Buddhist monastics rely on the generosity of others. The alms round or piṇḍapāta represents a tradition in which lay people offer food to monastics to support their spiritual practice for the day. Going for alms is not begging. Monks and nuns simply walk or stand silently, receiving what is given in kindness by those who feel inspired. Unable to handle money or store food, Clear Mountain’s monastics rely completely on such generosity for their one meal of the day, taken before noon.
On weekdays, food offerings may be made during the alms round at Pike Place Market from 7:10 – 7:40 am. On Saturdays, offerings may be made at the Saturday Morning Meditation, Teaching, & Potluck Brunch from 9:30 am – noon, during which all interested gather at Saint Mark’s Cathedral. On weekdays and Sundays, offerings may also be made via food delivery to the Southworth monastic residence the day of at 9 am, or day before at 7 pm, in which case the residence stewards will receive the delivery and offer it the next morning. Detailed instructions regarding food delivery may be found in the FAQ section and descriptions of alms routes found below.
Donors interested in offering are encouraged to note their names down on the Meal Offering Calendar below for the relevant day, excepting the Saturday morning gatherings. For more information on offering, see the Alms Round FAQ section below. If you are unable to find an answer there, you may email [email protected]
Note that, though Tan Nisabho is fully-vaccinated, others may not be, and unvaccinated donors should wear masks and observe social distancing during Sunday visits to the monastic residence and Saturday gatherings.
Select a tab to see the route for that day.
7:10 – 7:40 am, Pike Place Market Starbucks, 1912 Pike Pl, Seattle
On weekdays, Tan Nisabho takes the 6:20 am Kitsap Fast Ferry from his dwelling place in Port Orchard and walks to the Pike Place Market, where he waits at the intersection of Pike Pl and Stewart near the Pike Place Starbucks, at 1912 Pike Pl from 7:10 – 7:40 am, when those who wish to offer may do so. If you have trouble finding him, email [email protected] On weekdays, donors unable to offer in-person may give via food delivery sent to the Southworth monastic residence.
9:30 am – noon, Saint Mark’s Cathedral Bloedel Hall, 1245 10th Ave E, Seattle (enter through the back of the cathedral)
Come join us for a morning of meditation, food, and spiritual friendship! Each Saturday from 9:30 am – noon, local practitioners gather together in Saint Mark’s Cathedral Bloedel Hall for a community meditation, teaching, and potluck brunch meal-offering. Gatherings will generally feature meditation from 9:30 – 10, a Dhamma teaching and discussion from 10 – 11, and then a shared meal from 11 – 12. For details, see the event listing.
9 am morning of or 7 pm day before, by delivery to 3739 Nokomis Rd SE, Port Orchard
As there is no ferry downtown on Sunday morning, the day represents an opportunity for increased seclusion and practice. If one wishes to offer food, one may do so by delivery at 9 am the day of or 7 pm the day before, signing up on the meal offering calendar below beforehand. Detailed instructions on how to offer via delivery may be found in the FAQ section below. Sadhu!
Meal Offering Calendar
The meal offering calendar can help donors decide when an offering would be most useful and note their intention to give. Those interested are encouraged to enter their names and if they plan on offering on alms round or by delivery (on weekdays and Sundays) in the meal calendar below by clicking this link. Please note that multiple people may sign up to offer on the same day, and that one should not feel discouraged from giving just because another donor has listed their name. Finally, days without planned donors may yet feature spontaneous offerings during alms round, and one should not worry too much that the monastic will go hungry. Unforseen kindness may manifest anywhere! If you have questions, see the FAQ section below or email [email protected].
To note your intention to offer, click this link or the button below and enter your name and whether you plan on offering on alms round or by delivery (only on weekdays) for the relevant day. The changes, saved automatically, will become visible when you refresh the page. Sadhu!
Meal Offering FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
Ordering Food Delivery
On weekdays and Sundays, those interested in offering food but unable to do so in person may have their offering delivered via UberEats to the Southworth monastic residence the morning of at 9 am or the day before at 7 pm, in which case the residence stewards will receive the delivery and offer it the next morning. To do so:
- If possible, note your name and delivery time down on the Meal Offering Calendar for the day you hope to offer and email [email protected] with your intention. Multiple people may offer on the same day.
- Visit UberEats and enter the address of the Southworth monastic residence listed below along with a 9 am delivery time the morning of, or a 7 pm delivery time the day before. Note that the selection of available restaurants may default to the current time, either displaying more or less than will be available during desired delivery hours. Simply click on the field near the top of the page where the address is listed and change the delivery period from “Now” to the desired time and day, scrolling down to see a selection of restaurants. Those available for 9 am delivery include Family Pancake House, Subway, Alan’s Country Cafe, Denny’s, Slate Gate Cafe, Taco Bell, and numerous national chains. If one wishes to order vegan, plant-based options such as Gyro King’s Falafel Sandwich and Burger King’s Impossible Whopper are available for 7 pm delivery the day before. For information on what to offer, see the FAQ section: “How much and what should I bring when offering a meal to the monks?” Note that, as Clear Mountain’s monastics take only one meal each day, they eat more than an average person who consumes three meals a day would. Food left at the doorstep will be offered to Tan Nisabho by the residence stewards. If one has trouble using UberEats, GrubHub also delivers, though the proper time must be selected from the left-hand menu for available restaurants to appear.
Deliver via UberEats to:
3739 Nokomis Rd SE
Port Orchard, WA 98366
Note: To ensure the site properly displays available restaurants, see the instructions above. Deliveries may also be made via GrubHub, though the proper delivery time must be selected from the left-hand menu for available restaurants to appear.
How much and what should I bring when offering a meal to the monks?
How many meals per day can the monks consume, and when?
According to the Vinaya (the code of conduct for Buddhist monastics), monks are allowed to eat between dawn and midday. In the summertime, midday can be as late as 1:00 PM due to the longer days, while in the wintertime, the meal must be consumed by noon. Clear Mountain’s monastics tend to eat only one meal, after alms round or the meal offering, around 9 am. Thus, in a typical meal, they eat more than an average person who consumes three meals a day would eat. Please consider this when deciding how much food to bring.
Are there any food preferences or restrictions the monks have?
The monks are grateful for whatever food is offered for their daily sustenance. There are, however, a small number of foods that the Buddha prohibited monks from consuming. These foods include raw meat (for example sushi), or meat from an animal that was specifically killed to offer to the monks – for example, if someone slaughtered a chicken (or had one slaughtered) exclusively for the sake of the monks.
An aspect of the monks’ training rules is to receive whatever food is offered. After receiving the food they can decide what foods they wish to individually consume. While vegetarian and vegan dishes are appreciated, please feel free to bring whatever food you are comfortable with offering.
If you have any questions about food items allowed, please ask the monks about these rules when you visit with them.
If you’re curious:
To learn more about the monastic rules that guide when and what the monks can eat, you might find the below resources of interest (but not necessary for offering meal dana).
The Latukikopama Sutta (Majjhima NIkaya 66) to understand why monks only eat in the morning time.
Can I offer other items besides food for the meal?
Do the monks need food items other than the meal? (“allowables”)
In the Theravada Tradition, monks are allowed to consume “tonics” or what are also called “allowables” in the afternoon/evening/early morning to stave off weakness or illness. Once received, these items may be stored for up to seven days. (Some types of allowables may be stored for longer.)
Allowable items commonly offered include:
- Plain dark chocolate (without food items such as nuts; dried fruit, milk, etc.). It is okay if the ingredients state: “May contain traces of . . .”. Lower percentages of chocolate are okay.
- Other beverages like kombucha, sparkling water, etc.
If you are interested, you can read this explanation of the Vinaya rule about “tonics”. These tonics include: honey, sugar, molasses, butter/ghee and other oils, cheese and plain dark chocolate.
Are there other non-food and material goods needed?
The monks can sometimes use regular household items. These items are posted on the Support Page under the title: “Needed and Useful Material Items.” The needed items can be brought to the monastic residence, offered on alms round, or sent via any type of US parcel service. Please use this specific form of address if you send a package:
3739 Nokomis Rd SE
Port Orchard, WA 98366
When can I visit, and what are the meal offering protocols?
When can I visit the monastic residence to offer a meal?
On Sundays, visitors may arrive around 8:30 am and stay until 10:30 am. Please check the calendar and sign up for when you would like to bring a meal by emailing the dana coordinator at [email protected]. All are welcome! If there are already one or several people signed up on the Dana Calendar for a particular day, visitors are still welcome to join the event and should not worry that they are encroaching on another person’s meal dana offering. Additionally, offering food via food delivery is possible. There is no meal offering the last Sunday of each month when Tan Nisabho leads the Monthly Last Weekend Retreat.
What are the Sunday meal offering visiting protocols? Are there special rules during the Covid-19 pandemic?
The meal is typically offered by 9:00 AM. Once the meal has been offered, Tan Nisabho will chant a blessing, and then take his meal inside his hut. You are then welcome to take your meal and eat in the kitchenette or outside. Once Tan Nisabho has finished the meal, he will rejoin you outside to visit, usually around noon.
While Tan Nisabho is fully-vaccinated, those yet unvaccinated should wear masks during Saturday visitations and Sunday gatherings, and observe social distancing.
Do I have to offer a meal to visit the monastic residence on Sundays or join the Saturday meditation and potluck brunch?
No, you do not. If you would like to simply come join in Sunday visiting hours or Saturday morning gatherings and share the Dhamma, you are most welcome! The best gift you can bring is always your intention to practice.