Buddhist Meditation - Thailand

A number of places throughout Thailand offer opportunities to learn meditation. Many temples offer part time lessons or longer retreats. Below are just a few places you might consider

Bangkok

Wat Mahdhatu is near the Grand Palace and has two training centers. They offer afternoon and evening classes. They also offer longer retreats, usually in the provinces.

International Buddhist Meditation Center

The center is operated by the highly regarded Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University. There are daily classes (excluding Buddhist holidays and Sundays) from 13:00 to 18:00. They also organize retreats.

The Center is at Dharma Vicaya Hall, Wat Mahadhatu, Tha Prachan in Bangkok.

Wat Mahadhatu

At Tha Prachan in Bangkok (phone 02-222-6011) offers classes in English on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. They too, have retreats. You will find them at Tha Prachan, Bangkok. (Phone 02-222-6011)

The Young Buddhists Association of Thailand (YBAT)

offers classes at Soi Phetkasem 54, Phetkasem Road. (Phone 02 413-3131)

Chonburi

Retreats, requiring all participants to follow the Eight Precepts for training are available at Wat Bhaddanta Asahba Ban Bung, Chonburi (Phone 038 -292-361, 01 455-2360, 01-343-7295).

Chiang Mai

Northern Insight Meditation Center

Located at Wat Rampoeng (Tapotharam) in Chiang Mai (Phone 053-278-620) offers courses to tourists. They also have a 26-day course that can be followed by a ten-day retreat.

Wat Phra Dhatu Sri Chomthong

(Phone 053-826-869) offers retreats on a regular basis. Mediators can elect to follow the Five* or Eights Precepts. * precepts

Surat Thani

Suan Mokkh Forest Monastery

In the South, located in Amphoe Chaiya, Surat Thani (Phone 77-431-596-7). The Wat was founded in the 1930s by the late Venerable Buddhadasa Bhikku, a highly regarded Buddhist Scholar. There are regular ten-day meditation courses. During the course participants have the opportunity to explore both dharma and meditation.

Si Saket - Ubon Ratchathani

Wat Pa Nanacha

Is between Ubon and Si Saket. It is well known for teaching meditation and there are numerous foreign monks residing there.

Amnat Charoen

Wat Tham Saeng Phetch (Wat Sala Phan Hong)

Is about 20 km from the town. There are a number of foreign monks and it is located in a lovely natural setting.

Notes Many of these courses are free but donations are accepted. Most require modest, usually white, clothing. Many of the places mentioned have foreign, native English speaking monks and helpers. Some require that the Five Precepts* be followed on retreats.

People of any faith can study Buddhist meditation. The well-known Thomas Merton, a Catholic monk and philosopher, was a proponent and, in fact, died while visiting Thailand.

 

* The Five Precepts

  • Abstain from harming sentient beings
  • Abstain from taking what is not given
  • Abstain from sexual misconduct
  • Abstain from false speech
  • Abstain from intoxicants (drugs and alcohol)

If Following the 8 Precepts, include:

  • Abstain from eating meals at inappropriate times. (Usually after 12 noon.)
  • Abstain from entertainment, including dancing and singing, as well as using beauty products and perfumes
  • Abstain from using luxurious beds. (This generally includes western style beds.)