Below are some of the other groups in Thailand offering retreats. Their policies and prices differ, so look into it carefully!
First up is not a retreat, but a ‘dharma holiday’ … see below for details.
For meditation in Thailand and meditation in Bangkok, there are a number of well known organisations. Through our Little Bangkok Meditation group we sometimes arrange short meditation retreats close to Bangkok. See the front page or Calendar for these.
Following are other meditation organisations you will find around Bangkok and Thailand.
The annual retreat in Myanmar with Steven Smith and other senior teachers is announced
|This January, join Steven Smith, Sayadaw U Pannananda, Ma Vimala, and Jake Davis for a unique 3-week retreat in the Sagaing Hills of Upper Burma.
Filled with centuries-old pagodas, monasteries, and nunneries, the Sagaing hills are regarded as the spiritual heart of Burma and one of the most important practice centers of Theravada Buddhism. Kyaswa Monastery is itself a 600 year old practice and study center that plays a vital role in the health and vibrancy of nearby Wachet village.
Yogis are supported in every way by the heritage of living Dhamma and benefit from a rigorous schedule, individual interviews, carefully prepared food, nightly chanting from local nuns and accommodation in individual kutis nestled along the scenic hillside. This retreat offers a rare opportunity to practice Metta (lovingkindness) and Vipassana (insight) methods with skilled Burmese monastic and Western lay teachers.
In addition, yogis have the opportunity to connect with the local community via our MettaDana aid projects including the Wachet primary school, nearby nunneries, the Jivitadana Sangha Hospital, and our international acupuncture project.
Register now and join us for this amazing experience of a lifetime!
Our good friend and great meditation teacher Mae Chee Brigitte is often leading 7 day meditation retreats, or else accepting visiting foreigners at Wat Prayong. She has a meditation retreat at the beginning of most months when she is in Thailand : http://meditationthailand.com/
Dipabhāvan Meditation center on Koh Samui runs regular retreats, currently from 7-10 and 20-27 of each month. The website is quite comprehensive.
The meditation centre at Wat Kow Tahm, which was run for 30 years by Steve and Rosemary Weissman, is now reopened with a new leader, new website, and a new schedule. Initial feedback suggests this will once again be one of the best places for English language meditation retreats. See their comprehensive website here
New Life Foundation is a great community in Chiang Rai that runs meditation yoga and other related retreats year round. It started as a community for recovering addicts, but these days is really a wholesome and thriving centre for all kinds of people. It is a lovely facility and atmosphere, in the fields of a cool Chiang Rai. The facility and environment are excellent, and very low cost. You can join in as a resident or as a volunteer year round. Retreats are run separately from the main community. WEBSITE HERE
If you would like to try Dhammakaya style meditation there is a regular retreat for foreigners close to Bangkok. See their website here. Dhammakaya is a concentration based practise, rather than the pure mindfulness (vipassana) style meditation that is popular in the current time. Thus you will have a rther different experience than most other retreats. It is good that different systems and lineages are available, and you just have to try them out to see what suits you.
Jungle Yoga – which conducts retreats in floating huts and sala, run some Vipassana courses from time to time in between their regular yoga retreats. WEBSITE IS HERE These retreats are rather costly though, so check into the prices. The countryside and natural environment there is supposed to be incredible!
Wat Tahm Doi Tohn organises continuous retreats through the year. It is in a very pleasant setting not too far from Chiang Mai. Being a Thai temple it is quite rigorous in approach – but don’t be put off! By the end of the retreat you will appreciate the firm structure. We have not had much feedback on retreats there, or how much instruction is given in English, so if you have been please drop us a note via the Contact page so we can let others know what to expect. Weblink : http://vimuttidhamma.org/
Thanyapura Centre in Phuket is an up-market retreat and wellness centre that is home to one of the world’s best known authors on Buddhism, Dr Alan Wallace. Retreats with him and other teachers are offered year round. By Thai standards it is rather expensive, but the facilities are really top standard. WEBSITE HERE
Goenka style Vipassana courses are available in Thailand in several locations. These are vigorous 10 day systematic courses taught by and for lay people. Note that it is a highly specialized school and approach to Buddhism.
Here is the latest updated information on retreats around Asia from 2010. This document was not prepared by Littlebang.org but we understand that it is accurate as far as possible. Covers good places to go for meditation in Thailand, Burma, Laos etc.. Right click the Picture to the left and ‘Save Target As’.
One thing that is very useful – if you go to any of the places in the document, and you find the information has changed in any way – you can send the details back to the webmaster on this site to update the information for the people who come after.
While details at the places listed change, it remains a good guide to foreigner friendly monasteries to try out.
In Nakhon Pathum is Wat Songdhamma Kalyani – the temple of Bhikkhuni Dhammananda – Thailand’s best known Bhikkhuni. All are welcome to visit, and lay-women can stay there and join in the temple activities, or join regular 3 day retreats. Bhikkhuni Dhammananda is a warm and charismatic teacher, and a very well known scholar of Buddhism, and the Bhikkhunis there have experience in various meditation styles. DETAILS.
This year she will give instruction during the 9-day in English but translation will be offered for the Thai candidates. Her main purpose, however, is to give direct training to English speaking candidates. This is to allow her to be able to focus on the guide book for international training in the future.
One foreigner friendly temple close to Bangkok (2 hours by air con tour bus) is Wat Bhaddanta. Even though you will likely need a Thai to phone for you in advance, once you get there it is quite easy to settle in. They have some reasonable individual meditation huts, and apart from the evening Puja (chanting and meditation) there are daily meets with the teacher – usually the abbot. He speaks enough English to impart the gist of meditation, and has a very warm nature. You can pick your own day to go and leave – there are no structured retreats. Link to Website.
In the South of Thailand is Suan Mokh – one of the most famous temples in Thailand. It runs a 10 day retreat most months, with meditation based around mindfulness of breathing. There are always Westerners about, and the temple is open to visits outside of retreat time. The Library is also quite good. Suan Mokh (South Thailand)
Wat Pah Nanachat – International Forest Monastery in North East Thailand. Visitors are expected to write in advance, and adhere to the rigorous monastic code and schedule while there. Wat Pah Nanachat.
Wat Doi Suthep – Chiang Mai . Although famous and right on the tourist trail, this is quite a peaceful temple for a retreat. In the evening the crowds disappear and the breeze picks up, and the mountain is quiet. Meditators adhere to the baisc rules, and can set their own schedule, with a daily meet with the meditation teacher, and some short Dhamma talks. WEBSITE.
Wat Luang Pu Maha Kassapa: If you really want to get off the beaten track there is a temple in central Rayong belonging to Ajahn Wimoak. He speaks English, and the temple is quite spacious, set on a hillside. He’s open to giving short term ordination if someone is experienced and suitable. Better to contact personally via the CONTACT page on this site, and we’ll forward you contact details. It is quite a good place for a sheltered self retreat.
Bangkok resource for dhamma, mindfulness and meditation retreats: