(A last minute cancellation has opened up a space in the ladies building. Enter details below, or call 085 060 7386 to take it)
The Beach Getaway Retreat
March 21-24 we will be going for a weekend of quiet, meditation, and sand – on a quiet beach, Rayong province. (Thrs eve/Friday/Saturday/Sunday).
Cost will be 3,300 baht, including transport from and back to Bangkok, meals and accommodation. There are a total of 24 spaces available.
The retreat is organised, and will be managed/assisted by Pandit Bhikkhu, while the dhamma and meditation teaching will be led by our guest teacher Jeff Oliver
Leading the Retreat
Australian national, Jeff Oliver is one of our most regular and well known guest speakers who has given talks for us in Bangkok many times. His dhamma is always concise, and his speaking and teaching skills well honed after many years teaching dharma and meditation in a variety of countries. Especially he has been instrumental in taking Dharma to Turkey. Currently he lives in Australia, but spends much of his time on the road in Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand, Burma and other places.
Formerly a Buddhist monk for 8 years in the Burmese lineage of Sayadaw U Janaka, his style emphasis mindfulness of mind states (cittanupassana) in a similar vein to one of his more recent teachers Sayadaw U Tejaniaya.
We will be at 4 very pleasant houses, located in a gated community on a quiet beach on the South coast of Rayong province. It is about 2.5 hours from Bangkok. There will be plenty of space. There are a variety of rooms in the different houses. Some are air-con, some have beds, some have sleeping mattresses – i.e. conditions vary. We don’t have an exact plan of the many rooms so cannot guarantee anything, except that the houses are very pleasant, clean, equipped with necessities, and that we are very fortunate the owners have given us permission to use their private houses for the purpose of a meditation retreat.
Sorry – we can’t give private rooms. We won’t be crowded though. And sharing is good for mindfulness – monks usually share for several years when they ordain for this reason!
The beach air is very fresh, and will be cool in the evening. You’ll have chance for a swim too, and some beach time.
We will be experimenting with an easy going schedule and retreat style. While most Vipassana retreats are boot-camp style with relentless sitting/walking meditation in silence, here we will be trying out a more relaxed pace. This is more restful, and easier on the limbs than many other retreats, though not so productive of strong concentration experience. Thus it is better if you have some prior experience with proper mindfulness retreats, but if you are a beginner, you are welcome to join, and the teacher will spend some extra time with you.
Schedule below is more or less what we will be aiming for.
Thursday 21st March
- Meet at Baan Aree (map below) near Ari BTS station at 4:30pm
- Leave for Rayong 5:15pm sharp.
- Arrive Destination by 8:00 pm
- Evening meditation and Dhamma Talk 9:00 pm
Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd
- Morning meeting 6:00 am
- Breakfast 8 (ish)
- Meditation instructions and sitting/walking10-12:00
- Lunch (somewhere nearby)
- Afternoon meditation sitting/walking Q&A 3:30-6pm
- Light Food
- Evening Meditation and Dhamma Talk 7:30-9:30
- Morning meeting 6:00 am
- Breakfast 8 (ish)
- Wrap-up Dhamma Talk and meditaion 10-12:00
- Lunch 12-12:40
- Clean up and leave houses by 1:30pm.
- Drop off at Ploen Chit BTS and Asoke MRT only.
We aim to be back in Bangkok before 5 pm, with a drop off point at one of the BTS stations, and an Underground station (to be determined which ones).
Vipassana meditation aims to cultivate strong body/mind awareness in the present moment. The benefits and other descriptions are well described on thousands of websites. For beginners there will be chance to get close instruction and help. Experienced Yogis can continue with their own silent meditation practise, but we ask that everyone join in the group activities, and maintain the group harmony. If you practise yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Kong etc. please do so inbetween our group meetings, during the private time. Friday/Saturday will be spent in silence, to help aid inward contemplation.
The cost will be 3,300 baht per person, which should include everything, with something left over. Since this is a new venue for us, please give a bit of leeway and co-operation though. We have not quite worked out where we’ll be eating or how much it will cost. But we are pretty confident the charge above will cover all expenses.
Should you book and not turn up on the day, can we ask that you still pay 1000 baht for the mini-van costs since your place in the van will have been booked and has to be paid for.
Please don’t bring large or hard-case bags. You only need light simple clothes. Bags will be stowed under your seat or on laps, so soft cloth bags are best. The mini-vans we use don’t have storage space at the rear, so all bags must be stowed around your seat.
We will take meditation mats. You might like to bring a light sleeping bag so that we are not inconveniencing the house owners, or a light sheet. But anyway, there will be blankets available at the venue.
We can’t cater to special diets – food will be western style breakfasts of bread n’spread, meusli etc.. and lunch will be Thai food, mostly vegetarian. Some fish dishes will be available if desired. In the evening we will serve a light meal for those who need it – the usual monastic diet however is to skip the meal in the evening as it helps to keep your body and mind light, and maintains discipline around your eating. If this is too tough for you, be welcome to take the light evening food.
You might bring a small torch, mosquito spray, any medicines you might need.
You can also bring fruit, snacks/cakes etc to offer to the group if you like – it is always a good boost to start Dharma practise with some kind of giving to the group.
Details etc.. change, so be sure to re-read this page closer to the time for more suggestions, and to see any changes that have been made.
One of the houses will be blasted by beach party noise from 3-10pm on Saturday evening. There’s nothing we can do about this, except be grateful for the very tranquil and idyllic surrounding the rest of the time. Most of the noisy period will be spent on the quieter side of the estate in the house we will be using for meditation meetings.
We will meet at Baan Aree, which is close to Ari BTS station, at 4:30pm . Get your own evening meal there (they have excellent cheap food).
Please be certain that you wish to join the retreat – always so many people book, and then mysteriously fall ill on the day! It makes it extremely difficult to arrange these kind of events. So please be certain you will definitely be joining. Should you cancel, please help us by paying 1000 baht for the mini-van charge (since we will have reserved you a seat).
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