Recommended Meditation Centers in SE Asia for Intensive Meditation

Audio Course Participant’s Question:

“I have been practising vipassana meditation for over a year now and want to delve deeper into it…have you got any places you can recommend for a retreat?”

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Yes, there are two which I can personally recommend:

1.  Wat Prayong Meditation Centre, Thailand.  

Wat Prayong is located about 40 minutes out of Bangkok in Thailand.  The teacher there, Acharn MC Brigitte Schrottenbacher, is a friend of mine.

She was also trained by my first and most formative teacher, Acharn Thawee Baladhammo, and is now teaching at  Wat Prayong International Meditation Center.

She is a wonderful human being, and totally dedicated to her students.  I have visited Wat  Prayong, and found it an extremely convenient and comfortable place for a Westerner to take silent retreat.  I guarantee you will be well taken care of and Acharn Brigitte’s extensive experience will guide you firmly and accurately.

2.  Kanduboda Meditation Centre, Sri Lanka

The teacher at Kanduboda, the Venerable Pemasiri, is one of the most wonderful men I have met, and a very effective teacher who immediately goes to the heart of every problem one might have with meditation.  He himself has meditated in the forests of Sri Lanka and in the temples of Burma, and is very flexible in whichever method he applies to each person.

The Kanduboda Meditation Center itself is well serviced and in a beautifully forested location.  I was there in 2010 and intend to go back soon.

Now, there are TWO sections to Kanduboda – sort of two temple complexes in one, divided by a wall and I am only acquainted with one – but they both take westerners and from reports, BOTH have extremely effective teachers.  So whether you end up in one or the other, it’s all good.

Please make sure you email or write to these places BEFORE you arrive, to ask for permission to practice there, because sometimes, depending on the time of year, both Meditation Centres are full.

Just click on the linked headings above to go to their sites.

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There are other Meditation Centre’s and temples that take Westerners, but I think these two are the best, particularly if you are just beginning.

For anyone contemplating taking silent retreat, try to make it at least a month, if not more, because it takes a bit of time for the mind and body to adjust to the new environment, not to mention the meditation itself.

Please, do not hesitate to step into this particular unknown … you only have one life, and at the very least this will be an extraordinary adventure of the mind and spirit – and at best, it will change your life.

LEAVE A REPLY

4 thoughts on “Recommended Meditation Centers in SE Asia for Intensive Meditation

  1. Leo Tregar on said:

    Hi Rogero
    I’m thinking of going to the meditation center where you first went. Sorn Thawee Meditation Centre. I looked it up on Google and its still listed as a place to go for meditators, so I’m wondering why you didn’t mention it in your post?
    Leo

    • Hi Leo,
      Unfortunately, after Acharn Thawee died in 1996, the monks and nuns of Sorn Thawee closed out Westerners from the meditation Centre, so other than a brief visit, I have not been back. In hindsight it was understandable, as a lot of the westerners who came there were not mindful of Thai sensibilities, or Theravada customs – also, there was a problem with drugs at one point, so unfortunately, the famous Thai patience was worn out.
      Try Wat Prayong, the Thai temple I mentioned … Brigitte is there and she will take care of you.
      cheers
      Roger

  2. Michelle on said:

    Hi Rogero,

    Lately I just found the book ‘Practicing insight on your own’ by Acharn Thawee, and very impressed by his practice and knowledge. Just wonder do you still have any news regarding Sorn Thawee Centre, is the monks there still practicing the method thaught by Acharn ? Do you have the address and phone no of that centre ? I found on the web, there is another book by Acharn ” The development of Purification and Insight” , can I get this book from the centre ? Did Acharn written any other books ?

    • Hi Michelle … sorry it’s taken so long to reply, but we’ve had a death in the family and I’ve been distracted.

      How wonderful you’ve found my old teacher. Unfortunately, Acharn Thawee died in 1996, and after his two assistants, Phra Manfred and Mae Che Brigitte left Sorn Thawee, it crease to be a temple I can recommend. The Thai people had always resisted Acharn Thawee’s dream of creating a meditation center where foreigners could go, and once he died, they became very firm about discouraging anyone but Thai people from going there.

      With regard to finding his book ‘The Development of Purification and Insight’, the only place it’s available that I can find, is Abe Books but they charge so much for this book I would not buy it there … particularly because the original book would have been written and given away for free, so it is quite obscene for this seller to be making money from it.
      As far as monks practicing good meditation in Thailand, it is becoming more and more rare as time passes in Thailand – as the tough old monks die out and wealth and comfort come to Thailand, the old ways and teachers are disappearing – as are the temples where one can go to practice and be taught well.
      I not go to Sri Lanka to take silent retreats … the teachers there are still good, particularly the Venerable Pemisiri, who as far as I know, used to and perhaps still does, teach at Kanduboda Meditation Center … just outside Colombo. But just google Vipassana retreats in Sri Lanka and you’ll find any one of a number of excellent places to practice in Sri Lanka
      The other option, of you’re keen on going to Thailand, is Mae Che Brigitte, one of Acharn Thawee’s assistants … she is still teaching meditation at another temple, and can be found here
      Also, if you want to know more about Brigitte, just click HERE
      All the best
      Roger

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