Metta Forest Monastery is a meditation monastery in the lineage of the Thai Forest Tradition. Founded in 1990 by Ajaan Suwat Suvaco, it has been under the direction of Thanissaro Bhikkhu (Ajaan Geoff) as abbot and meditation teacher since 1993. Currently there are eight American monks and one Thai monk in residence.
The Monastery is outside of Valley Center, California at the end of a road in an avocado orchard surrounded by the mountains and chaparral of northern San Diego County. Being a monastery, its primary purpose is to give men the opportunity to ordain as bhikkhus to practice in line with Dhamma and Vinaya (training rules) taught by the Buddha over 2,500 years ago.
Laymen and laywomen are also welcomed at the Monastery to practice in line with the Buddha’s teachings. Visitors are welcome to participate in the daily activities of the Monastery. Alternatively, you are welcome to spend the day meditating in the sala or on the platforms and walking paths in the avocado orchards.
Metta Forest Monastery is open every day, year-round to day visitors. It is not necessary to call for permission to visit. The most important facts for day visitors to know are listed below. Before you visit though please read up on their etiquette:
People do meditation retreats here and camp out in the woods. Seems like a lot of fun!