Meditation in Thailand is an important practice for a growing number of people seeking to cultivate mindfulness and a positive outlook. The practice is centered around the Buddhist philosophy of mindfulness, which focuses on paying attention to the present moment in order to experience greater peace and well-being.
Several dharma centers offer meditation retreats in Bangkok, and other locations throughout the country. A number of these are affiliated with a full-fledged monastic community and provide instruction from resident abbots or nuns who speak English.
Wat Sanghathan is a favorite among tourists and those who wish to arrange their own self-retreat with the help of the English-speaking abbot, Ajahn Sanong Katapunyo. This center, located in a quiet suburb of Bangkok about an hour’s drive from central Bangkok, offers seven-day retreats beginning the first Saturday of each month.
The meditation sessions are led by Pandit Bhikkhu, who has a down-to-earth approach and a friendly and informal manner that attracts both beginners and experienced meditators. Participants arrive early for tea and coffee, then sit down to meditate followed by a talk and open discussion.
Ban Sawangjai is another meditation center that hosts seven-day retreats in the mountains of Khao Yai in northeastern Thailand, about two and a half hours from Bangkok. In addition to the meditation practice, visitors can take advantage of the monastery’s traditional herbal sauna.
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