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Practising meditation at a centre in Thailand

by Pierre To
13 minutes to read
Meditation Centre in Thailand

If you want to take advantage of your stay in Thailand to learn meditation in a meditation centre or temple, here are some useful tips and addresses.

See also :
Learn to meditate: complete meditation course

Meditating to find inner peace

Meditation is an exercise for people of all backgrounds, all religions and can be practiced in everyday life, as it helps to find inner peace, a state of perfect tranquillity, beyond material satisfactions.

It is an experience that will be extremely beneficial, especially if you continue to practice at home afterwards.

The different meditation techniques

Both forms of meditation, in the Buddhism are called samatha (calmness and concentration) and vipassana (inwardness), which is based on awareness.

This does not mean that they are totally separate, for there is no consciousness without concentration.

There are many techniques of samatha meditation, some predating Buddhism, others developed after Buddha's time.

Among the most commonly practised are the following:

Anapanasati meditation

That is, "attention to the breath". This technique was mentioned by Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikhu (1903-1993), founder of the Suan Mokkh monastery in Surat Thani.

Those who follow this technique at Suan Mokkh (the Garden of Liberation) practice according to the 16 levels of anapanasati, in accordance with the Pâli texts.

Mantra Meditation

Reciting a few words over and over is also widely practised.

Practitioners can say "Bhuddh" as they breathe in, and "dho" as they breathe out. There are several other words to recite, the aim being to help the attention to focus.

Another technique, kasinas, is also taught to concentrate. It consists of fixing an object in front of you, the flame of a candle, or a crystal ball for example.

Vipassana meditation

Which is to be aware of the movements of one's body and mind. Sati (awareness) is the key to vipassana meditation.

This method consists of training oneself to become aware of the movements of one's body, of one's chest when breathing in and out, of one's feet and legs when walking, as well as of one's sensations and thoughts, in order to reach the state of awareness

Walking, sitting and standing meditation are just some of the techniques.

When the mind is not trained, concentration can be interrupted by the slightest stimuli, noise, smell, pain, anger, etc.

It is important to be aware of this, but not to dwell on it. A novice can avoid such distractions, which is why vipassana retreats are usually held in secluded and peaceful places.

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You can easily find a meditation centre in Thailand, attend a class at a monastery where it is taught, for an afternoon or a morning.

Wat Mahadhatu, near the Grand Palace, for example, has two meditation training centres open to Thais and tourists.

You can also attend a vipassana retreat, which usually lasts a weekend, sometimes longer. Some retreat centres, mostly in the provinces, run basic intensive courses lasting up to four weeks.

Respecting the Precepts

One must agree to respect the Five Precepts, i.e. not to kill, not to fly, not having sex, not to lie or say anything incorrectand do not drink alcohol or take drugs or intoxicants that disturb the mind.

In order to participate in certain retreats, it will be necessary to agree to abide by the Eight Precepts, i.e. the five mentioned above, and in addition, refrain from dining (no after lunch), entertaining, wearing decorations and sleeping on a luxurious bed.

Follow the meditation technique taught

Once you are involved in a course, it is important to follow only the technique that is being taught. Mixing different techniques leads to confusion.

In general, instructions are given daily, and one reports one's progress or failure to the meditation master the next day.

Advice is then given, and instructions to follow, either the same as before or new ones.

Holding and accommodation in a meditation centre

White clothing is compulsory, so check if you can get white clothes on the spot, or if you have to take some with you.

In most monasteries, simple accommodation and food are provided, without financial compensation.

Talking, reading and writing during the retreat is not recommended as it distracts from the meditation. As participants are not allowed to leave the retreat unless it is an emergency, it is advisable to check that you have brought enough spare clothes, toiletries, etc. for the duration of the retreat.

Meditation centre address in Thailand

Addresses of temples and meditation centres (Vipassana, Anapanasati...) in Thailand.

Sorn-Thawee Meditation Centre in Chachoengsao

Meditation is practised in accordance with the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, as taught by Mahasi Sayadaw. Participants are invited to continue the practice on their own.

Address
26/9 Chompol Lane, Bangkla, Chachoengsao, Thailand
Tel
038-541-405 /084-351-900

Suan Mokkh, meditation centre in Surat Thani

Founded in 1932 by Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikku, a meditation master, Suan Mokkh organises 10-day meditation courses on an ongoing basis. During the course, participants study the Dhamma and meditation. The teaching of meditation is based on the breathing (annapanasati), a method used and taught by Buddha. All participants are invited to attend daily lectures on the Dhamma. English-speaking facilitators provide support for meditation practice and other aspects of the teaching.

Tel(66-77)431-596, 431-552, 431-661-2
E-mail : [email protected]
Website http://www.suanmokkh-idh.org/

Wat Mahadhatu International Buddhist Meditation Centre

IBMC is the vipassana teaching centre of Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University.

English classes are held during the day, from 1pm to 6pm, except during the Buddhist holidays and on Sundays.

The centre also organises vipassana retreats at Buddha Monton in Nakhon Pathom, usually during the major Buddhist holidays and long weekends.

Lectures on the Dhamma can be organised.
Section Five, Wat Mahadhatu
Tel: (662) 222-6011

Thais and foreigners have long come to Wat Mahadhatu to learn meditation.

Classes are held from 7am to 10am, from 1pm to 4pm and from 6pm to 8pm. They are open to all; each session is attended by beginners and practitioners, monks, Thais and tourists.

You can come for a retreat of three days or more. Meals and accommodation are available on site for a fee. Please bring enough spare clothing and toiletries etc. Donations are accepted, but not solicited.

Tel: (662) 623-6326, 623-6328

Wat Pah Nanachat Meditation Centre

The method of teaching meditation used is anapanasati (attention to the breath). Participants spend a day in groups and then continue on their own, following the advice given to them. At Wat Pah, the 'Forest Temple', only a limited number of meditators can be accommodated and each must conform to the monastic way of life. There are no telephones in the temple or in the surrounding area.

Address:
Bahn Bung Wai, Warin Chamrab, Ubon Rachathani, Thailand, 34310

Website :
http://www.watpahnanachat.org/

Meditation centre at Wat Phra Dhatu Sri Chomthong

This temple is directed by Dr Pra Supromyanathera (Acharn Thong). Retreats are held continuously. The temple provides two daily meals at 6am and 11am, accommodation in cells for men and women, most with their own bathroom. Appropriate clothing can be purchased in a shop adjacent to the monastery. Booking is advisable as retreats are very busy during the major Buddhist holidays and the Vegetarian Festival. French-speaking trainers are sometimes available. Transport: The temple is 1 hour from Chiang Mai city. You can take the blue and white bus or the yellow pick-ups from Chiang Mai gate (or in Thai: patou Chiang Mai).

Address
Moo 2, Tumbon Baan Luang, Chomthong, Chiang Mai, Thailand, 50160
Tel
(66-53) 826-869
Website
watchomtong.org

The Middle Way Meditation Retreat in Chiang Mai

Surrounded by picturesque hills and lofty mountains at 1,120 meters above sea level. The Middle way Meditation Village has magnificent vistas, fresh cool mountain air and our facilities provide immaculate and comfortable accommodations, all designed to enable you to learn and practice Meditation while living in close touch with the natural beauty that will surround you. There you will learn the Dhammakaya method of Meditation which is both the simplest and the oldest known technique in the world, taught by ordained highly trained Buddhist Monks expert Meditation instructors!

Address
Wat Suan Dok, Suthep, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Tel
0 5321 1424

Wat Bhaddanta Asahba Theravada & Sommitre Pranee Vipassana Center

Meditation Master : Ajahn Bhaddanta Asabha, Ajahn Somsak Sorado. Capacity : 30 persons (Recommend booking in advance) The retreat is widely open for both beginner and experienced meditators. On the retreat, all meditators are expected to keep silence at all times except when giving meditation reports. All meditators must keep the eight training precepts. Meditators need only bring conservative clothing (preferably white colored clothing), personal hygiene accessories and essential medication. Ajahn Asabha was Head Meditation Master at Vivek Asom Meditation Center (Chonburi, Thailand), where he taught vipassana meditation for 37 years. In 1999, Ajahn Asabha became President of Wat Bhaddanta Asabha Theravada and Head Meditation Master at Sommit Pranee Vipassana Meditation Center, where he now resides. Ajahn Somsak Sorado, a disciple of Ajahn Asabha, has been teaching vipassana meditation at Vivek Asom Meditation Center for over 5 years. He was in the United States on Buddhist missionary duties for 2 years and is now permanently stationed at Wat Bhaddanta Asabha Theravada.

Address
Moo 1, Baan Nong Pru, Nong Pai Kaiw, Baan Bung, Chonburi, Thailand
Tel
0 3829 2361

The meditation centre at Wat Rampoeng, Northern Insight Meditation Centre (Tapotharam)

The Northern Insight Meditation Center has been teaching meditation for more than twenty years to tourists and Thais who come in their thousands.

Some monks speak English, nuns and volunteers work there.

The centre offers a 26-day inner meditation retreat. Tourists must present two photos, two copies of their passport and entry visa, and dress in white.

The simple white outfit can be purchased at the temple shop.

Accommodation in cells and meals are provided.

Donations are accepted but not solicited.

The Northern Insight Meditation Center has been teaching mindfulness meditation to thousands of tourists and locals for more than 20 years. It has English-speaking monks, nuns and volunteer facilitators on staff. The center offers a 26-day basic course on an ongoing basis. After you have completed this course you can join the 10-day Insight Meditation Retreat. Tourists are required to present two passport photos, two copies each of a valid passport and visa with entry stamp. Modest white clothing is required; this can be bought at the Temple's store. Dormitory-style accommodation and meals are provided free of charge. Donations are accepted but not solicited.

Tel
(66-53) 278-620, 810-197

POP House : The Middle Way Meditation Retreat

The Power of Peace House (POP House) welcomes you to join our meditation course. During your 3 days with us, you will learn how to meditate to relax both the mind and body amidst the peaceful, natural environment and family atmosphere. The program will introduce meditation concept and meditation practice to participants. The meditation method we use at POP house is the Middle Way meditation technique (Dhammakaya), one of the most ancient techniques of meditation in the world. Its simplicity originality and effectiveness has made the Middle way method among the most popular meditation techniques in Thailand and its international popularity is growing fast. Middle way meditation is all about self-discovery relaxation and purification of the mind. This meditation will have no conflict with any religion or creed, a meditation that you can use in your every day activities that will create peace in your life.

Address
POP House, Klongsong, Klongluang, Pathumthani, Thailand
Tel
08 7495 1616

The Young Buddhists Association of Thailand (YBAT)

YBAT was founded by a group of committed young men and women who wanted to learn more about Buddhism and to disseminate it to Thai Society. The Yuwabuddhiga Group held successful Sunday Dhamma activities and meditation classes. As a result, senior Buddhists praised them for showing young people the relevance of Buddhism to their lives and that Buddhism is not only for older people but it is appropriate for the younger generation as well. YBAT has been active in the promotion of meditation practice for over five decades. Five YBAT meditation centres have been established with support from lay Buddhists and former participants in Mother Dr. Siri Karinchai's 'Mind development for peace and wisdom courses'.

Address
4 Phetchkasem Road Soi 54 Bangduan, Phasicharoen, Bangkok, Thailand
Tel
0 2455 2525
Website
http://www.ybat.org/

You can get the list of temples where the teaching is done in English in all the tourist offices of Thailand, if you have an address to share you can indicate it in the comments or on the forum.

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