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
 INTRODUCTION

GOING FOR REFUGE

  While visiting or living at a Thai wat, you'll soon become familiar with   the Pali intonation of the Three Refuges.
  
  Buddham saranam gacchami      (I go to the Buddha for refuge)
  Dhammam saranam gacchami   (I go to the Dhamma for refuge)
  Sangham saranam gacchami   (I go to the Sangha for refuge)
  
  In going for refuge, we seek safety and stability in a changing and   unpredictable world. We can reflect on the meanings of each phrase,   then use them to guide our lives. When we take refuge in the Buddha,   we have faith both in the historical Gotama Buddha's enlightenment   and in his qualities of supreme wisdom and compassion that we can   aspire to. Refuge in the Dhamma, the ultimate truth or reality, invites us   to turn the mind to experience the here and now, the way things are.   Refuge in the Sangha refers to a group of people which lives with high standards of conduct in bodily action and speech; the group can refer   to the "Awakened Ones," the order of Buddhist monks, or all the   people who are following the Buddha's path to liberation. We take   refuge in the virtues of generosity, kindness, compassion, goodness,   and let go of those thoughts which lead to harm.
  
 TAKING THE PRECEPTS

  The Buddha's path to liberation begins from a foundation of moral   discipline (sila). Taking care of our actions through restraint allows the   mind to readily develop concentration and wisdom. A basic moral   discipline also brings happiness, self-confidence, and self- respect.

    Five precepts -- guidelines to good conduct -- can be undertaken by   everyone: (1) Refraining from taking life; (2) Refraining from taking   what is not given; (3) Refraining from sexual misconduct; (4) Refraining   from false or harmful speech; and (5) Refraining from intoxicants. As   with other teachings of the Buddha, the precepts invite reflection,   wisdom, and compassion in their application. The precepts provide a   standard of behavior that has great power. Standing by the precepts   prevents the harmful actions and speech that might otherwise occur   when strong feelings of hate, greed, or sexual desire beset the mind.

     Laypeople visiting a wat on wan phra (full-, new-, and half-moon   days) or anytime for meditation may choose to observe 8 precepts;   these include the 5 precepts (#3 changes to refraining from any sexual   activity) with (6) Refraining from eating solid food after mid-day;
  (7) Refraining from dancing, singing, music and shows, garlands,   perfumes, cosmetics, and adornments; and (8) Refraining from   luxurious and high seats and beds. The 8 precepts may at first appear   difficult, but in a monastic environment they help direct one's mind   toward spiritual development.

   HELPFUL HINTS ON USING THE LISTINGS
 

  Names and addresses have been written in Thai script as well as   English for this edition. [NOTE: the Thai script is not available in the   online edition] The Thai will help convey your destination to bus,   songtaew, and taxi drivers. Many characters of the Thai alphabet   have no precise English equivalent; if you can read or have someone   pronounce the names in Thai, you'll know how to say them correctly.
  
    Thailand has 76 provinces (jangwat), which are divided into districts   (amper or amphoe), and subdivided into precincts (tambon or   tambol). The word ban means "village." If you see amper muang in an address, that means it's in the capital district of that province   (provinces take the same name as their capital).

     Many wats and meditation centres in Thailand have telephones, but you're not likely to get someone who speaks English; try to have a Thai friend call for you if you don't speak Thai. Telephone area   codes, in parentheses, are used only if calling from another area   code.

     Some wats and centres, as noted in the "Write in Advance?" section,   prefer that you write ahead with your plans to visit; but even if not   required, an advance letter will always be appreciated.

 

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