Wat Thaton International Meditation Centre

Posted on September 22, 2009

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Will you be travelling through Thailand, Summer 2010?

Visit Wat Thaton and the International Meditation Centre where you can practice Vipassana meditation for 7-10 days under the direction of Phra Ratha Panyavudho!

The Wat Thaton International Meditation Centre opens up during the Rainy Season period in Thailand. This coincides with the “Buddhist Lent” season (I think), and many monastics reside in one place to deepen in their studies, meditation and practice.

This past summer, I visited Wat Thaton, about 3 hours north of Chiang Mai city in Thailand, to participate in a 7 day Vipassana retreat experience. It was a memorable, valuable and enriching time. Upon receiving approval to participate as a retreatant, I practiced for most of the day “sitting and walking” and “observing” myself. That’s it! But, if you’ve ever been in retreat, you know this is only the beginning! When dem thangs starts to come up, that’s when the rrrrreal retreat begins! I was housed in a “kuti” (little hut with bathroom) and spent the morning, day, afternoon and night practicing in a large meditation hall. (See picture above.)

Ratha was a well-attuned, friendly guide and kind host to us farang retreatants. He shared with us his own experiences and encouraged us to actively explore and fearlessly inquire into the nature of our experiences, thoughts and habits. Observing and watching our own reactions, moment to moment, gave me a great deal of “stuff” from which to continue to practice with…

How fortunate to travel so far away, seemingly, and in the middle of some beautiful “nowhere” place in Thailand (no where because I didn’t really know where I was!?) and to meet the fruit of sangha, of community here at this meditation centre with like-minded friends also exploring the roots of our shared Humanity.

Upon finishing the retreat, I was at Chatuchak Market looking for luggage, and I “unexpectedly” ran across one of my fellow retreatants  — of all people, of all places!

The visit to Wat Thaton was a week break from my wanderings around S+E Asia and from constantly moving from one place to another.  And how lucky I was to be able to “vacation” differently in finding Wat Thaton.

Thanks Ratha!  Hope to be able to cross paths with you again there in S+E Asia, or here in the US!

May I have the good karma to retreat again in this way!

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