MEANING OF NAME : "Temple of the great element" (refers to a famouscopper pagoda)
ALSO SPELLED : Wat Mahadhatu
ADDRESS : Tha-Phrachan, Bangkok 10200
DIRECTIONS : Located west of Sanam Luang (parade grounds) and south of the National Museum and Thammasat University.
Mainentrances are on the west side from Maharaj Road. Manycity buses pass by
0-2222-6011 (Section 5)
0-2222-4981 (Section 5 secretary)
0-2222-2835 (Dhamma Vicaya Hall)
MEDITATION SYSTEM :
Vipassana using techniques similar to those taught byMahasi Sayadaw. Based on Four Foundations ofMindfulness described in the Maha Satipatthana Sutta. Concentrationis developed on the rise and fall of the abdomen, then awareness is directed to physical and mental sensations.
TEACHING METHOD :
Individual daily interviews. Weekly lectures in Thai (usually on Sundays).
Most meditation instruction and practice takes place in Section 5.
Teachers and some assistants in Section 5 can speak a little English, though instruction is normally given in Thai.
If no one speaks English when you visit, ask at the Dhamma Vicaya Hall.
Large, busy temple of 50 rai (20 acres). Founded in the18th century, Wat MahaThat serves as an important center for Thai Buddhism. Many of the monks attend Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University here. Crowds of worshippers visit the various viharns, shrines, chedis, and Buddha images on the grounds. Monks in the Dhamma Vicaya Hall sometimes speak English and can answer questions; scheduled talks are given here. Meditation takes place in Section 5; you're welcome to join in on the group sitting and walking sessions.
Monks 300-400 (one of the largest populations in Thailand during the Rains Retreat) (30-50 monks in Section 5)
Novices 50-70 (about 10 in Section 5)
Nuns 10-12 (about 8 in Section 5)
Laypeople about 550 (30-40 in Section 5)
DAILY ROUTINE :
In Section 5 630 a.m. breakfast; 7-11 a.m. morning chanting (about 30 min.) and sitting and walking group meditation; 1130 a.m. lunch; 1-4 p.m. sitting and walking group meditation; 4 p.m. drinks; 6-8 or 9 p.m. evening chanting (about one hour) and sitting and walking group meditation.
Good quality and variety. A simple breakfast in early morning, then the main meal in late morning; drinks are served in the afternoon. Meditators can alsoarrange for food, including vegetarian, to be delivered from shops.
Laypeople usually stay in dormitories, separate for men and women; conditions tend to be crowded. Monks,novices, and some laymen have individual rooms.
Electricity and running water. Bathing is from jars or showers; Asian-style toilets.
WRITE IN ADVANCE? :
OTHER INFORMATION :
Laypeople follow 8 precepts and normally wear white clothing.
Mahachulalongkorn Buddhist University Bookstore, facing the street on the north side of the wat, has some English books on Buddhism; other Buddhist bookstores are on the same street.