OF NAME :
mind forest monastery"
Kroeng Kra Wia, Tambon Prang Phea, Ampher Sangkhla Buri, Kanchanaburi
302 km northwest of Bangkok. Take a train (from Bangkok Noi Station)
or bus (from Southern or Southern AC bus terminals) west 128 km to
Kanchanaburi, then hop on a bus or minibus bound for Sangkhla Buri;
ask to be let off at the monastery, which is 174 km from Kanchanaburi
and 42 km before Sangkhla Buri, between KM posts 32 and 33 on Hwy.
323. The monastery is just east of the highway.
Anapanasati and metta.
talks by senior monks. Tapes of Phra Ajahn Yantra are often played
during the evening meditation period. He and other senior monks will
monks. The teacher travels extensively and may be gone most of the
time. He is highly respected for his metta and skill at teaching meditation.
People also look up to him as a good example of how one can be happy
despite life's difficulties.
few other monks can speak some English.
monastery covers 280 rai (112 acres) in a beautiful forested valley
enclosed by steep mountains. This karst area has many sinkholes, caves,
and strange-shaped rocks. Phra Ajahn Yantra discovered the site while
on tudong, then founded the monastery in 1984. A small river flows
through the valley, separating the women's and sangha areas. On entering
the monastery, you'll pass the women's area on the right, then cross
a bridge to the sangha area; monks greet visitors at a small sala
just past road's end. Except on wan phra , the rest of the
sangha area is normally closed to nonresidents. Phra Ajahn Yantra's
kuti is perched highatop a rock pinnacle; ask if you can visit. Caves
near the monastery can be used for meditation.
nuns: about 30
| 3:30 a.m. wakeup;
4-6 a.m. chanting and meditation;
about 6 a.m. monks and novices go on a long 6-km pindabat;
8:30 a.m. monks and novices go on a second pindabat within the monastery;
9 a.m. chanting (reflection on food) and meditation for about 30 min.,
followed by the meal;
3 p.m. work period;
about 4 p.m. drink;
6-8 p.m. chanting (about one hour) and meditation;
8 p.m. sometimes a senior monk gives a talk.
of good quality and variety. Monks and novices go on pindabat for
rice; laypeople at the monastery reoffer the rice and offer food prepared
in the kitchen. A large garden beyond the women's kutis provides much
of the community's requirements. Unusual for Thailand, the monastery
and its branches take only vegetarian food as part of a metta practice.
kutis of various sizes and materials in both the sangha and womens
areas; some have screens. When many visitors are expected, as during
the Rains Retreat and when Phra Ajahn Yantra stays, simple bamboo
kutis are built. Laypeople can stay in kutis, if available. Laymen
who follow 8 precepts can stay in the sangha area. Only larger buildings
have electricity and running water. Thai-style bathrooms (men can
also use a bathing stream in the sangha area); Asian-style toilets.
IN ADVANCE? :
necessary. Expect crowded conditions during the Rains Retreat and
when Phra Ajahn Yantra is in residence; it's a good idea to visit
a month or more ahead of these times to arrange accommodation. Groups
should write in advance any time.
exists here, so it's important to use netting and insect repellent.
A small library has some English books. Laypeople who follow 8 precepts
wear white clothing. The monastery welcomes all traditions of Buddhist
monks and laypeople. Visiting monks who follow strict Vinaya can sit
with resident monks for eating and daily chantings.
Residents follow a strict forest tradition
practice. Nearly all monks go on tudong after the Rains Retreat ends;some
monks make a resolution to travel only by foot for a certain time.
Populations at this monastery and its branches fluctuate greatly because
of the tudong practice.
Branch monasteries offer excellent conditions
for meditation practice too; they can usually accommodate small
numbers of visitors. Some English may be spoken at Tham Wua and Wat
KOW KAEW SUNNATARAM on an island in
nearby Khao Laem Reservoir offers much solitude; first ask permission
to stay from the main monastery.
In northwestern Thailand, THAM WUA SUNNATA
has caves and a spectacular setting beneath sheer limestone cliffs;
it's located about 45 km north of Mae Hong Son, then 1.5 km in by
dirt road or trail (Ban Mae Su Ya, Tambon Huai Pha, Amphoe Muang,
Mae Hong Son 58000).
In eastern Thailand, WAT SAB-CHAN (SUNNATARAM)
lies in a valley surrounded by fruit orchards and forested hills 27
km west of Chanthaburi, then 2 km in by road (Tambon Na Yai Arm, Amphoe
Tha Mai, Chanthaburi 22160).
In central Thailand, DHAMMALEELA MEDITATION
CENTER is surrounded by a golf course 40 km northeast of Bangkok (Klong
14 Rangsit, Tambon Bang Pla Kot, Amphoe Ongkharak, Nakhon Nayok 26120).