Monastery Recommendations?

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.
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Monastery Recommendations?

Post by Plasticman408 » Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:35 am

Hi, I'm new to this site.

Since doing my first 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat in May 2015, I've wanted to visit a monastery and stay for a while. I find that 10 days was good progress, but I want to practice Samadhi more, and in a secluded environment (like a monastery).

I live in the US, but I'm cool with traveling anywhere to a monastery, but as a layperson, can I still receive mail? I want to go to a monastery, but I still want to be able to send/receive letters. The ones I've seen so far seem to imply that noble silence must be upheld, and there should be no reading or writing.

Looking for any advice, and I don't know if I'm being too vague, but feel free to ask questions.


Cormac Brown
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Re: Monastery Recommendations?

Post by Cormac Brown » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:12 pm

Hi and welcome, Plasticman.

If you're in the US, Wat Metta ( sounds a pretty good bet to me. The abbot, Thanissaro Bhikkhu, is a widely respected meditation teacher, monk and scholar, with a heavy emphasis on samadhi/jhana. He certainly doesn't seem to forbid reading (I've heard him encourage it and you'll likely be able to pick up free Dhamma books when you're there), and, like the Buddha, he advocates Right Speech rather than silence. He seems to give talks every morning and evening, previews of which you can get here: From what I gather, he also holds Q&A sessions. The monastery seems to be in a great, secluded location. Not sure about the letter-writing situation. You could always call and ask them - you'll find their phone number and calling hour on the website, where you can ask them whatever you like. Tan Peter, one of the bhikkhus, usually answers the phone, and he's very helpful.


“I in the present who am a worthy one, rightly self-awakened, am a
teacher of action, a teacher of activity, a teacher of persistence. But the
worthless man Makkhali contradicts even me, (saying,) ‘There is no
action. There is no activity. There is no persistence.’ "
AN 3.138, trans. Ven. Thanissaro

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Re: Monastery Recommendations?

Post by Nicolas » Mon Feb 08, 2016 5:46 pm

See this thread: Where to experience monastic life in North America

I will replicate its contents here:

Thai Forest Tradition:
Abhayagiri (California):
(Ajahn Pasanno, Ajahn Chah lineage)

Abhayagiri's Pacific Hermitage (California):
(Ajahn Sudanto, Ajahn Chah lineage)

Jetavana, Temple Forest Monastery (New Hampshire):
(Ajahn Jayanto, Ajahn Chah lineage)

Tisarana Buddhist Monastery (Ontario):
(Ajahn Vīradhammo, Ajahn Chah lineage)

Arrow River Forest Hermitage (Ontario):
(Ajahn Punnadhammo, Ajahn Chah lineage)

Sitavana, Birken Forest Monastery (British Columbia):
(Ajahn Sona, Ajahn Chah lineage)

Forest Dhamma Monastery (Virginia):
(Ajaan Dick Silaratano, Maha Boowa lineage)

Wat Metta, Metta Forest Monastery (California):
(Thanissaro Bhikkhu)

Dhammasala Forest Monastery (Michigan):
(Ajahn Khemasanto)

The Bhavana Society (West Virginia):
(Bhante Henepola Gunaratana)

Dhamma Sukha Meditation Center (Missouri):
(Bhante Vimalaramsi)

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Re: Monastery Recommendations?

Post by Anagarika » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:58 pm

Plasticman, I can recommend" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

It's in Fang, Chiang Mai, Thailand. A dynamic young Abbot; he is fluent in English, and is a community organizer and Pali scholar. The director of the meditation and retreat center, Graham, is a former monk, from Scotland, who is one of the kindest and wisest people I know and he manages the programs there beautifully. The Wat itself is lovely, with new guest kutis and meditation centers, and it has WiFi internet capability.

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Full disclosure: this is my "home Wat," where I ordained and go to practice as often as I can. I have a bias, but it is a bias borne of great experiences. If you're interested in exploring practice in a unique and deep way, buying the discount airfare and flying to Thailand is quite easy. Thailand itself, well, I don't have words to have to experience the beauty and the kindness of the people yourself. Fly into Chiang mai, and there are VIP buses that run up to Fang all day long.

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