Introduction
Advantage of practice in Thailand
Choosing a Wat or meditation centre
Living on a Wat or meditation centre
Thailand Practicalities
Meditation Techniques
The four noble truths
Going for refuge
Taking the precepts
Helpful hints on using the listings

BANGKOK
Bangkok
Wat Mahatat
Wat Bovornives Vihara
Wat Pak Nam

CENTRAL
Wat Asokaram
Wiwek Asom Vipassana
Sorn-Thawee Meditation Centre
Boonkanjanaram Meditation Centre
Wat Sai Ngam
Sunnataram Forest Monastery

NORTHEASTERN
Wat Wah Poo Kaew
Wat Pah Nanachat
Wat Nong Pah Pong
Wat Pah Wana Potiyahn
Wat Doi Dhamma Chedi
Wat Pah Ban That
Wat Hin Maak Peng

NORTHERN
Wat Umong
Wat Ram Poeng
Tham Thong Meditation Centre
Chom Tong Insight Meditation Center
Wat Thaton
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

SOUTHERN
Suan Mokkh
Wat Kow Tham

 A GUIDE TO MEDITATION CENTRES IN THAILAND
 CENTRAL - WAT ASOKARAM
 
MEANING OF NAME :
"Monastery of no sorrow"
ADDRESS :
Sukumvit Road, Samut Prakan 10280
DIRECTIONS :
Located 32 km south of Bangkok off Hwy. 3. Many city buses in Bangkok (including air-conditioned #7 and 8, and non-air #25, 142, 145) go to Samut Prakan; from here you can take either of 2 local buses or a taxi 6 km farther to the temple.

Some buses between Bangkok's Eastern (Ekamai) Bus Terminal and Chonburi go via Samut Prakan; ask to be let off at Wat Asokaram (between KM 31 and 32 posts on Hwy. 3), then walk or take a samlor about 1 km south. You can see the spires and multi-tiered roof of the viharn from the highway. (People often use the name "Pak Nam" for Samut Prakan.)
TELEPHONE :
0-2395-0003
MEDITATION SYSTEM :

Anapanasati is the main technique taught, though meditators are free to choose their own techniques

TEACHING METHOD :
Discourses are given each evening. (Meditation practice receives much emphasis in the Dhamma talks.) Teachers are available for questions.
TEACHERS :

Ajahn Tong (Phra Khru Suvandhamma chote), abbot (Thai; age 58) Other senior monks assist. Phra Ajahn Bunku Anuvathano (Thai; age 62) speaks good English.

LANGUAGE :
A few monks and nuns can speak English; the abbot does not.
DESCRIPTION :
Rural setting on the coast; 120 rai (50 acres). Many species of birds, some nesting, inhabit the trees on shore and on the tidal flats. Lots of crabs, mud skippers, snakes, and mosquitos live here too. Fairly quiet (except for the birds). Main buildings, such as the viharn  (main hall), ched   (stupa), bot (uposatha hall), women's chanting hall, and kitchen are on the shore; most kutis (huts) sit atop pilings out over the tidal flats. The magnificent viharn contains a large Buddha image, paintings, and carved wooden doors; large group meetings and monks' chanting take place in the main (upper) hall, smaller meetings are held on the middle level, and the monks' eating area is on the lower level.
SIZE :
monks 90-140
novices 10-15
nuns about 130
laymen about 15
laywomen about 60
DAILY ROUTINE :
About 7.15 a.m. pindabat;
8 a.m. the meal;
9.15 a.m.morning chanting;
4 p.m. afternoon chanting;
8-10 p.m.evening chanting, discourse, and meditation.
On wan phra  and day before and after, meditation is also held 3-5 p.m.
FOOD :
Good quality and variety. Monks and novices have one meal in morning; nuns and laypeople eat once or twice in the morning. Monks and novices can go on pindabat inside or outside the temple; the kitchen and supporters supply most food.
ACCOMMODATIONS :
Monks, novices, and laymen stay in kutis on the west side; nuns and laywomen have kutis on the east side.Most kutis have screens and a bathroom with running water (some western-, some Thai-style); all have electricity.
WRITE IN ADVANCE? :
Not necessary. It's good to have a letter of recommendation, however.
OTHER INFORMATION :

A temple built in ancient India by Emporer Asoka inspired the name of Wat Asokaram. Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo (1906-1961), a disciple of Ajahn Mun, founded the temple in 1955. At the request of lay followers, the uncremated remains of Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo have been kept in a coffin in the glassed-in shrine area upstairs in the viharn. A ceremony dedicated to the former abbot attracts many people to the wat on 24-26 April; teachers present discourses on mind training in the Ajahn Mun tradition.
Some of Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo's talks have been published in English and are available here by free distribution.
A small library has some English books.
Two new books in English present wisdom from great teachers of the forest tradition The Autobiography of Phra Ajahn Lee contains incidents from his life that provide both good reading and good lessons; 1992, 190 pages. Awareness Itself The Teachings of Ajaan Fuang Jotiko  contains short, to-the-point advice to guide students past the pitfalls of meditation practice; (Ajaan Fuang helped establish Wat Asokaram and was expected to become abbot after Ajaan Lee's death. Instead, he left and spend the last 15 years of his life at Wat Dhammasathit, a small, out-of-the-way place in the hills near Rayong); 1993, 77 pages. Phra Geoffrey Thanissaro translated and edited both books; they're available for free distribution. Eight precepts and white clothing are recom mended for long-term meditators

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