Weekend Satipatthana Retreat
with Caru Dassini – from Myanmar
Friday 28 Nov – Sunday 30 Nov
at a retreat centre close to Bangkok, on the Chao Praya River
Last chance to book in Tuesday 25th Nov.
We’re returning for a weekend of quiet, meditation, right on the Chao Praya river in Pathum Thanee.
This time round we will meet at Baan Aree on the Friday evening, and head up to the centre at 6:30pm. It takes only about an hour to get there. The centre is spacious, with a huge dhamma hall. There are riverside vistas from every balcony. In late November the weather should be ideal too.
Our visiting teacher this time is Sayalai (Ajahn) Caru Dassini. She is very focussed and a clear and precise meditation instructor. Emphasis will be on actual, practical meditation rather than dharma talks or theory.
It is really nice to invite a qualified and effective female teacher – it gives the meditation a different perspective and dynamic!
Cost will be 3500 baht including all expenses of transport, food, accommodation and teacher air fare and donation.
If the cost is difficult we’ll arrange a free place for you – we’d really like everyone to join us who has an interest to attend. (Free places have already been filled. Next retreat is January)
Leading the Retreat
Managing and co-ordinating will be Pandit Bhikkhu – a british born Buddhist monk of 17 years and orgainiser of www.littlebang.org (more details and bio here)
Taking the lead on the meditation front will be Caru Dassini is from Myanmar – an ordained nun (Mae Chee) for over 20 years. She led several workshops, talks and a retreat for us in the last couple of years to great effect. Her English is very crisp and clear (especially clear for non-native English speakers). Her focus on actual meditation in the practical sense is much appreciated. She is actually a good Abhidhamma scholar also – well grounded in Buddhism from every angle.
For some 20 years she practised in Panditarama Meditation Centre as a close disciple, translator and assistant for one of the world’s great living meditation masters Sayadaw U Pandita (who was also the teacher of our regular and respected meditation teacher Steven Smith).
Now in her mid 40′s Mae Chee Caru Dassini has been in robes for over 20 years, and so has lots of experience. In the Sayadaw U Pandita lineage there is strong emphasis on mindfulness meditation in strict intensive environments, often lasting 3 months or more.
Sayalai Caru Dassini has excellent English, and is very clear and focussed. We will use this opportunity to focus on the practical direct application of the Mahasi Sayadaw method of mindfulness (Vipassana) meditation practise in the different postures. You will find her a clear and precise guide.
This style of practise uses the ‘Satipatthana Sutta’ as the basis – this is the Foundations of Mindfulness that was taught by the Buddha himself, and remains the cornerstone teaching of Vipassana. There is lots of information on it around the net – google ‘foundations of mindfulness’.
The Retreat Centre can hold up to 100 people – but we expect about 20-30. So there will be plenty of room. There is air-conditioning, but November on the river will be pretty cool already, especially at night.
It is situated on the Chao Praya River in Pathum Thanee about 1 hour from Bangkok. There is a large dharma hall for sitting and walking meditation.
We’ll serve vegetarian food in the canteen.
The accommodation is shared rooms. The rooms are quite large and each has a bathroom, and so there is plenty of space. But we can’t provide single rooms. It’s only 2 nights, so just be mindful!
It is a new venue for us, so we can expect a few unexpected issues to arise. So do be patient and understanding.
Below is a rough timetable
There will be chance for Q&A and interaction with the teacher, dhamma talk, and practical meditation exercises. Rotating postures between sitting, walking, lying meditation, talk, Q&A and free time helps to keep the body from getting fatigued.
Friday 28th November
- Meet at Baan Aree (map below) near Ari BTS station at 6pm
- Have evening meal at Baan Aree Vegetarian food stalls
- Depart 6:45pm sharp
- Arrive Destination around 8:00pm
- Settle into the rooms
- 9-10pm Short orientation and dhamma talk before an early night. Noble Silence begins.
Saturday 29th November
- 5:30am Meditation as Dawn comes up
- Breakfast 7:15 (ish)
- Meditation instructions and sitting/walking 10-12:00
- Lunch (vegetarian)
- Afternoon meditation sitting/walking Q&A 2:30-6pm
- Light Food
- Evening Meditation and Dhamma Talk 7:30-9:30
Sunday 30th November
- 5:30 am Dawn Meditation
- Breakfast 7:30 (ish)
- 10-12:00 Morning session
- Lunch 12-1:00
- Clean up and vacate rooms by 1:30pm.
- 1:30-2:00 Final short meditation and wrap up talk
- 2:15 Leave centre
- 3:30 (ish) Drop off at a BTS station in Bangkok
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 in between our group meetings, during the private time. Some periods will be spent in silence, to help aid inward contemplation.
Food and other things
We will provide breakfast, large lunch, and a light evening meal. This will more than keep you alive and healthy!
We’ll ask you not to eat or snack between these times – self-discipline around eating is one important part of a proper Vipassana retreat experience. In Burmese retreats there is no evening meal at all, and this provides a lightness of the body and mind, as well as gaining insight and discipline into how we look to food and drink as a psychological prop.
For those who need it there will be a light evening single dish.
Similarly we ask that everyone keep to the schedule of the group meetings and free time.
The cost will be 3,500 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.
If you prefer to take your own transport, then the cost is reduced by 1000 baht, to 2,500 baht/person
But we are pretty confident the charge above will cover all expenses, including transport to/from a BTS Station in Bangkok (Leave Ari Station, return probably to Mor Chit), food, accommodation, contribution to teacher air fare. Excess funds will go to the teachers small new meditation centre in Rangoon.
Please be sure you are attending. Spaces are limited and your food and van space will be booked and paid for, so to be fair to the organiser do not book in if you are not certain you will attend. You have up to 3 days before the retreat to cancel – any closer than that and we ask that you pay the full retreat cost (since we already paid your van fare, food etc…)
Please avoid large or hard-case bags. You only need light simple clothes. The mini-vans don’t have a lot of storage space (if full) so please be economical!
We will take meditation mats. You will need to take your own sheet (if that is not practical, for instance if you are touring, let us know and we’ll work something out). You’ll need your own towel, soap and toiletries.
We can’t cater to special diets – breakfast and lunch will be Thai food, mostly vegetarian, served by local caterers (food cost is in covered in the retreat fee). 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.
You might bring a small torch, mosquito spray, any medicines you might need. Please limit yourself to the food provided at the retreat. We’ll keep you alive and healthy.
It’s a great privilege to be offered this venue, so we will clean and tidy after ourselves.
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.
Male and Female will be in separate quarters.
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, and leaves it for the organiser to pay your share of the mini-van and expenses. So please be certain you will definitely be joining.
After submitting the form below you will be emailed a reply within 2 days – if you do not receive the reply please inquire via the CONTACT page here (occasionally the forms don’t get through)
I hope you will be able to join and share in this experience with this meditation teacher who really impresses. It’s great to get the female perspective and approach!