Rockhill Hermitage and International Retreat Centre

by Metaji in Jan. 2006


Rockhill Hermitage, Wegirikanda, Via Gampola, Sri Lanka.

Other Information

Tel: +94​ 812 801 871


Rockhill Hermitage is easily accessible from Kandy, located deep within the untroubled countryside of Sri Lanka's central mountain region. The climate is mild and pleasant. Visitors are surrounded by an abundance of flora and fauna with natural spring water on site.

The Hermitage is situated on a mountainside and consists of a monastery, a men's area, a nunnery and a women's area. It has a large meditation hall. A library and a number of caves and student houses are scattered throughout the peaceful 15-acre grounds. The name "Rockhill" refers to the impressive boulders and rocks which form some of the caves.

The Rockhill Hermitage is one of the few retreat centers in Sri Lanka where it is possible for women to live alone in small cottages within natural surroundings Intensive meditation courses are held for ten days at the beginning of every month. Arrangements can also be made for individual retreats of indefinite periods. The founder of the hermitage is the late Venerable P. Kassapa (Bhante).

Ten day Vipassana retreats are held on the first ten days of each month. Attendees are welcome to stay for individual practice after the retreat concludes.



Meditation Technique

The main practice taught here is the Vipassana Meditation. Students who enroll for a ten day training course will spend the first three days learning to concentrate the mind by observing the inhalation and exhalation of the breath (Anapanasati) and the consequent sensation arising. For the remaining seven days they are then shown how to penetrate their physical and mental structure, developing a profound understanding of themselves and each other. Each day's progress is explained more fully by an hour's evening discourse. Experience has shown that within a ten day period the meditation technique can be grasped and the mind can achieve a degree of concentration and subtlety. A structured timetable and strict adherence to a few straightforward but very important rules is essential.


Teachings are in English.

Course Duration and Dates

A 10-day retreat starts every first day of the month (ends the morning of the 11th). Retreatants are able to continue their stay for individual practice after the retreat.


Comfortable kutis (cottages) and some caves are available. There is separate accommodation for men and women. Simple, basic, shared accommodation is provided. Cold water showers are available inside; on hot, sunny days warm water may be available for bathing outside. Please remember Rockhill is a Hermitage (monastery and nunnery). Students are asked to wear bathing clothes when washing outside.


Shopping is limited to emergencies. Students should bring everything they need with them including toilet goods, washing powder etc.


Good quality vegetarian food is provided for breakfast and lunch. No solid food is taken after midday. The only exception is for students requiring an evening meal for medical reasons, for whom soup will be provided. Any student who is required to follow a special diet for medical purposes should consult the management before enrolling.


Meditators are requested to contribute a reasonable amount for food and lodging. A minimum amount of US$ 20 a day is payable. Any special donations for improvement of the Hermitage are entirely on a voluntary basis. All donations gratefully accepted. Payment on arrival, in cash, at the office please.


Limited accommodation may mean that students will be sharing rooms. Restricted space and the close proximity of other people requires that Yoga or other forms of physical exercise such as Tai Chi, etc. is not practiced out of consideration for fellow students. A high standard of personal cleanliness is essential and we recommend that loose, comfortable white clothing be worn. Please ensure that your choice of dress is simple, modest and covers you properly. Shorts and short skirts are not permitted.


Continuity of the practice both within meditation hours and in leisure time is of primary importance. To facilitate this training of the impartial observation of the phenomena of mind and matter, the major part of the course will be held in noble silence. Further details will be given by the management on enrolment in the course.

It is to gain a good grasp of the practice and gain benefit. The emphasis during the ten days is on WORK. A golden rule is to work as if one was alone on the course, ignoring any distractions and inconveniences encountered, with one's mind turned totally inwards. We request that each student read the above rules carefully and only apply to enroll for a course if they are fully prepared to submit to the discipline.

Daily Schedule

The timetable outlined below, if followed meticulously, will enable the student to develop a sharp and concentrated mind, the tool for his work. It should be stressed again, however, that it is the continuity of the practice and this alone that enables one to penetrate the subtle layers of mind and matter and start the process of loosening and unraveling the congestion of stress and emotion, which is a common source of suffering and unhappiness.


Wake up bell.

Meditate in own place or in the Hall.

Breakfast in the nunnery.

Group meditation in the Hall.

Meditate in the Hall or in own place, sitting or walking.

Bell for Buddha Puja, get ready for lunch (Dana).

Dana (mid-day meal) in the nunnery. Please be on time.

Rest, study, attend to personal needs.

Walking meditation.

Group meditation in the Hall.

Tea break in the nunnery.

Private interviews in office. Meditate individually.

Group meditation in the Hall.

Free time.

Tea break in the nunnery.

Teacher's discourse, group discussion, group meditation.

Retire to own room.

Please be on time and try to be mindfully aware of every movement you do.

If possible one should enroll in advance by post, telephone, email or a personal visit. As meals are taken only twice a day, at 7:00am and 11:30am, students are requested to arrive after lunch or to bring some food (fruits, etc) along. Office hours 9-10 am and 3-5 pm.

For more details, please contact: +94​ 812 801 871

From Kandy, cross the railway line near the station to the local bus stops. Ask for a Wegiriya bound bus and exit at Wegiriya. Refer to the sign for Rockhill Hermitage (Wegirikanda) a 10 min. uphill walk. Alternatively, catch a Gampola bound bus to Gelioya. From the bus station at Gelioya catch a three - wheeler (tuk-tuk) to Rockhill Hermitage in Werigikanda (price LKR 300).Buses cost under LKR 50. You could also catch a minivan directly from Kandy. Alternatively you can catch a taxi direct from Kandy. Refer to the website for a map.