.
Throughout the monastery
6:00 - 7:00 pm
Evening Tea & quiet informal conversation; wind up community meetings or projects to prepare for evening program.
Community Hall
7:00 - 8:30 pm
Evening Puja Devotional and Sutta chanting and communal meditation
Meditation Hall
8:30 until sleep
Silent Time for personal practice
Meditation Hall and personal rooms

We are not very rigid about the pattern of the day, but gradually aiming to become more and more consistent with it.
Even during the busy periods, we aim for a calm and quiet atmosphere.

Aranya Bodhi Hermitage

Dhammadharini Support Foundation has leased this land from a generous supporter with the aspiration to make a forest meditation hermitage for Theravada bhikkhunis (fully ordained female monastics), like-minded women and friends. It is located among the forest redwoods and high meadows of Northern California's Sonoma coast, near the town of Jenner. The Pali name of our hermitage is Aranya Bodhi, which means Awakening Forest. We aim to offer time for deeply-needed inner development through the recluse practice of the Buddha's teachings at our forest hermitage.

Aranya Bodhi Hermitage is more secluded with less frequent trips outside, and with flexible puja and meditation schedules to allow for individual practice.  There generally is a morning meeting for both Dhamma and logistical sharing. After work period ending in early or mid-afternoon, residents are usually free to return to their kutis, find a suitable location for meditation, or walk in the forest.  Occasional trips out for groceries and errands require driving a four-wheel-drive truck over rough back roads.  Work at Aranya Bodhi is more physically challenging and meditators need to have a self-sustaining practice to benefit from the solitude.

How We Live

Our simple daily program is intended to provide some structure, along with time and space for individual practice. Exact hours vary according to the seasons, with communal practice in our Dhammasala yurt when it's cool or rainy, and outside when fair. Occasional busy days for outside errands or projects are followed by light, silent days.

In complement to our hermit practice in the Awakening Forest, there is an option to join monthly new moon day-long retreats at our monastery in Penngrove, alms round in Sebastopol twice a month and weekly in Petaluma, and lunar quarter visits to our local bhikkhu monastery.

Daily Schedule 

Wake up until 7:00 am
Personal Meditation
7.00 - 7.30 am
Optional Breakfast
7.45 - 9:00 am
Devotional Chanting, Morning Meeting, & Studying Inspiring Pali Verses (presently Dhammapada)
9.00 - 11.00 am
Mindful Work Period
11.00 am - 1.00 pm
Alms Meal Offering Followed by Mindful Clean-up
1.00 - 5.30 pm
Personal Meditation and/or Dhamma Study & Self Maintenance Time
*1.30 or 2-3pm
*Dhamma reflection & discussion offered by Ven. (Ayya) Tathaloka Theri (when in residence)
5.30 - 6.30 pm
Evening Tea with option for Dhamma Discussion or Practice Interview
6.30 - 8.00 pm
Personal Meditation & Dhamma Study
8.00 pm until sleep
Personal Meditation Time

Lay visitors and those in the early stages of monastic training are expected to attend all communal activities, with more flexibility for those bhikkhunis who have completed their initial training.

To the extent we are able, periods of fully supported individual retreat are offered to resident bhikkhunis and monastic trainees, as well as aspirants and stewards who have offered a substantial period of service, as well as to respected visiting bhikkhunis who have given much service in their home communities.

It is also possible to welcome a visitor whose primary dedication is cultivating the path of service if s/he is considerate, well-established in practice, and able to live peacefully and harmoniously together.