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MEDITATION

The path to inner peace and well-being


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Wat Yai Chaimongkol / Ayuttaya MEDITATION

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CONTENTS INTRODUCTION

THE BUDDHA’S LIFE AND TEACHINGS

MEDITATION TECHNIQUES

YOUNG BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION OF THAILAND UNDER ROYAL PATRONAGE

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THE INTERNATIONAL BUDDHIST MEDITATION CENTRE

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WAT SUNANDAVANARAM

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WAT MAHATHAT YUWARATRANGSARIT

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BOONKANJANARAM MEDITATION CENTRE

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WAT PATHUMWANARAM RATCHAWORAWIHAN

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MEDITATION PAVILION THAILAND

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WAT SANGHATHAN

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WAT UMONG

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WAT LUANG PHOR SODH DHAMMAKAYARAM

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WAT PA NANA CHAT

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DHAMMA KAMALA MEDITATION CENTRE

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WAT SUAN MOKKHAPHALARAM


MEDITATION

The path to inner peace and well-being Thailand, a perfect destination where one can relax and find inner peace and a healthy life for mind, body and spirit through Buddhist meditation.

Buddhism is the main religion of Thailand and more than 90 percent of Thai citizens are Buddhists. Besides being the revered Head of State, His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the upholder of Buddhism and of all other religions professed by his people, as were his royal forebears. The Thai monarchy, therefore, is the source of national unity.

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Meditation is one of the most important aspects of Buddhism, and seeking inner peace through meditation is a growing, global phenomenon. There is an understanding around the world that meditation plays a role in sustaining a healthy lifestyle, with the practitioner seeking some degree of detachment from the material world, and drawing on inner peace for a sense of well-being. Meditation is a safe way of balancing one’s physical, emotional, and mental states. Today, physicians recommend meditation as a way of relaxing from the stress of everyday life. It can help to lower blood pressure, relieve insomnia, help asthmatic patients breathe more easily, and improving exercise performance in those suffering from angina.

The Kingdom of Thailand has attracted visitors from all over the world who wish to learn more about meditation. The many students of meditation in Thailand range from expatriate residents to tourists, but many come expressly to discover the secret of the peaceful, meditative Buddhist lifestyle. In their different ways, all tend to see Buddhist philosophy and meditation as a means of attaining good mental and physical health, personal fulfillment and satisfaction. Apart from being ideal, purpose-built surroundings for the practice of meditation, Buddhist temples are the best environment in which to appreciate Thai art and architecture. Their styles vary according to their location in Thailand and their history.


Temples in the North of Thailand were influenced by Chiang Saen and Lanna art in the South by the Sri Vijaya. The Khmer empire was the dominant influence in the East, with the Mon and Burmese in the West.

In Bangkok alone there are more than 430 temples which offer great rewards for the visitor. The impressive, historic Wat Phra Kaew, Temple of the Emerald Buddha adjoining the Grand Palace, is the most frequently visited, both by Thai worshippers and foreign visitors. Another is the nearby Wat Po, with its glittering spires and medical text-books carved in stone at the order of King Rama III.

The murals and frescoes on the walls and ceilings of temples are another important aspect of Thai art and design. They often depict Jataka stories from Thai mythology, or episodes from the Ramakian, the Thai version of the Indian epic Ramayana. The pictures they show of the ways of life of Thai people in former times are beautiful and impressive.

Sathira-dhammasathan / Bangkok MEDITATION

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Thailand is among the world’s premier travel destinations with the kingdom’s way of life, traditions and culture creating a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for visitors. This, coupled with the country’s deep-rooted Buddhist faith, makes Thailand a perfect destination where one can relax and find inner peace and a healthy life for mind, body and spirit through Buddhist meditation.

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As a leading centre of Buddhist learning with a growing number of meditation retreats around the country, meditation teaching is widely available for Thais and visitors alike. It may range from English-language day classes at centres and temples in Bangkok to intensive, month-long courses at tranquil forest retreats in rural provinces.

The Buddhist lifestyle is present everywhere in Thailand. In busy cities as well as quiet backwaters, the gleaming temples stand out among their surroundings, and there are many roadside shrines where passers by pause in whatever they are doing to pay their respects. In such an atmosphere, it is never hard for the visitor to find his or her own key to the lasting benefits of Thai Buddhist meditation.


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THE BUDDHA’S LIFE and teachings

Following the Buddha’s Middle Path of moderation,one finds true peace and happiness, and will be able to lead a meaningful life.

One of the major religions of the world, Buddhism originated more than 2,500 years ago. As we know today, it is a system of beliefs and practices centred on the teachings of the Buddha, who, as the young Prince Siddharta Gautama renounced his sheltered, royal life when he discovered the suffering of the world. At the age of 29, Prince Siddharta Gautama left his palace to seek the truth of life and find the way of salvation from the cycle of suffering that all living creatures experienced. His first studies were in several schools of Hinduism and self-mortification, but here he found no way to salvation. He continued his quest for the truth of life by meditating.

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His meditations under a bodhi tree led him to an understanding of the world and its suffering, and to the realisation of the Four Noble Truths. As his life, meditation and teaching continued, he became known as the Buddha, the Enlightened One. The Four Noble Truths are the most fundamental of Buddhist teachings, deeply insightful and a cognitive methodology rather than a theological prescription. They speak of Suffering, of the Cause of Suffering, the Cessation of Suffering, and the Path Leading to the Cessation of Suffering. As the way leading to the end of suffering, the Buddha laid out the Noble Eightfold Path. It is known as the Middle Path, as its course leads not to the extremes of self-mortification and self-indulgence, but to enlightenment by avoiding them.

The Buddha mentioned these two extremes in his first sermon. Self-mortification, by denying oneself food and tormenting the body in different ways, was thought to be a way of wearing out the physical form and allowing the soul to realise Nirvana. Adherents to the opposing extreme, self-indulgence and hedonism, believed that sensual fulfillment was the primary goal of life. Neither way can lead to liberation. It is the Noble Eightfold Path that shows clearly how the self can be liberated from suffering. The eight aspects of the path are not to be understood as a sequence of single steps, but interdependent principles that must be seen in relationship with each other. These related aspects are Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. This is the Buddha’s practical and realistic guide to avoiding the two extremes and treading the Middle Path.


These form the foundation of the Buddha’s teaching. Wisdom is the product of the first two aspects; the following three lead to ethical conduct, and the final three come through meditation and the development of the mind.

At the age of 80, after 45 years of travelling from place to place and teaching, the Buddha attained nibbana, his liberation from this life, in the city of Kusinara on Visakha, the day of the full moon in the sixth lunar month in the year 543 BC.

The Middle Path is not metaphysical, neither is it a ritual; it is not dogma, nor skepticism, and neither pessimism nor optimism. It is a Path to Enlightenment and a means of deliverance from suffering. Following the Middle Path of moderation one finds true peace and happiness, and will be able to lead a meaningful life without being a slave to the senses. With this freedom, one will contribute to the peace and harmony of the world.

During the last year of his life, the Buddha carried his teachings across the whole of northern India. He did not teach didactically. “Believe no one, not even me, but discover the truth for yourselves,” he told his followers. He enjoined them simply to do good, to avoid evil and purify their hearts by practicing self-control and self-restraint by meditating, and by following the Noble Eightfold Path that leads to the cessation of all sufferings.

After attaining his Enlightenment, the Buddha, with compassion for all beings, determined to reveal his teachings. He proclaimed the Four Noble Truths for the first time in a discourse to five ascetics, a discourse which remains the essence of Buddhist doctrine.

During the following centuries, Buddhism spread throughout Asia, in the west, to Afghanistan and in the north to Nepal and China. From China, it was carried to Korea and Japan, and in the south to Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia,Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia.

Buddhists today generally follow one of three traditions: Theravada, Mahayana, and Tantrayana. Most Thai citizens are Theravada Buddhists. Theravada Buddhism, literally “ the teaching of the elders”, is the teachings of the Buddha in the form in which they have been preserved in the countries of Southern Asia. It is generally recognised as the oldest form of the teachings. The most important day in Buddhism is Visakha Puja Day, that day of the full moon day of the sixth lunar month when the three major events took place: when the Buddha was born, when he came to enlightenment, and when he left his physical body and attained the ultimate liberation, nibbana. On December 15, 2000, the United Nations proclaimed Visakha Puja Day one of the important days in the world calendar. It acknowledges Buddhism as one of the oldest of the world’s great religions, one that has brought great spiritual benefits to human kind for more than 2,500 years.

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MEDITATION techniques

Meditation is a valuable form of training that can be applied to daily life. It helps concentration and can lead to a state of peace and calm, no matter where it is performed.

For many centuries Buddhism has enriched the lives of the Thai people in every way, and today, it continues to cast a powerful, beneficial influence on daily life in Thailand. Meditation is a major aspect of Buddhism. The practitioner trains his or her mind so that it can internalise the truths that form the core of the Buddha’s teachings: suffering, the cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path to that end. Over the centuries, the art of meditation has become highly developed in Thailand, and one does not need to be a Buddhist to discover its benefits. As a valuable form of training that can be applied to daily life, meditation helps concentration and can lead to a state of peace and calm, no matter where it is performed.

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There are two main branches in Buddhist meditation: Samatha (calmness, concentration) and Vipassana (insight), which emphasises mindfulness.

mind the body’s impermanence, and a person who practices it will always be watchful and, at life’s end, die without fear or confusion.

The techniques of Samatha meditation are many. Among the most commonly practised in Thailand is Anapanasati, or “mindfulness with breathing”. Mantra meditation, in which given words or sounds are repeated over and over to help focus the mind, is also widely practised. Kasinas, where meditators concentrate on an object outside themselves such as a crystal ball or a candle flame, is yet another form.

Sati, or mindfulness, is the key to Vipassana meditation. Vipassana, meaning “to see things as they really are”, was taught by the Buddha as a universal remedy for universal ills. The objects of Vipassana meditation are the position of the body at the present moment, with all sensations, emotions and thoughts that arise from the contact between body and mind and the environment.

Other branches include Metta (loving kindness), which generates feelings of goodwill and happiness toward ourselves and others. Metta practice is an antidote to ill-will and fear. Meditation on the parts of the body leads to a lessening of attachment to our bodies and those of others, and a reduction of sensual desires. Another benefit is that painful sensations can be more easily endured. Meditation on death brings to

It is based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness: the mindfulness of the body, the feelings, the mind, and of mind-objects. Vipassana is a process of mental purification through self-observation, focussed on the interconnection between mind and body. It is experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and which interconnect with the life of the mind.


When the mind is untrained, it is wide open to outside disturbances and distractions. The objective of Vipassana is to acknowledge these distractions but not to dwell on them. Therefore, you train yourself to be aware of the body’s movement, the rise and fall of the chest as you breathe, the movement of the legs and feet as you walk, as well as your feelings and state of mind.

Walking, sitting and lying meditation are a few of the Vipassana techniques, and to keep distractions to a minimum, the retreats are usually held in calm, isolated surroundings. The benefits of Vipassana meditation are manifold. It will enable you to calm down and look within, in order to develop wisdom and freedom. Successful practice can lift depression, cure many stress-related illnesses -- and at the very least add a little joy to life.

Meditation teaching is widely available in Thailand for Thais and visitors alike. There are meditation centres around the country, either related to Buddhist temples or privately owned and focussed more on well-being than on spiritual issues. Classes are available in English, catering for a range of levels of experience and interest. No one seeking an introduction to the study and practice of meditation in Thailand need ever be disappointed.

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International Buddhist Meditation Centre / Ayutthaya MEDITATION

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MEDITATION CENTRES in Thailand

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Young Buddhists Association of Thailand under Royal Patronage Bangkok

The Young Buddhists Association of Thailand (YBAT) was established in 1950 to look after the interests of young people in matters concerning Buddhism. Its primary object is to encourage the young to follow the tenets of Buddhism and live a virtuous life. Chief among its activities is the arranging of regular spiritual practice, lectures and discussions on the Dhamma, issuing publications on subjects relating to Buddhism in general, and sponsoring meetings for young people. The association runs a centre where one can learn and practice Vipassana meditation, leading to the faith, devotion and wisdom that a person may apply to his or her daily life. The meditation sessions are free of charge.

The YBAT also holds a regular weekend meditation retreat together with the House of Dhamma. Vipassana meditation forms the basis of this retreat, but there will also be optional sessions to facilitate further access to inner guidance. Emphasis will be placed on the integration of the spiritual dimension of being with that of the physical in everyday life. Standing, walking, sitting and lying meditations will be held in group sessions and as individual practice. The retreat provides instruction for beginners and is also suitable as a refresher course for those with previous experience of Vipassana. Instruction will be in English, with Thai translations where necessary. It will be held at the association’s purpose-built meditation centre in Rangsit Khlong 3, Pathum Thani, north of Bangkok. The retreat is open to all English-speaking adults, and it is not necessary to be a Buddhist to take part. Vegetarian food and single room accommodation will be provided.

CONTACT INFORMATION Young Buddhists Association of Thailand 58/8 Mu 7 Soi Phetchakasem 48, Phetchakasem Road, Bangkok 10160 Tel: 0 2805 0790-3 Fax: 0 2413 3333 E-mail: ybatoffice@ybat.org Website: www.ybat.org The House of Dhamma 26/9 Lat Phrao 15, Jatujak, Bangkok 10900 Tel: 0 2511 0439 Fax: 0 2512 6083 E-mail: houseofdhamma@csloxinfo.com Website: www.houseofdhamma.com

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The International Buddhist Mediation Centre Ayutthaya

The International Buddhist Mediation Centre (IBMC) was founded in 1990 with the objectives of enabling English-speaking people to find out about Buddhist meditation, and provide information on Buddhism in Thailand. The centre offers regular English-language presentations on all aspects of Buddhism along with meditation classes. Information on other places to learn and practice meditation is also available to visitors.

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IBMC is a contact point and source of information on Buddhist activities in Thailand, providing regular talks in English on all aspects of Buddhism and teaching Vipassana meditation. Classes are in English and held between 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. except on Sundays and Buddhist holidays. Dhamma talks on Buddhism and meditation for English-speaking people are held every second Saturday and fourth Saturday from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. IBMC is a meditation division of Mahachulalongkorn Ratchawitthayalai (MCU) founded by King Rama V. MCU’s purpose was to provide higher education especially in Buddhist Studies and Meditation to Buddhist monks, and also lay people. Now MCU provides education in four faculties namely Buddhist Studies, Education, Humanities and Social Sciences.

CONTACT INFORMATION International Buddhist Meditation Centre Vipassana Section Room 105, Maha Chula Building, Wat Mahathat, Tha Phrachan, Bangkok 10200 Tel: 0 2623 6326 Website: www.mcu.ac.th Mahachulalongkorn Ratchawitthayalai (MCU) Tambon Lamsai, Amphoe Wangnoi, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya


Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit Bangkok

To the west of Sanam Luang and south of the National Museum and Thammasat University, Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit Ratchaworamahawihan is widely known by its shorter name as Wat Mahathat. It is one of the six royal temples of the highest class built during the Ayutthaya period. The Section 5 of Wat Mahathat is famous as a meditation centre providing Vipassana meditation classes for English-speaking people every day.

Vipassana techniques are based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness where concentration is developed on the rise and fall of the abdomen when inhaling and exhaling. Awareness is then directed to physical and mental sensations. Classes consist of an introductory meditation instruction followed by demonstrations of walking and sitting meditation. Students dress in plain white attire, eat simple food, abstain from alcohol, avoid the mass media, and maintain silence as far as possible.

There is no official charge for the various courses, though donations are accepted at the discretion of the student. CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Mahathat Section 5, Tha Phrachan, Bangkok 10200 Tel: 0 2222 6011, 0 2623 5325 Fax: 0 2222 4981

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Wat Pathumwanaram Bangkok

Wat Pathumwanaram Ratchaworawihan is a third-class royal temple located right in the heart of Bangkok’s shopping district between the Siam Paragon shopping complex and the Central World Plaza. Behind high walls with lotus flower carvings, the temple is full of shady trees and provides a soothing, tranquil atmosphere. In the heat of the day, it is a good place to rest in the shade of the trees in the temple garden, although most tourists probably never realise that there was a temple in this location. Wat Pathumwanaram Ratchaworawihan offers meditation practice free of charge, every day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the temple’s beautiful, spacious Sala Phra Rajasaddha (Pavilion of His Majesty the King’s Faith) which can accommodate up to 500 meditators.

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Interested persons need only drop between the times mentioned and join the meditation session for as long as they wish. The abbot, the Venerable Phra Rajpipatanatorn (Thavorn Chittathavaro) and other senior monks will lead the practice. The Venerable Phra Rajpipatanatorn is a meditation master and teacher who has given Dhamma talks on television, radio and on the Internet, and has published many Dhamma journals and books. He is concerned with both spiritual and social development, cooperating with local people to develop public places and religious facilities, creating better living conditions for the poor, and progressively advancing Buddhism. The temple has overseas branches in India and the USA at New York, Houston, established by Phra Rajpipatanatorn. It also runs two foundations, the Thavornchittathavaro-wongmalai Foundation and the Sala Phra Rajasaddha Foundation which support all Buddhist activities.

CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Pathumwanaram Ratchaworawihan 969 Wat Pathumwanaram, Rama 1 Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330 Tel: 0 2251 2315 Website: www.thavorn.net Wat Buddha Thai Thavornvanaram New York 7616 46th Avenue, Elmhurst, New York 11373, USA Tel: 718 8039 881 Fax: 718 803 3819 Wat Buddha Thai Thavornvanaram Houston 8625 Karen Street, Houston, TX 77037, USA Tel: 512 463 5555 Fax: 512 463 5709 Wat Neranjarawas India Bakraur, Bodh Gaya Disit-Gaya, Bihar (824231), India Tel: 91 9431 223791, 91 631 2200316 Fax: 91 631 2200483


Wat Sanghathan Nonthaburi

Wat Sanghathan is one of the oldest temples in Nonthaburi Province. The temple was re-established by the Venerable Luang Phor Sanong Katapunyo, the present abbot, in 1974 after the original has been abandoned centuries before. It was rebuilt with a new multi-purpose Bot Kaeo, a glass ordination hall housing the main Buddha image, Luang Phor Dto. Through his work of propagating the Buddhist faith, Luang Phor Sanong Katapunyo has made the temple into a well-known international Buddhist meditation centre offering Vipassana classes based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness for the general public and

foreign visitors. Bot Kaeo can accommodate a large number of people interested in meditation, and strict wandering meditation with observation of mind and body is the central focus. In the course of 40 years as a monk, Luang Phor Sanong Katapunyo has built a network of more than 40 branches to spread Buddhist teaching, including an overseas branch in Birmingham, UK. Another is the international Buddhist meditation centre at Wat Tham Krissanadhammaram in Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima Province, near Khao Yai National Park which offers seven-day intensive meditation retreats.

CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Sanghathan 100/1 Mu 3, Bang Phai, Mueang District, Nonthaburi 11000 Tel: 0 2447 0799, 0 2447 0800 Fax: 0 2447 2784 Website: www.vimokkha.com E-mail: vimokkha@hotmail.com Wat Tham Krissanadhammaram Mu 6, Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30130 Tel: 08 9050 0052, 08 4006 6080 Wat Sanghathan Birmingham 107 Handsworth Wood Road, Handsworth Wood, Birmingham B20 2PH, UK Tel: 0121 551 5729, 523 6855, 240 0568 Fax: 0121 515 2213 Website: www.sanghathan.co.uk E-mail: sanghathan@blueyonder.co.uk

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Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram Bangkok

Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram is the official Buddhist Meditation Centre and Dhamma School of Ratchaburi Province, endorsed by the Buddhist Ecclesiastical Council or Maha Dhera Samakom. It was established to further the Dhammakaya School of Buddhist Doctrine as advocated by Phra Khun Luang Phor of Wat Pak Nam, Phra Mongkon Thepmuni (Sodh Jantasaro).

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The present abbot, Phra Rajyanvisith, has led the temple to become a centre of excellence in meditation practice and academic studies. It trains more than 20,000 participants in meditation, Dhamma, Pali and related areas every year. It is also an academic service centre of Mahachulalongkorn Ratchawitthayalai and an associated institution of the World Buddhist University, teaching meditation in English. Today, the temple conducts meditation study courses for monks, novices and lay persons and offers summer courses for novices, religious training courses for

students and young people as well as the staff of several state agencies on a regular basis throughout the year. Meditation workshops and intensive meditation retreats in English are also provided. CONTACT ADDRESS Wat Luang Phor Sodh Dhammakayaram Bang Pae-Damnoen Saduak Road (Km 14), Damnoen Saduak District, Ratchaburi 70130 Tel: 0 3224 6090-6 ext 220 Fax: 0 3224 6099 Email: infor@dhammakaya.org Website: www.concentration.org


Dhamma Kamala Meditation Centre Bangkok

Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

CONTACT ADDRESS For more information, please visit www.dhamma.org. For registration, please E-mail : behappy@loxinfo.co.th

Dhamma Kamala Meditation Centre is managed by the Foundation for the Promotion of Vipassana Meditation under the patronage of the Supreme Patriarch.

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Wat Sunandavanaram Kanchanaburi

Located amid tranquil surrounding in Kanchanaburi Province, Wat Sunandavanaram or Wat Pa Sunan Forest Monastery is the 117th branch monastery of Wat Nong Pa Pong Forest Monastery in Ubon Ratchathani Province. It was established to promote Buddhist teachings and the practice of Dhamma and Buddhist meditation.

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The temple grounds extend over an area of 112 acres in a beautiful forested valley enclosed by steep mountains. It offers meditation retreats based on Anapanasati and welcomes all traditions of Buddhist monks, lay persons and foreigners. Simple, individual monastic accommodation is provided; only the larger buildings have electricity and running water. Conditions are crowded during the Rains Retreat, so it is advisable to visit a month or more ahead of these times to arrange accommodation. Groups are also advised to write in advance.

CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Sunandavanaram Ban Tha Tien, Saiyoke District, Kanchanaburi 71150 Maya Cotomi Foundation 378 Akaan Songkroh, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120 Tel: 0 2676 3453 Fax: 0 2286 8690 Email: mayagotami@watpahsunan.org Website: www.watpahsunan.org


Boonkanjanaram Meditation Centre Chon Buri

late Acharn Naeb, a well known expert on Abhidhamma and a teacher who developed the practice. Boonkanjanaram Meditation Centre near Pattaya city in Chon Buri Province was established in 1963 as a non-profit foundation by Mr. Boon Charoenchai, who was then the Minister of Industry in the Thai Government. In March 1964, the first students began to arrive and Acharn Naeb Mahaniranonda served as the head teacher. Boonkanjanaram was established as a juristic entity in 1967. Acharn Naeb taught here until 1979, when old age obliged he to retire. Since that time the head teacher has been a monk. All of the monks teaching here have been students of Acharn Naeb. The meditation system here is Vipassana based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness using techniques taught by the

The meditation system taught here requires more study than most meditation techniques. Most Vipassana systems begin with mindfulness of breathing, but the method taught here proceeds directly to mindfulness of the Four Foundations: body, feeling, mind and mind-object. The teaching is done face-to-face through interviews with a teacher. A single beginning student would be taught one on one. Beginners usually have daily interviews at first, then less often as decided by the teacher. There is no scheduled group practice meditators must be self-reliant and highly motivated to practice successfully. Two weeks is the recommended minimum stay. Materials for study are available at the library.

The meditation centre covers 8.5 acres in a coconut grove with a variety of trees and grasses. Facilities include 51 monastic huts, each with a separate bathroom, a sala or hall, a small temple and a library. The food is traditional Thai of good quality and meals are brought to the meditator’s hut. Both Thai and foreign devotees are welcome, and are asked to write in a dvance to arrange accommodation and for translation if necessary. CONTACT ADDRESS Boonkanjanaram Meditation Centre 386/27 Mu 12, Boonkanjanaram Soi 1Sukhumvit Km 150, Nong Prue, Bang Lamung, Pattaya, Chon Buri 20260 Tel: 0 3823 1865, 0 3875 6352 Website: www.meditationboonkan.org

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Meditation Pavilion Thailand Lop Buri

The Meditation Pavilion Thailand at Wat Pa Sri Maha Bodhi Vipassanaram in Lop Buri Province was established in 1998 by a highly-respected monk, Phra Archarn Apimahavisuth Yanaworapanyo as a meditation centre for Thais and foreigners. Today, the Meditation Pavilion is run by the Buddhasart Anekprasong Foundation.

The meditation retreat here is based on the Anapanasati, and sitting, standing and walking meditation are practice. There are three-day (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and seven-day retreats to choose from. The retreat is closely supervised by meditation teachers. Meditation practice is arranged both in the main hall and outdoor among shady trees. Practitioners are also encouraged to take part in other mind-training activities such as gardening. This temple has vast, shady surrounding areas and provides facilities to the Dhamma practitioners. The environment is conducive to the study of the Dhamma and meditation as all the necessary facilities including accommodation are available. Another meditation pavilion and other utilities are now being built to accommodate up to 1,500 meditators. Donations are welcome.

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CONTACT INFORMATION Meditation Pavilion Thailand 29/1 Mu 4, Ban Sri Maha Bodhi Patthanathani, Tambon Bua Chum, Chai Bandan District, Lop Buri 15130 Buddhism Foundation 243/2 Soi 54/3, Phaholyothin Road, Saimai, Bangkok 10220 Tel: 0 2993 7020, 081 373 3747 Fax: 0 2993 7028 Email: admin@ThailandAsia.com


Wat Umong Chiang Mai

Wat Umong is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Mai, dating as far back as 1300 AD. The peaceful temple is built in the foothills of Suthep mountain and is famous for its ancient tunnels and large stupa. On the densely wooded monastery grounds are a Buddha field of broken sculpture, a fasting Bodhisatva, reproductions of ancient Buddhist sculpture of India, and a librarymuseum. This last building contains many books on Buddhism and other philosophies, as well as a collection of historic Buddhist art objects.

The temple offers meditation retreats based on Anapanasati, where one is free to practice one’s own meditation techniques. For the most part, discipline, practice, and schedules are left up to each person, so self-motivation is especially important. Teachers are available for questions and talks in English are normally given every Sunday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is advisable to be able to speak some Thai. Some senior monks, including the abbot, speak a little English.

The temple’s International Buddhist Education and Meditation Practice Centre has 17 rooms for foreign visitors who can choose from one- to four-day retreats. There is no cost, just individual donations. CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Umong Tambon Suthep, Muang District, Chiang Mai 55000 Tel: 0 5387 3123, 0 5387 3139

The retreat schedule is the same as at most temples: rise at 4am followed by morning chanting and mediation; breakfast, then Dhamma study followed by lunch; afternoon walking and sitting meditation, and a one-on-one talk with the supervising monk rest time and evening chanting, concluded by more sitting and walking meditation. Students are encouraged to do sitting and walking meditation up to 12 hours a day.

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Wat Pa Nana Chat Pavilion Thailand Ubon Rachathani

qualities, and meditators try to maintain mindfulness in all postures.

Wat Pa Nana Chat (WPN) is an international Buddhist monastery in a forest in Northeast Thailand, about 15 kilometres from Ubon Ratchathani town centre. It was established in 1975 by Acharn Chah to provide a traditional monastic training community for non-Thais. Today the monastic community consists of monks, novices and postulants from a wide range of nationalities, with English serving as the primary language of communication and instruction. The Dhamma practice here is intended to be all-embracing, and rather than concentrate on a particular technique of meditation, it includes all aspects of daily life. Each day affords opportunities to develop mindfulness, insight and other spiritual 28

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The monastery environment provides an ideal environment for meditation practice, and also the opportunity to learn from and reflect on the customs and traditions honoured here. A visit provides a great opportunity to experience and participate in a monastic community in the forest tradition. It is important to be willing to adapt and learn, and for best results visitors should plan on staying for a minimum of one or two weeks. The monastery can accommodate only a limited number of guests, so be sure to write in advance with a request to stay. CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Pa Nana Chat Ban Bung Wai, Warin Chamrab District, Ubon Rachathani 34310 Website: www.watpahnanachat.org


Wat Suanmokkhaphalaram Surat Thani

Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram, the “Grove of the Powers of Liberation”, was founded by the venerated Buddhadasa Bhikkhu in 1932 in Surat Thani Province. At the time it was the only forest Dhamma centre and one of the few places dedicated to Vipassana meditation in southern Thailand. Today Wat Suan Mokkh is world famous as a place of retreat and contemplation. Buddhadasa Bhikkhu’s teachings focused on the importance of being in the present moment and of understanding the natural laws on interconnectedness and non-self. He emphasised the need for followers of all religions to understand the essence of their beliefs, to promote inter-faith understanding and to free themselves from materialism.

Suan Mokkh is now a site for the holistic study and practice of Dhamma in serene and pleasant surroundings. The 10-day retreats have been very popular, providing a unique opportunity to experience the Anapanasati technique in a remote setting. Retreats begin on the first of every month. Registration in person should be made a day or two in advance as the 110-person capacity of the retreat cannot always accommodate all who come. On acceptance, the visitor is expected to follow the instructions given and be committed to staying for the entire 10-day course. Retreats take place at the International Dhamma Hermitage 1.5 km east, across the highway from Suan Mokkh. During retreats, meditators have small individual rooms, with separate buildings for men and women. Bathing is Thai-style from tanks and toilets are Asian-style. At other times visitors may stay at Suan Mokkh, where there are dormitories for men, and where women may stay in individual rooms or

dormitories. Most buildings and kuti (self-sufficient huts that house monks) have electricity. It is difficult to receive foreign visitors at Suan Mokkh when retreats are under way, so they are advised to plan there arrival after the 11th of each month. Dhammadana Meditation lessons are conducted for both Thais and foreign visitors. Training for foreigners is from 1st-10th and for Thais 20th-27th of each month. Registration for retreats must be made in person. The writings of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu are available online at www.bia.or.th, www.buddhadasa-archives.com, and www.buddhadasa-archives.org. CONTACT INFORMATION Wat Suan Mokkhaphalaram 68/1 Chaiya District, Surat Thani 84110 Tel: 0 7743 1552, 0 7743 1597 Email: santikaro@suanmokkh.org Website: www.suanmokkh.org

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Printed in Thailand by Promotional Material Production Division, Marketing Services Department, Tourism Authority of Thailand for free distribution. www.tourismthailand.org E/NOV 2007 The contents of this publication are subject to change without notice.


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