Retreats in Thailand

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
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kalyanamitta
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Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:57 pm

Retreats in Thailand

Post by kalyanamitta » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:40 pm

I'm curious if anyone could recommend (preferably drawing on first-hand experience) any retreats in Thailand. For context, I'm a practitioner of 12 years and have spent five months on monastic retreat in Asia, including 23 days in Thailand at Wat Chom Tong. I did not resonate with that style (derived from Mahasi Sayadaw's noting approach to vipassana) nor their pedagogy but I would be happy to consider other retreats given that I will be in Asia again over the summer. Thanks in advance.

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DooDoot
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Re: Retreats in Thailand

Post by DooDoot » Tue Mar 27, 2018 4:10 am

Suan Mokkh is tailored for newcomers but is strict enough. Teaching is Anapanasati and here-&-now Four Noble Truths & Dependent Origination. Format is alternate sitting & walking, with afternoon chanting & free-time and probably still not completely regimented thus allowing sitting alone under tree (rather than with the group) or sitting during walking times or sitting away from chanting (under tree) if one wishes (however , no sitting in private room). The grounds are spacious: http://www.suanmokkh-idh.org/ plus smaller retreat here: http://dipabhavan.weebly.com/meditation-retreat.html

Otherwise, one can try their luck with Wat Pananachat (for monastic practise but not a formal retreat). http://www.watpahnanachat.org/

That's all I know of. :smile:


kalyanamitta
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:57 pm

Re: Retreats in Thailand

Post by kalyanamitta » Wed May 23, 2018 5:51 pm

Wat Chom Tong, while good-intentioned, has some structural and instructional issues in its international department (from my limited perspective, of course).

During short-term residence and practice, I experienced the gradual development of satipatthana-vipassana in the style of Mahasi Sayadaw, an enormous influence upon northern Thai practice. Unfortunately, however, there was little if any integration between the international department and the local Thai lay practitioners, bhikkhus, mae chees, etc. Instead, the international department was run by Western lay people whom I did not feel (again, from my limited perspective) were qualified to teach given my daily reporting sessions with them over 23 days of retreat. I will note that I believe they were substituting for the main instructors who were away at the time. Additionally, all international retreatants were almost completely isolated from the rest of the community and the teachings of Ajahn Tong. Also to my disappointment, I was given instructions, particularly nearing the end of the 23 days, that I did not find conducive to wholesome practice. I will not comment on the precise nature of these, but there was something extremely "off" about them, in my opinion.

I hope to visit another temple in the north that I have recently discovered through research, but I'm not finding many personal testimonies yet to help inform the decision. Any other insight about retreats in Thailand would be greatly appreciated.


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