Thailand Meditation Retreats
Wat Suan Mokkh (Suan Mokkhabalarama)
Location – Chaiya, Thailand. Chaiya is just north of Suratthani province and can be reached by train or bus from Bangkok. Suan Mokkh temple is located right on Highway 41, on the right side as you are coming south. The International Dharma Hermitage is on the opposite side of the highway about 1km down a small road.
This is a 10 day silent meditation practice that includes dhamma talks and a peaceful setting. This is one of the most well established retreats in Thailand for meditation. Retreats are held monthly from the 1st to the 10th. Usually there are more than 80 participants – both male and female. There is a separate retreat schedule for Thais, this is the schedule for visitors that speak / understand English.
One little known option is that instead of attending the 10 day silent retreat, you can opt to go across Highway 41 to the main Suan Mokkh temple and sign up at the guest desk to stay in the dormitory there for basically as long as you want. Your practice will be self-guided, and you will be responsible for finding your own food and things – but basic accommodation is provided in the dorms. There is a large library of books on meditation and mindfulness in the basement of one of the buildings at the temple. There are very few western students here and again, you are all on your own.
Best time to attend? May through November are typically the least amount of participants, and the best experience.
Contact info: Khun.Reinhard@gmail.com. Please note that emails cannot be answered each month from the 27th of the month to the 14th due to heavy responsibility for the current class.
Wat Pah Nanachat
Location – Bahn Bung Wai, Ampur Warin Chamrap, Ubon Rachathani 34310. Warin Chamrap is located in Ubon Ratchathani province in northeastern Thailand which is close to Laos and Cambodia. You can reach Ubon by train or plane and take a bus, tuk-tuk, or taxi to the temple.
This is not really a retreat per se, but you might be able to stay there as a layperson wearing white for a few days or weeks, if they have room. Wat Pah Nanachat was founded by Ajahn Chah who has since passed on. This is a forest temple. There are many western monks at this temple, and instruction is in English. If you want to ordain as a monk (bhikku) you can do so here. They ask for a commitment of 3 years if you decide to become a monk.