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Wat Chom Tong Meditation Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand
MEANING OF NAME
Wat Chom Tong means ‘Golden Hill Temple.’ This Buddhist temple is also known by its full name – Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara.
Tambon Ban Luang, Amper Chom Tong, Chiang Mai 50160
From Chiang Mai, go to Chiang Mai Gate and take either the blue bus (#12 or #23) or a yellow Song-taew (Truck Taxi) to Chom Tong. (Make sure to ask if it goes to Chom Tong and that it will stop at “Waat Sii Jawm Tawng”). En route to Doi Inthanon. Tel (English): (053) 342 095 Tel (Thai): (053) 826 869
Intensive vipassana meditation based on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Mahasi Sayadaw techniques are used.
Instruction and advice are given during daily interviews. Dhamma talks in Thai are presented on the night before “wan phra” (Buddha Day).
Chao Khun Phrarajaprommajarn (a.k.a. Prasuprommayanna Thera, a.k.a. Ajarn Tong Sirimangalo), abbot (Thai; age 79) Khun Thanat and Khun Kate, heads of International Department. One or two English-speaking teachers assist.
International teachers and assistants speak English.
Wat Phrahatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara is situated on a Holy Buddhist Site. Enshrined within the Main Temple (Vihara) is a highly revered relic of the Lord Buddha is The Most Exalted Phra Dakkhinamoli Relic, an object of faithful devotion and veneration for the Thai people. Inside of the Main Temple, one may also find a number of ancient Buddha images and other historical artifacts.
Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara is on the Royal Temple Registry and is considered to be a National Historic Treasure. Visitors and students coming to the Main Temple area are kindly requested to be polite at all times.
- Monks: about 40 (including 5 foreigners)
- novices: about 30
- nuns: 40-50 (including 1 foreigners.)
- laypeople: about 50 ( including 20+ foreigners for peak season.)
Meditators are encouraged to try to meditate 10 hours a day and stay mindful during daily life, lying down to sleep only at night. Meditation follows a cycle of mindful prostration, walking, and sitting. Individual interviews take place daily. Practice typically begins at 4 am. wake up. Meditators have the freedom to determine the schedule that works best.
Vegetarian food is always available. Thai-style breakfast is served at 6 a.m., then the main meal at 11 am. Monks and novices go on pindabat.
Individual rooms with electricity and Thai-style bathrooms (cold shower, Asian – and a few western-style toilets) with running water.
WRITE IN ADVANCE?
Recommended, because the center is often full. If all rooms are full, you can contact the International Receptionist for possible make-shift accommodations. Calling or visiting in advance enables you to reserve a space. The busiest times are the tourist season (Nov. through Feb.) and the Rains Retreat (3-month period beginning mid- or late July). Preference is given to those planning on staying at least 26 days for the whole course and those who have practiced here before.
The temple requires foreign male applicants for ordination to complete a basic (26-day) course and two 10-day retreats. Then ordination would be considered after the completion of all practices. If those men are allowed to ordain, they may also be required to sign a contract stating that they will follow the orders given by their preceptor.
The reason for these measures is that foreigners may not understand what being a Buddhist monk means and so it is necessary to be sure that they have good intentions and good understanding before they ordain. Women can ordain as magees. This center appears to be an especially good place for the nun’s life.
The course takes 26 days to complete; a stay of one month is a bit better. Because practice is individual, you can arrive and begin at any time. Meditators may be accepted for shorter periods if space is available. Eight precepts are observed. Traditional white clothing is worn. Socializing is not allowed, and care should be taken not to talk about or disturb others’ meditation.
For more information, email to [email protected]. A good website about the teacher Ajarn Tong is www.sirimangalo.org. For people interested this meditation technique, and who would like to receive updated info infrequently, please send an email to [email protected] with no subject needed. To unsubscribe later, email to [email protected].
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