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I have also just submitted a description of a monastery in Thailand:Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek and BuddhaMetta Project
Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek
Moo 5 Tambol Ban Reua
Ampher Phu Wiang
Jangwat Khon Kaen
Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek is a socially engaged monastery of the Thai
forest tradition located in Phu Wiang, Khon Kaen province, north-east
Thailand. It welcomes Thai and international visitors to study and
practise the Dhamma.
The BuddhaMetta project is an original and innovative idea of a
'Dhamma village' aimed at providing a unique chance to ‘live in the
Dhamma’. It will create a special kind of community in which lay
people can freely interact with the monks to learn from and support
each other in developing the Dhamma. It has been initiated to meet the
needs of people seeking to fully understand and practise the Dhamma by
living in a Buddhist community. In Thailand the temple system often
makes it difficult for visitors to meet with and learn from the monks.
This project aims to overcome this difficulty. As well as offering a
unique environment for the development of meditation practice, the
project offers a way of directly encountering the Buddhist way of life
and a chance to interact with the local village community. The project
will also sponsor community projects and international exchange for
school children and university students. It will become a place for
people from all over the world to practise meditation in a peaceful,
caring and harmonious environment. The project will provide
opportunities to work with the local community and be involved in
providing almsfood for the monastic Sangha. Environmental projects
such as organic fruit and vegetable gardens, rice paddy fields and
tree planting are an essential part of the whole concept. The location
of the 'Dhamma village' is in an area of strong, natural power in Loei
province (Tambol Pha Sam Yot, near Erawan cave, about 2 hours from Wat
Pah Kanjanabhisek) with caves, a lake and forests conducive to the
development of a peaceful mind and wisdom.
At Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek, there are huts (kuti) for the monks and male
visitors, and a kitchen building for female visitors. At BuddhaMetta
project, there will be ten wooden houses for accommodation surrounded
by a landscaped forest. Each house has two stories in a Thai style,
with two bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom, living room , bathroom,
small kitchen and dining area on the ground floor. There will also be
a main public kitchen for the preparation of food. It is hoped that
the organic fruit and vegetable gardens on the property will supply
all of the food required together with the food from the monks'
almsround (pindapata). However, people can also purchase their own
food to cook in their own kitchen and contribute to the community by
offering almsfood to the monks. The Sala (meditation hall) will be the
centre for many activities such as Dana offering, chanting, Dhamma
teaching and meditation practice.
How to get there
From Bangkok's northern bus terminal Mochit, there are overnight buses
(e.g. 999, Muang Loei Air) going directly to Phu Wiang, leaving around
8-9 pm and arriving around 4-5 am. One can also travel during the day,
or go to Khon Kaen and catch another bus to Phu Wiang from there
(about 40 mins). It is also possible to fly from Bangkok to Khon Kaen.
From the bus terminal in Phu Wiang, it takes only 30 minutes to walk
to Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek (about 2 km): turn right after the big gate
and follow the road to Ban Reua until you see the monastery sign on
the left. One can also take a three-wheel taxi (samlor) to the
monastery. Transport to the BuddhaMetta project in Loei province will
be organized from Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek as required.
Ajahn Sudhiro or other English-speaking monks and invited teachers
will be available for meditation instruction, teachings and
discussions. Ajahn Sudhiro (Phra Chaowaphit Sudhiro) has been ordained
in the Dhammayut tradition for over 20 years. For many years he has
practised meditation in seclusion, living in caves and wandering on
tudong. Later he established Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek near his hometown
and started several projects to help the local community, especially
children and sick people. Young boys have a chance to ordain as
novices and pursue monastic education up to university level in
Bangkok. Students from Khon Kaen also come for meditation retreats. In
the last ten years, Ajahn Sudhiro has also been active
internationally, teaching at the Samatha Group in England and staying
at the monasteries of the Ajahn Chah tradition there. He also
established Sammapatipadarama monastery in Napier, New Zealand, where
he now usually spends the rainy season (Vassa).
Several Westerners have already ordained as monks for shorter or
longer periods of time with Ajahn Sudhiro as their teacher. Ordination
can be arranged after individual consultation, depending on the
readiness of the candidate. Even older candidates are accepted, there
is more flexibility here compared with places like Wat Pah Nanachat.
One is expected to be self-reliant and to study by oneself, with the
opportunity to discuss practical matters with the teacher as
necessary. There is daily chanting in Pali and English, and one is
expected to learn most of the chanting by heart. There is also daily
group meditation and chores such as sweeping and cleaning. After the
almsround early in the morning, the monks eat one meal a day at 8 am.
In the afternoon there will also be drinks and sweets available.
Individual, no specific technique is emphasised, but Ajahn Sudhiro can
teach anapanasati and meditation on the elements, as well as walking
Visitors are usually expected to keep the 8 precepts, but in some
cases eating in the afternoon is also possible.
Thai, Lao and English.
What to bring
Flashlight, alarm clock, mosquito repellent. Everything can be easily
bought in the town nearby.
When to visit
Best time is during the cool season, from November until February.