October 26-30 - 2011 – there is a retreat with British Bhikkhuni of the Tibetan tradition, Ani Zamba, in Chiang Rai, at the very nice New Life Foundation. Cool weather, individual rooms … details here
November 30 – December 9th (give or take a day) we are holding a retreat in the mountains of Chiang Mai, at possibly the most perfect place in Thailand to do a retreat.
For retreats and activities around Chiang Mai area, take a look through our counterpart group in Chiang Mai – the Green Papaya Sangha. There are some interesting retreats in different lineages there from time to time.
The best reputed retreat in Thailand at the moment is Wat Kow Tahm. It is on Koh Pah-ngarn in the south, not very far from the famous Suan Mokh Temple (which is also foreigner friendly). The teachers there, Steve and Rosemary, have the centre well organised, and have been teaching retreats there since 1988. A number of littlebang regulars have been on retreat there and gave glowing reports. There’s a good description of it here.
Mae Chee Brigitte is often leading retreats, or else accepting visiting foreigners at Wat Prayong : http://meditationthailand.com/
Jungle Yoga – which conducts retreats in floating huts and sala, run some Vipassana courses from time to time in between their regular yoga retreats. WEBSITE IS HERE
New Life Foundation run retreats for recovering adicts, that are open to the general public also. The facility and environment are excellent. Based in Chiang Rai WEBSITE HERE
Here is the latest updated infromation on retreats around Asia . This document was not prepared by LittleBang but we understand that it is accurate as far as possible. Covers good places to go for meditation in Thailand, Burma, Laos etc.. Right click the Picture to the left and ‘Save Target As’.
One thing that is very useful – if you go to any of the places in the document, and you find the information has changed in any way – you can send the details back to the webmaster on this site to update the information for the people who come after.
Close (ish) to Bangkok is the Dhammodaya Centre. This is Mahasi Sayadaw Vipassana tradition, using sitting and walking meditation methods together with a strong emphasis on Metta meditation. There are different teachers invited to run the retreats there mostly trained by Sayadaw U Janaka of Burma - a direct disciple of the Mahasi Sayadaw himself. DETAILS There’s been very little activity in Dhammodaya in the last year. The main organiser is busy doing a PhD, and no one else seems able to step into the role. When the next retreat is arranged – if they announce it – it will be posted up on Littlebang.
5 minutes from the Dhammodaya Centre above, is Wat Songdhamma Kalyani - the temple of Bhikkhuni Dhammananda. All are welcome to visit, and lay-women can stay there and join in the temple activities, or join regular 3 day retreats. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda is a warm and charismatic teacher, and the Bhikkhunis there have experience in various meditation styles. DETAILS.
Another Bhikkhuni center in Chiang Mai has been reported on by one researcher. If anyone goes, please send back a report on the place so we can fill in details.
One foreigner friendly temple close to Bangkok (2 hours by air con tour bus) is Wat Bhaddanta. Even though you will likely need a Thai to phone for you in advance, once you get there it is quite easy to settle in. They have some reasonable individual meditation huts, and apart from the evening Puja (chanting and meditation) there are daily meets with the teacher – usually the abbot. He speaks enough English to impart the gist of meditation, and has a very warm nature. You can pick your own day to go and leave – there are no structured retreats. Link to Website.
Close to the Wat Kow Tahm Centre listed above is Suan Mokh – one of the most famous temples in Thailand. It runs a 10 day retreat most months, with meditation based around mindfulness of breathing. There are always Westerners about, and the temple is open to visits outside of retreat time. The Library is also quite good. Suan Mokh (South Thailand)
Wat Pah Nanachat – International Forest Monastery in North East Thailand. Visitors are expected to write in advance, and adhere to the rigorous monastic code and schedule while there. The following link for the temple has not worked in a long while , so presumably the site will not be resurrected. Wat Pah Nanachat.
Wat Doi Suthep - Chiang Mai . Although famous and right on the tourist trail, this is quite a peaceful temple for a retreat. In the evening the crowds disappear and the breeze picks up, and the mountain is quiet. Meditators adhere to the baisc rules, and can set their own schedule, with a daily meet with the meditation teacher, and some short Dhamma talks. WEBSITE. (website currently down)