Below are some of the other groups in Thailand offering retreats. Their policies and prices differ, so look into it carefully!
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.
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/
Mae Chee’s retreat schedule is posted up here
Dipabhāvan Meditation center on Koh Samui runs regular retreats, currently from 7-10 and 20-27 of each month. The website is quite comprehensive.
See some photos and an account of it here
This center is apparently undergoing some changes of management … check into it well
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!
June 2016 there is a Jungle Yoga retreat with Steven Smith.
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:
My name is Kyle from the USA and living in BKK, Thailand. Currently, I am beginning my studies at Mahidol University International College. Although I will be minoring in the Thai language, my understanding of the language currently is low. Now that I am relatively well situated in Thailand I am looking for a temple best suitable for me to learn dhamma and go on an occasional meditation retreats. Wat Bhaddanta seems to be a suitable candidate for my current needs(basic english instructions). My schedule currently would leave me with long weekends. Maybe between trimester I could stay for even longer periods. I would have a thai friend willing to call in before my initial arrival. Is there any other advice you could share with me?
Only that you keep an eye on this website for more activities and retreats. Also, try a few different temples as listed on the PDF on this webpage.
Achan will like to join in fer the week end retreat with Grahame and the 1 day retreat at mai kaidee
Pop House Pathumthani – A Review
This retreat venue is very easy to get to and well worth visiting. Set at the end of a long soi in a beautiful garden with the cleanest canals I’ve seen in Thailand, it is a perfect location for a retreat, or even a day out if you are short of time and in need of reconnecting with nature.
The retreats run from Tuesdays to Thursdays but you will be invited to arrive the night before. I enjoyed the retreat so much I stayed on till Sunday, the centre is open every day.
The programme is flexible and suitable for anyone who may find a stay in a temple a bit too arduous, on our first full day we spent the afternoon vising the nearby temple and even had time for a massage.
The accommodation is much better than the website suggests, I had a large, light en suite room to myself, a comfortable bed with a balcony and a great view.
The multi lingual staff were very helpful and anxious to make sure our stay was both a comfortable and rewarding experience. The food well exceeded expectations, both in quality and quantity, a different meal was served every day, on the decking overlooking the canal.
Meditation sessions and talks with the monks took place in the modern air conditioned purpose built room, a covered deck area and a tree house!
Thank you so much for all of this information. I am very interested in visiting Wat Songdhamma Kalyani but am having trouble finding more information. The link for the DETAILS section on your page seems to be dead. Are you able to reattach this link? Or could you direct me to their website? I am trying to figure out when they offer the 3-day retreats.
I have just also discovered this site. I moved to Bangkok a couple of days ago and I am just writing to thank you so much for all the information in here. I really, really appreciate it.
Hope to join the Saturday’s talks too 🙂
Sawadee khap —
Would like to add/change information about “Wat Kow Tham” – Khao Tham Insight Meditation Center.
Yes, definitely, “This center is apparently undergoing some changes of management … check into it well”.
The new teacher mentioned in the post moved on after two years, and the teacher now is Phra Marut from Suan Mokkh.
The website link should be https://www.kowthamcenter.org, and there is a Twitter at https://twitter.com/kowthamcenter
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