Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)

Can I use my phone, laptop or tablet on retreat?

On retreat we deepen our Dharma practice, and to do this it is important to set up good conditions. To make the most of being on retreat it is important you do not bring work with you, so please complete any work you have before arriving.

We also ask that you leave behind newspapers, music and anything external to the retreat generally. If you want to read, we suggest you bring something ‘inspirational’, rather than something 'distracting'. We have a Dharma library at Tiratanaloka that you are welcome to use whilst here, and a well stocked bookshop for purchases.

Coming on retreat is an opportunity to take a break from external influences and deepen and galvanise our Going for Refuge to the Three Jewels. In order to do the we all need to collaborate by being as fully on retreat as possible, and for this reason we will also encourage you to turn off your phone, laptop and tablets. We have a private landline you can use in case of emergencies. If you are visually impaired and need a tablet to read the study, please get in touch with us before the retreat.  If you wish, the team can look after your phone/tablet for you while you are here.

There are alarm clocks available to borrow, so you do not need to use your phone for that purpose.

Can I smoke or vape?

We are a meat-free, smoke-free, drug and alcohol-free retreat centre. By coming here you are undertaking not to consume recreational drugs, alcohol, or to smoke or eat meat or fish. Those who do need to smoke - including vaping - are asked to do so off the premises. Please get in touch if any of this is an issue for you.

Can people be in contact with me when I am on retreat?

07903 694588 - emergency number
A member of the retreat team will check this number regularly during the retreat for important messages. In order to maintain the retreat environment, please only use this number for emergencies. This number is only used for this purpose during retreat time.

For all other contact please use the office number: 01874 676361 or email

What do I need to tell the team before I arrive?

Please let us know if you have any medical requirements, including dietary needs. All meals are vegan.

Also, get in touch if you think that for any reason you may need to temporarily leave the retreat or for some reason during the retreat it will be necessary for you to be in contact with family or friends.

Please get in touch to talk over with us before you come on retreat if you feel you need a particular room: a single room or a room with a bathroom or ground floor accommodation.  Single rooms and ground floor accommodation are both limited, so please only ask if there is a specific need. We are sorry, but we cannot guarantee everyone will be able to have what they request.

What is the accommodation like?

All our retreats are residential.  Bedrooms are shared, with two to four people in a room.  Bathrooms are situated on the first floor and some bedrooms have en suite facilities.  Each bathroom includes a shower and toilet. If sleeping on the second floor there are 2 short flights of stairs to access the bathroom facilities. Food is served in the dining room. There is a well stocked library, a comfortable and bright sitting room, as well as chairs and coffee tables in other parts of the building for quiet time or for 1:1 conversations. There is plenty of car parking and outdoor space, and a pretty garden.

Can I share with my partner?

On our retreats we practice ‘brahmacarya’, refraining from sexual activity. Please let us know if you are booked on the same retreat as your partner and we will accommodate you in separate rooms. If you have any questions please email the office.

Can I camp?

Yes, camping is possible. However, if you are here for longer than a week you will need to move your tent, so the lawn can replenish itself.

If a retreat is full, we are unable to accommodate extra people by camping.  We have limited space elsewhere in the building such as the shrine room.

Is Tiratanaloka disability friendly?

Tiratanaloka is an old house and was not originally designed with disabilities and ease of access in mind. However, we have made a number of modifications. If you require a single room, a downstairs room, a bed (rather than a bunk) or a room with an en suite bathroom please arrange this with the office prior to booking as these facilities are limited and cannot be guaranteed without prior arrangement. These rooms are allocated due to specific need, not preference. Please contact the office.

We have two downstairs bedrooms accessible with a portable ramp over a step, and a shared disabled bathroom. If at all in doubt, or if you think you may require special support during your stay, please call the office prior to booking so we can be sure we can give you the support you need.

We have a portable hearing loop for hearing aid users.

Who will I be on retreat with?

Other women who are also in the ordination process, and Order Members. Tiratanaloka has a rich history of being a women’s space, including trans women. We are open to bookings from a wider diversity of gender identities while retaining our tradition as a distinctively women’s retreat centre.

I am a transgender woman, am I welcome on a Tiratanaloka retreat?

Yes. If you are concerned about attending, we would suggest coming with another GFR Mitra (eg someone from your own GFR group) or a local Dharmacharini. Please get in touch and talk to one of the team.

I identify as non-binary. Is is okay for me to come on a women’s retreat?

Tiratanaloka has a rich history of being a women’s space, including trans women. We are open to bookings from a wider diversity of gender identities, while retaining our tradition as a distinctively women’s retreat centre. If you are unsure if Tiratanaloka is a good fit for you, please get in touch.

When will the retreat start and end? When to arrive/leave

Please aim to arrive between 4.30pm and 6pm when the team will be here to greet you. Supper will be at 6.30pm. Some of you will already have arranged your travel, but please do leave a message on our lift share page if you can offer a lift or want to share a taxi from the station. As you can imagine, with the rise in petrol prices, etc, taxi fares have gone up significantly recently, so do make sure you have enough cash with you if you need to get a taxi.

If you can come a little earlier on the first night to help cook supper at 4pm, please do let us know know.  We are always very grateful for help with this.

The retreat will end at 10.30am on the last day. Please book all trains to depart after 11.00am unless you have a particularly long journey. This allows us time for a final clear-up before departure.

Residential weekend retreats tend to end after lunch, so book transport for after 3pm.

Online weekend retreats usually end on Sunday evenings after the final ritual.

You will be informed about all of this in your confirmation email.

What should I bring?

Everything that you think you will need for the retreat, including outdoor shoes/boots, indoor shoes/slippers, medicines, writing materials, toiletries, alarm clock etc. Also bring warm clothing in the winter and wet weather clothing.

We provide bed linen and towels only for women coming from abroad.

So, please remember to bring a towel, single duvet cover, single sheet and pillow cases if you are from the UK. Please leave a donation for laundry if you have to use ours - £1.00 per item borrowed.

Can I wash my clothes while I am here?

You can hand wash your clothes and there is a spin dryer, and drying room in the basement.

What is the food like?

The food is vegan. We aim to make our food simple, delicious, fresh, nutritionally balanced and as ethically sourced as possible.  Oat and soya milks are available.

Tea/coffee, toast and fruit is always available. There is porridge in the morning for those who wish to have it.

When you come to Tiratanaloka on retreat, you can relax in the knowledge that Dayagita, the Kitchen Manager, has put effort into thinking through a nutritionally balanced menu plan so that you don't have to. The retreat is a chance to live, and eat, in a simple and ethical way, It's also an opportunity to try out a vegan diet if this is new for you.   We get many comments about how delicious people find our food and we are often asked for the recipes!

Can I bring some food with me?

We provide full vegan meals and snacks, but if you do need to bring additional food with you, we have a small fridge for those attending the retreat.  Please do not bring any meat or fish.

Food allergies?

If for genuine medical reasons, you are unable to eat certain foods, we should be able to cater for your dietary needs.

If you have any other restricted diet please contact the office before booking as we cannot always cater for complex restricted diets.

If you arrive on retreat without having informed us of your restricted diet, we may not be able to cater for you.  Please note that we need this information each time that you book.

We are a vegan retreat centre. If for genuine medical reasons you require dairy products we may be able to provide these. Please let us know at the time of booking.

We have a Retreatant’s fridge in the dining room. For highly complex diets, within limits -as you will be on retreat with 29 others - feel free to provide some items of your own food.

If for serious medical conditions you are unable to tolerate a vegan/vegetarian diet, please call the office.

Getting Here

Lift sharing and taxi information
Tiratanaloka is situated in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, 7 miles from Brecon and 1 mile from the village of Talybont-on-Usk.

It is possible to offer or to request a lift to and from the retreat, or to arrange sharing a taxi from the railway station, by using our lift-share page. This is a great way to meet someone on the retreat before you arrive, whilst also being good for the environment and your pocket too.

What happens if I need to cancel my retreat?

If you need to cancel your retreat please let us know as soon as possible so we can offer the place to someone on the waiting list. Why? Many retreats book up fully very soon after we post them on line, and then for unforeseen circumstances, some women are unable to attend. Please bear in mind, if you need to cancel, that even a couple of months close to the retreat starting others may find it difficult to plan childcare or time off work.

If the retreat is full and there is a waiting list and we are unable to fill your place we will ask you to pay half the retreat cost if you then cancel 6 weeks prior to the retreat starting.

The deposit is non-refundable and non transferable in all circumstances so please book with this in mind.

I want to come on retreat but I cannot afford to pay the ‘broke rate’. Can I still come?

We have a bursary fund for women in special circumstances, who would otherwise not be able to afford to come. This a limited fund and is available for one retreat per year. If you would like to find out more about it, or make a contribution to its, then please see our Tiratanaloka Bursary Fund section.


We are no longer asking for routine covid testing during the retreat, but we are trying to avoid the spread of all viruses as much as possible.  Please don’t come if you have cold symptoms that could mean you are infectious.

Shrine room etiquette

The first morning meditation often starts with the Tiratanavandana, a Buddhist chant in salutation to the Three Jewels. If you’re not familiar with this, then feel free to borrow the copies available in the shrine room.

As with any shrine room, we ask people to remove their shoes before entering. There are shoe racks in the corridor outside.

We have mats, cushions, chairs and meditation stools plus blankets.  However you are welcome to bring your own meditation ‘equipment’ if that is helpful to you.

To hold the atmosphere of the shrine room, we request that all retreatant’s stay until the shrine room leader bows to the shrine before leaving the session.

However if you need the loo please do go!