our annual International retreat at YBAT retreat facility,
Pathum Thanee January 2011
First International Retreat of the decade!
Friday January 7th – Sunday January 9th, 2011
YBAT International Vipassana Retreat
At the new purpose-built Retreat Centre
(not far from Don Muang Airport)
Vipassana (Insight) Meditation weekend Thai style, for International meditators, with clear instructions, and a systematic approach at YBAT – one of Thailand’s most active meditation organisations. If you have been thinking to rekindle your meditation practise, or just find out what meditation is all about, this is a sharp but gentle jumpstart to taking control of the stresses of the mind, and delving deeper into the mind than is practical in day to day life.
The YBAT retreats in Jan 2009 and Jan 2010 were fun and insightful. There was a particularly good atmosphere amongst the participants and staff. The air is cool, and the centre spacious and in a beautiful setting. So we will be doing it again this year. There is no fixed charge for the weekend, but participants are encouraged to donate for the costs of facilities, food and staff. The facility holds around 50 people, and there is ample space in the big Dhamma hall and gardens for sitting and walking meditation.
YBAT (In Thai – ‘Yuwaphut’)
|YBAT is a well reputed Thai organisation that brings Vipassana meditation to regular to people. Their primary centre is in Thonburi, but has been extended to three more locations, as well as expanding the Thonburi premises with facilities that can sleep hundreds+ for meditation retreats. Their activities run year long, with many thousands of retreatants passing through on retreats ranging from an afternoon, to several weeks long. Almost all retreats are conducted in Thai however.|
This January YBAT II, the beautiful new facility out past the old Don Muang Airport, will host an international retreat for English speakers, with British Bhikkhu of 14 years Phra Cittasamvaro. Meditation style will be Samatha/Vipassana. We will do some straightforward concentration meditation practise – a technique that is incredibly useful, and yet often overlooked in modern meditation schools. Following that will be Samatha-Vipassana, which is the way to blend both insight and concentration. Lastly will be pure mindfulness practise. Different characters suit different styles of meditation … so all these tools and methods are offered for you to take and use as your time/situation/character is able.
Both sitting and walking meditation will be developed in an easy going schedule. Lots of clear instruction will be given, making it suitable for beginners. More experienced meditators are free to practise in the style they are accustomed to during group meditation sitting and walking periods.
The retreat begins 8:30 am on Friday 7th, and finishes 3:30 pm on Sunday 9th.
All participants are asked to attend the whole retreat – in order not to disrupt the proceedings, so please be sure you can attend the whole period, without late arrivals or early departing.
Two meals are served: in the early morning, and at 11am (emphasis on vegetarian choice), with hot and cold drinks at various intervals. Retreatants are asked to follow the basic 8 precepts as a code of conduct while in the Centre, and to put aside the distractions of mobile phones and computers for the duration. Some light food can be served in the evening if specially requested, though everyone is encouraged to stick to the ‘morning hours only’ diet that is common in meditation centres (a bit of renunciation practise around food is always a good thing).
Following the YBAT style retreat system, we will be in silence throughout the weekend. If you have not done a silent retreat before, it is an effective way to practise – your attention gets easily focussed internally when you are not talking.
Daily schedule will vary between group sitting/walking meditation, meals, Dhamma talks, some typical Thai-style chanting and meditation instructions, with time available for Q&A. Sat &Sun will be early rising to make use of the cool and quiet pre-dawn period, which is considered auspicious.
Regular meditators will be familiar with the kind of schedule. Beginners need not worry – in the context of the retreat, there should be no problems with the schedule and pattern of activities. YBAT has been running retreats for many years, and have picked out the most appropriate approach.
What to Bring
Generally you won’t need to take much along. If you have a favourite meditation cushion that might help. Most other things will be provided at the Centre. Food is always plentiful, with good choice. Be sure to bring a bath towel, and a jumper/light blanket or two as it can be rather nippy in the mornings.
Participants are asked to attend the full retreat. Finishing time will be 3:30pm Sunday 9th.
The whole retreat will be conducted in English only. (Thais can use Thai in Q&A sessions if necessary).
The retreat is organised by YBAT as part of their ongoing efforts to bring Vipassana to the International community, both of Thais (who mostly study abroad) and Westerners. To make things easier you can register via littlebang, or else you can contact YBAT directly in Thai.
To register through Littlebang in English please give the following information in the form below:
- Name/Nationality/ and state if you are male/female (so we can arrange the rooms accordingly)
- Roughly are you a beginner/medium/advanced in Meditation experience?
- Have you attended a YBAT retreat before or some other Thai-style meditation retreat?
- Where did you hear about this retreat?
YBAT II Centre in Pathumthani can be contacted in Thai:
at tel: 02-986-6404 and press 112
or fax: 02-986-6404 and press 111.
YBAT 2 (Sakaa Pathumthani)
19 Moo 16, Tambon Klong 3, Ampur Klong Luang,
Changwat Pathumthani, Bangkok 12120
email (in thai) email@example.com
Website (in Thai) http://www.ybat.org/index2.htm
We will privately rent a mini-van to leave from Bangkok for those who don’t know the way or don’t drive. Van cost should be about 200 baht per person
YBAT II is about 30 km north of Don Muang Airport. The nearest landmark is Wat Dhammakaya – from there it is easy to find your way. Should be about 350-400 baht in a taxi from Bangkok. All my maps have North at the top! Click on the pictures for larger view
The map below has North to the RIGHT HAND SIDE
The map above from YBAT can be printed and given to the taxi driver. It is fiarly high resolution so give it a minute to download. The clearest route is to go to WAt Dhammakaya and then take the road alongside the canal. Note that North is to the RIGHT hand side.