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Curious about us? Here are some common questions we get asked about us and our space!

Do Retreat Center reservations include the use of the kitchen and dining area?

Yes. The reservation of Nathaniel Hall includes full access to the kitchen as well as the multi-faith sanctuary/chapel area, the discussion hall, the retreat grounds, and the walking paths. The main discussion hall can comfortably host about 45-50 people.

What is the capacity of the meditation hall and how many people will the facility accommodate?

  • 18 dorm rooms in Nathanial Hall
    • 2 rooms with one twin bed
    • 11 rooms with two twin beds
    • 1 room with a queen size bed
    • 2 rooms with a double and a twin bed.
  • In addition, we have 6 roll-away beds/cots may be set up if needed.

Total capacity: 36 to 42 people in the dormitory.
We also have 3 individual rooms, at the main house, that we rent out (a 2-minute walk to the house from the main retreat building). This will host 3 more people.

What is the cost breakdown for the facility rental?

  • Single dorm room style - $50 per night per person
  • Shared dorm room style - $40 per night per person (2 people, $80/night)
  • Rooms in lower level of main house - $50 per person per night (for groups needing more room)
  • Individual cabins can be rented for $80 per night (single occupancy) or $100 per night (double occupancy).

We ask for a $200 reservation deposit at the time of reservation. This will be deducted from your total cost.

Our cancellation policy allows modifications and cancellation without penalty up to 6 weeks prior to your scheduled arrival. If the reservation is canceled after this period the deposit will serve as the cancellation fee, unless the cancellation is due to inclement weather.

Why is there such a large cross at the center?

Cross in parking area

This cross was originally installed by the Catholic Sisters who managed the Center for many years. For many of our guests, this is a powerful symbol of peace and love. We keep the Cross as a welcome to all who visit the Center.

As you wander the grounds you'll also find statues of St. Francis. Another wonderful symbol that fits well with the Buddha's teachings on Metta: May all living beings be well, be happy, be skillful, and peaceful.

I'm interested in coming to a meditation or seminar hosted by the Metta Meditation Center? How much do meditation sessions cost?

Activities offered the Metta Meditation Center are based on the concept of Dana (generosity). It is up to you to decide the value of the experience or insight you are receiving and then donate accordingly. Here are some guidelines that may help you.

  • If you attend a three-day conference what does it cost you for registration and lodging?
  • Do a search for "meditation training" to see what a similar retreat might cost.
  • If you attend a one-day seminar at a local hotel what would you pay?
  • If you attend on-going classes to learn a craft such as woodworking, painting, or ceramics, what do you pay?
  • If you stay at an AirBnB or hotel for a night, what would you normally pay?

Your support maintains the building, supports the residents, and covers other expenses in running the organization. Please be generous with your gifts. There are several ways to give dana (including shopping on Check out this page to learn how.

I'm not Buddhist. Can I still use the Metta Meditation Center?

Absolutely. The Center is available to all individuals, groups, and organizations who support peace and goodwill toward others including non-profits, family reunions, corporate meetings, and anyone looking for a quiet, peaceful retreat center.

Where can I learn more about Buddhism? What if I just want to educate myself on the topic?

The monks are always open and willing to answer any questions you may have. We also cater to your comfort level. If you are fascinated with the spiritual side of us, we are more than willing to answer your questions. If you just want a better understanding of another idea we are happy to answer questions relating to strict education as well.

Where can I learn more about meditation?

The best way to learn about meditation is to simply do it. To start, you can:

  • Come to one of the many meditation classes. Here is a list of classes offered by us.
  • Do a web search for "Meditation" and the city you live in. There are meditation classes and sessions offered by many different organizations.

What happens during a retreat hosted by the Metta Meditation Center?

Each retreat has its own theme or topic but they generally include the following activities:

  • Sitting meditation sessions
  • Walking meditation
  • Guided discussion - The teacher asks a specific question and then each person gives her or his answer.
  • Q&A - Participants write down questions and put them in a basket. During Q&A sessions, the teacher reads and answers these questions.
  • Mindful meals - Each person selects their own food provided by the caterer. The meal starts with a mindful eating passage. After reciting the passage, it is encouraged for participants to focus on each bite of their food. Because the focus is on eating there is very little talking if any.

Normally the day ends at 9:00 pm and begins anew at 6:00 am. There is often an hour of free time each day. Although retreats are done as a group, the emphasis is on personal improvement and introspection. Most people attend a retreat to learn more about themselves and improve their own unique life skills.

In this article, Mindful in Janesville, written by an individual after attending a retreat at the Center, provides insight into the effects our retreats can have on guests.

When addressing the monks, what is the difference between the titles Bhante and Bikkhu?

Bhante means teacher. When addressing a teacher directly you can simply call him Bhante. If there are monks present then use their name along with Bhante. Bikkhu is a monk or priest who follows all Buddhist precepts as a full member of the Buddhist community (sangha).