Lokuttara Vihara is the Pali name for Skiptvet Buddhist Monastery. In Pali, the scriptural language of Theravada Buddhism, it means "Dwelling Beyond the World". Lokuttara is made up of "loka" - meaning world, and "uttara" - meaning above or the north. Vihara means either a physical abode or a mental dwelling place. The aim of the Buddhist practice is to transcend all worldly conditions and realize Nibbana which is said to be "above the world". It is also a suitable name for a monastery located in the northern part of Europe.
The monastery, including the meditation hall in the forest, is normally open during daytime on all days until around 20:30. Visitors are always welcome, both Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike.
The monks are usually available for conversation and questions relating to Buddhism and meditation before and after the meal.
Visiting the monastery is an opportunity to get a glimpse of the Buddhist monastic lifestyle and to meet both the monastics and also the wider community connected to the monastery. The emphasis is on applying the Buddhist Path in all activities throughout the day, and not just during formal meditation.
For day visits no prior arrangements are required.
The meditation hall is located up in the forest, behind the main house, and it is normally open and available for the public.
Usually the monastic community holds the morning and evening pujas with chanting and meditation at this place. Anyone who wishes to come and participate is welcome.
The morning puja is held at 5:00, (if you wake up early.)
The evening puja is held at 19:00.
These meetings are regularly held five days a week, for inquiries, please send an email to:
It is possible to stay overnight for men and women who wish to follow the monastic lifestyle for shorter periods of time. First time visitors may stay for a maximum of three nights. If you would like to stay overnight, please read the information on this page.
The daily schedule
This is a summary of our daily routines. It may change slightly from day to day but is mostly as follows:
05:00-06:00 Morning meeting (chanting and meditation) - in the meditation hall
07:00 Breakfast & wash-up - in the main house
08:00-10:30 Work period
11:00 Main meal - in the main house
19:00 Evening meeting (chanting and meditation) - in the meditation hall
Life as a Monk
As is the norm in Theravada Buddhism, the monks living here survive on what has been donated to them, in accordance with the stipulations of the Vinaya, (the monastic rules which go back to the time of the Buddha himself.) All material needs – food, clothes, accommodation, etc. – are provided for through voluntary donations made by laymen and laywomen.
The founder of the lineage, Ajahn Chah, used to say that laypeople give the monks food for the body, while the monks give the laypeople food for the heart – for example by offering spiritual guidance and by teaching Buddhism.
This relationship of mutual dependence creates a fellowship between the monks and the lay community, in which both form an integral part of the so called Buddha-parisa ― the extended Buddhist community.