Announcement for a Weekend meditation retreat, close to Bangkok on the Rayong beach – for mindfulness meditation and vipassana in the Buddhist meditation tradition:
The Beach Getaway Retreat
January 11/12/13 we will be going for a weekend of quiet, meditation, and sand – on a quiet beach, Rayong province. (Friday/Saturday/Sunday).
Cost will be 3,300 baht, including transport from and back to Bangkok, meals and accommodation.
The retreat will be led by our guest teacher Grahame White, together with Phra Pandit.
Leading the Retreat
Grahame has been involved in Buddhist meditation practice for over 40 years. He began his study in England in 1969 before being ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in BodhGaya, India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Center outside Sydney. Now, Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Sydney and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in the US. Grahame has been leading and co-teaching retreats with Sayadw U Lakkhana, Steven Smith and Michele McDonald, as well as helping to guide the Hawai’i sangha in its ongoing practice. He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. Grahame returns to Myanmar (Burma) each year in order to deepen his practice and study of the Buddha’s teachings and at times assist in the teaching of Vipassana retreats for foreigners. Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.
While Grahame was getting into meditation, and man was landing on the moon, Phra Pandit was landing in the world. A Bhikkhu for 16 years, he does his best to keep Dhamma in English language available in Bangkok, using his not inconsiderable Photoshop and WordPress skills. Psychology and Faerie Tales are two of his interests – his other interests are probably better not mentioned! Meditation style emphasises using the six senses to model experience, and distinguishing mindfulness from distraction.
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 3.5 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 teachers will spend some extra time with you.
Schedule below is more or less what we will be aiming for.
Friday 11th January
- Meet at Baan Aree (map below) near Ari BTS station at 10:30 am.
- Leave for Rayong 12 noon sharp.
- Arrive Destination by 4 pm
- Eat light meal 6 pm (keep it very light – food does not help meditation, and you need to lose a few pounds anyway!)
- Evening meditation and Dhamma Talk 7:00-9:00 pm
- 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
- Clean up and leave houses by 1pm.
- Late lunch en route back to Bangkok
We aim to be back in Bangkok by 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. Part of 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 big bags. You only need light simple clothes. Bags will be stowed under your seat or on laps, so soft cloth bags are best. 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 will meet at Baan Aree, which is close to Ari BTS station, at 10:30 am. Get your own lunch there (they have excellent cheap food). We’ll leave promptly at 12:00 since the place fills vary rapidly at midday with all the office workers.
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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Some pictures from the retreat – for full album from the Rayong Beach meditation retreat is here