Charoenchai and his wife "Kanjana" donated the land in 1963
for an aram (wat).
in Jomtien Beach, 5 km south of Pattaya. From Bangkok, take a bus
from the Eastern (Ekamai) Bus Terminal to Sattahip and get off at
Wat Boonkan janaram, just past KM post 150, then walk down Wat Boon
Road alongside the wat; entrance to the meditation center is a short
way beyond the wat grounds. If you take a bus to Pattaya, hire a song
taew to the center.
Vipassana, based on the Four Foundations
of Mindfulness using techniques taught by Ajahn Naeb. Unlike other
vipassana systems that begin with mindfulness of breathing, the
method taught here proceeds directly to mindfulness of the Four
Foundations (satipatthana ) body (kaya ), feeling
( vedana ), mind ( citta ), or mind object ( dhamma ). The body ( kaya ) makes the best object to start with
for nearly all people because of its gross, easily observed qualities.
The meditator applies steady mindfulness to his body in the 4 basic
positions of sitting, standing, walking, and lying and in the minor
positions. The purpose of the meditation is to destroy wrong views
about self, eliminate liking and disliking, realize the Four Noble
Truths, and end suffering. When pain is noticed, the position is
changed and the pain is followed into the next position. As practice
becomes more proficient, the Three Characteristics of impermanence
(anicca ), suffering ( dukkha ), and not self ( anatta ) will become more evident. Rupa and nama (material
and mental factors) are seen as impermanent because they cannot
stay the same. Rupa and nama are seen as suffering because the position
is suffering. Rupa and nama are seen as not self, because whatever
is impermanent and suffering is without self. As practice deepens
it is seen with insight that rupa and nama are not self, not "me."
This wisdom can have a very strong effect. When the Three Characteristics
are seen in rupa and nama, wisdom is going to feel disenchantment
with rupa and nama. This is the path to realize nibbana according
to the meditation system. Before one begins practice, one must understand
some theory. This requires more study than most meditation techniques.
The meditation system taught her also has a reputation for being
more difficult than breathing-based systems.
with teacher.A single beginning student would be taught alone; if
more than one beginner is at the center, they would be grouped together.
Beginners usually have daily interviews at first, then less often
as determined by the teacher. Although instructions are in book form,
it is considered valuable to have a "good friend" or teacher.
Chua Jantrupon (Thai; age 86) assisted by Miss Vitoon Voravises (translator)
and Frank Tullius (a longtime American practitioner at the center).
translation is available (the teacher does not speak much English).
Frank Tullius also can provide instruction and advice. The book Vipassana
Bhavana , published by the center, has detailed information on
theory, practice, and result of the meditation system used here; the
book is sold at the center (by mail order too) and at some bookstores
in Bangkok and Chiang Mai; a French edition is available at the center.
meditation center covers 22 rai (8.5 acres) in an old coconut grove
with grass, bamboo, and a variety of trees. Facilities include 51
kutis, a small temple, a dining area for monks, and a kitchen. The
center operates independently from nearby Wat Boonkanjanaram for the
novices occasionally a few
except for meals and interviews. Practice schedule is left up to meditator.
quality and variety; vegetarian is available on request. Food is brought
to kutis at 7 a.m., 11 a.m., and 5 p.m. (people on 8 or more precepts
just take the morning meals); an afternoon drink is offered too. Monks
and novices go on pindabat. Normally everyone eats mindfully at their
kuti; monks and novices sometimes eat as a group when food is specially
kutis with screens, fans, electricity, porches, and Thai-style bathrooms
(some have western-style toilets) with running water. Moderately well
IN ADVANCE? :
needed in order to arrange accommodations.
Naeb (1897-1983), a Thai laywoman, had a deep experience of no self
at the age of 34. She then sought out someone who could teach her vipassana-kammathana. She practiced under the Burmese monk
Pathunta U Vilasa and realized nibbana. She then turned her attention
to study of abhidhamma and became an expert on Buddhist philosophy.
For 40 years she taught vipassana at many centers, including Boonkanjanaram.
No group practice is offered. Meditators must be highly self-reliant
and motivated to practice successfully. They are advised to keep noble
silence with each other and abstain from reading (other than about
practice) and listening to the radio. Two weeks is the recommended
minimum stay. Six other centers in Thailand teach the same meditation
system, though usually only in Thai. A 50 baht (US $2) daily charge
is made for running expenses.