Meditation is the delicate art of doing nothing and letting go of all the efforts to relax into your true nature which is love, joy and peace. Meditation is that which gives you deep rest. The rest in meditation is deeper than the deepest sleep that you can ever have. When the mind becomes free from agitation, is calm and serene and at peace, meditation happens.
The benefits of meditation are diverse. It is an essential practice for mental hygiene. A calm mind, good concentration, clarity of perception, improvement in communication, blossoming of skills and talents, an unshakable inner strength, healing, the ability to connect to an inner source of energy, relaxation, rejuvenation, and good luck are all natural results of meditating on a regular basis. In today’s world where stress comes faster than the mind can perceive, meditation has become more of a necessity. To be unconditionally happy and to have peace of mind, we need to tap into the power of meditation.
Meditation is now practiced all over the world. However, Thailand is well known for its meditation and Vipassana centers. Among the hundreds of meditation temples in Thailand, a few cater specifically for foreigners by holding meditation sessions and retreats only in English.
Buddhism was introduced into Thailand from Sri Lanka, and currently nearly 95% of the population is Buddhist. Theravada is the predominant school, though beliefs are often mixed with folk religions. Mahayana Buddhism is also practiced in Thailand, though it is mostly confined to Thais of Chinese ancestry.
Since the 60s, many foreigners have trained at monasteries in Thailand and have become monks & permanent visitors. However, there are a few rules that should be observed when visiting a monastery:
- Never sit with the soles of your feet facing a Buddha image or a Buddhist monk. It is considered ill-mannered to sit with them facing an object of respect.
- Women should not touch a Buddhist monk. If a female wishes to make an offering to a monk, she should place it on a table and allow the monk to accept from there.
- Do not climb on sacred objects and do not hug Buddha statues.
- Do not take photographs of meditating monks as this obviously disturbs their practice.
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Art of Living Centre, Thailand
The Art of Living Foundation is operating in 154 countries, a non-profit, educational and humanitarian organization founded in 1981 by the world-renowned humanitarian and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. All the programs are guided by Sri Sri’s philosophy: “Unless we have a stress-free mind and a violence-free society, we cannot achieve world peace.” The Art of Living community is diverse and attracts people from all walks of life backgrounds and religious orientations.
“The Art of Living is more of a principle, a philosophy of living life to its fullest. It is more a movement than an organization. Its core value is to find peace within oneself and to unite people in our society – of different cultures, traditions, religions, nationalities; and thus reminding us all that we have one goal to uplift human life everywhere.”- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The Art of Living foundation offers numerous highly effective educational and self-development programs and tools that facilitate the elimination of stress and foster deep and profound inner peace, happiness and well-being for all individuals. These programs, which include breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, and practical wisdom for daily living, have helped millions around the world to completely transform their lives.
If you are looking forward to learn meditation, yoga and pranayama, you must experience Art of Living flagship course THE HAPPINESS PROGRAM. The program is based on evidence backed breathing techniques, authentic yoga and effortless meditation.
Our breath is the bridge between the body and mind and if we learn these breathing techniques, we can have major say over our emotions, mind and body. The Sudarshan Kriya taught in the program is an excellent technique to boost immune system, overcome depression and recover from various health issues. Sudarshan Kriya elevates the prana by flushing out more than 90% toxins and accumulated stress every day. Sudarshan Kriya practitioners have reported better immunity, increased stamina and sustained high-energy levels.
After Happiness course, there are advance courses where one experiences the bliss in silence and get to know oneself better and bask in the glory of self. Apart from advance meditation program there are various other programs as well for different walks of people.
For more details on benefit of Sudarshan Kriya, visit the link https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/what-sudarshan-kriya
These courses are available over various Art of Living centers spread over Thailand. You can inquire about them through the link posted below. A small video link is also provided to describe the benefits of Sudarshan Kriya taught in The Happiness Program.
Dhamma Kancana Vipassana Meditation Centre
Dhamma Kancana is devoted to the practice of Vipassana meditation which focuses on purifying the mind and removing negative attachments. Vipassana refers to “seeing things as they really are”. It is way of self-transformation through self-observation which emphases on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations of the body and the mind.
Apart from Dharma Kancana, there are 18 other Vipassana centres in Thailand. They have their silence retreat program of 10 days where one experiences inner bliss and self-journey through meditations. The organization conduct courses every day of the month and each day consists of approximately 12 hours meditation, a 1-hour 30-minute knowledge session and 7 hours rest with meal breaks. The Dhamma Kancana is a 6-hour drive from Bangkok and retreats are by donation only.
For further Details Contact: Dhamma Kancana, 20/6 Moo 2, Ban Wang Kayai, Prang-Pley, Sangklaburi, Kanchanaburi, Thailand, +66 34 683 065
Wat Suan Mokkh
Wat Suan Mokkh conducts beautiful 10-day silent retreat on the 1st of every month. You can only register in person and registration is open on just the last day of the last month prior to the start of the retreat. This is a sincere meditation retreat and you must attend all the sessions in silence for the entire experience. It is a complete escape from the real world. If you just want to experiment, you can visit the main monastery to practice at your own leisure.
The Suan Mokkh International Dharma Hermitage founded in 1989 attracts visitors in quest of a deeper meaning of their lives. Long meditations are interspersed with Buddhism talks by monks and teachers, yoga/tai chi, hot springs, cleaning chores all while surrounding by lush nature. Only two vegetarian meals are allowed a day.
The registration fee 2000 baht which is $58.61 USD, is very affordable which includes all expenses. It’s not a luxury retreat. The participants have to sleep on a concrete slab with straw mat, wooden pillow, and thin blanket. But it endows excellent outcomes when one fights with the barrier of mind which is ever looking for comfort and fulfilling desires.
Wat Suan Mokkh | Address: Lamet, Chaiya District, Surat Thani 84150, Thailand | Phone: +66 61 190 0433
The Pavana Chiang Mai Resort is quiet, serene in the lap of nature, located an hour away from the airport. The open meditation hall is not to be missed at sunrise and sunset.
One of the best places for beginners to experience & learn meditation. Pavana offers a three day introduction to meditation which includes meals, 3 sessions Thai herbal steam, Thai Massage, infrared sauna, 3 sessions of Buddhist philosophy, 9 sessions of private meditation and 3 sessions walking meditation. Prices begin at $1142 which is pretty reasonable for the array of offerings that is provided.
There are number of detox options available and you can get a toxin free body by choosing from the options. A healthy body allows going deeper in meditation. The Radiance Restaurant offers raw food made from the organic fruit and vegetable garden and one can even sign up for a raw foods cooking class.
The Pavana| Address: 196 Huaysai, Huaysai, Mae Rim 50180, Thailand | Phone: +66 (0) 5392 0888
Breath Inspired is a training centre in the centre of Bangkok. Offering multiple Breathwork workshops. The main and most popular workshop is the Wim Hof Method Fundamentals course which takes place over 1 full day or 3 half days.
During the Wim Hof Method workshop you will learn about the science behind the WHM, then you will be trained in the Wim Hof Method Breathing techniques along with the mindset that is required. At the end of the day everyone will be submerged up to their neck in ice filled bath. This will require the focus and drive that has been developed during the day to be comfortable in the ice.
Achieving things you didn’t believe you can do is very powerful. You are sure to come out of the event with a new internal power that you can use in your daily life.
Bangkok Float Center
It is very innovative yet profound meditation technique where floating in dream pods is supposed to enhance focus in mediation at Bangkok float center. It is the first dedicated float center in the city, offering guests with private spa suits and Dream Pods. The pods are full with water heated to skin temperature and added 700kg of Epsom salt to let floaters to achieve effortless buoyancy in the water, blocking out all sensory input.
Freedom from inputs like gravity, temperature, touch, sight, and sound together make for 90 percent of neuromuscular activity, redirects and conserves mental energy for maximum relaxation and meditation. Studies have indicated that an hour or longer floats lower cortisol levels, the main chemical which is released during stress, and raises dopamine and endorphins, which is connected to boosting wellness and happiness.
The Kamalaya, Koh Samui
The Kamalaya is an eminent award winning beachfront spa located in Koh Samui. This luxury meditation resort is dipped in nature and situated on top of a hillside. This is an enchanted location with holistic programs.
It offers several retreats including the Awakening Your Essential Self retreat (7 days), Finding Emotion Balance and Freedom Retreat (6 days) and The Yin and Yang Yoga Retreat (4-days). The Yin and Yang Yoga retreat includes the most meditation practices. It is a retreat for 12 students which starts each day off with a two hour meditation and features yoga practice, gathering and private time throughout the day.
There are various room options ranging from views to oceans and forest and personal pools. It is a pure retreat to the body and mind where you can dive within and rejuvenate self. Everyone has access to all the yoga facilities, steam caverns and pools.
The Kamala | Address: 102/9 Moo 3, Laem Set Rd, Na-Mueang subdistrict , Laem Set , Ko Samui 84140 | Phone: 011 66 77 429 800
Wat Mahathat Buddhist Temple, School
Wat Mahathat is one of the most significant and oldest temples in the Bangkok city. It has evolved to Thailand’s largest monastic order, Vipassana Meditation center and the oldest Buddhist University in the world. Three guided meditation classes are held daily from 07:00-08:00, 13:00-16:00, and 18:00-20:00, assisted by English-speaking monks. Longer periods of study, which include accommodation and food, can be arranged by the center as well on request.
Suryamuni Healing Center
The Suryamuni Spiritual Healing Center is located on the coast of Koh Samui, offer a couple of spiritual retreats such as the Body Mind Spirit Retreat (5 days) and the Divine Healing Retreat (3 days). The Body, Mind, Spirit Retreat costs 17,000 baht or $495 USD which includes accommodations, airport transfers, breakfast and lunch. There are various other options available too but these two are the most popular.
You can opt for other options for day which includes healing sessions, massages, tours, cooking classes and many more. This Healing Center is an ultimate place to detox, indulge in yoga, meditate, heal and reconnect to our original nature of love and peace.
Suryamuni Healing Center | Address: Lipa Noi, Ko Samui 84140, Thailand| Phone: 0066-83-1724907
Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats
The Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats are conducted at the Thailand island of Koh Phangan as well as in Bali too. The entire meditation retreat only takes place in Bali. These are free 5 day retreats of silence meditation which are more advisable for those with a background in meditation.
It’s intense as there are per day meditation sessions of 6-8 hours. It is recommended to bring your own meditation chair, bench or acupressure mat for extra comfort and deeper experiences. These retreats feature 3 sessions of meditation a day, Hatha Yoga, Yoga Nidra (Psychic Sleep) and evening Dharma Talks.
3 vegetarian meals are provided daily. These retreats fill up at least 2 month in advance and they usually only accept half the applications.
This retreat in Thailand features Yoga focused meditation with 5 to 15 day packages ranging from $380 to $1170. There are various room options with views of the jungle and beach.
Blooming Lotus Yoga Retreats | Address: Banjar Mawang Kaja No. 88, Lod Tunduh, Ubud 80571, Indonesia | Phone: +62 21 29553600
Bangkok Shambhala Meditation Center
The Shambhala Mandala Association, a non-profit organization is located in the Yogatique Building in a small studio. It is part of an international community of more than 200 urban meditation and rural retreat centers. Candles can aid focus during meditation, the practice is focused on Shambhala vision, rooted in the teachings of Buddhism but with applicative guidance to the challenges today.
Shambhala Centre hosts open-level meditation classes as well as a regular schedule of visiting teachers, special workshops, and study events. Drop-ins are welcome to any scheduled offering, though online registration. All classes are free and donations are appreciated.
One of the most luxurious body and mind retreats in the country. The service at Chiva Som is of luxury and will be powered with healthy eating, physical activity, and healthy living. There are also various accommodation options with a minimum three night stay. This is unquestionably a luxury resort, where range starts at 72,000 baht for 3 nights or $2096 USD. Electronic items are only allowed inside the hotel room but not outside of it.
The Chiva Som offers number of retreat options which involves meditation and yoga. The most focused retreat at Chiva Som is which ranges from 3 nights to 14 nights and even longer on request. In addition to daily yoga and meditation program, you’ll receive a daily treatment of your choice and three Wellness Cuisine meals.
Chiva-Som | Address: 73/4 Petchkasem Road Hua Hin, Amphoe Hua Hin, Chang Wat Prachuap Khiri Khan 77110, Thailand | Phone: +66 32 536 536
Phuket Meditation and Retreat Center
The Dharana Phuket Mediatation Retreat offers a combination of a heartening vacation with peaceful retreats. The retreats are throughout the year as 4 day retreat programs which start on Mondays.
If you want to get a demo experience of the retreat, you are warmly welcome during weekends which are free of cost. Meals are provided from their side excluding lunch. The daily schedule starts at 6am with two 2 hour meditation blocks, yoga and sufficiently free time throughout the day. The charges start at 14700 Baht or $427 USD.
Phuket Meditation and Retreat Center | Address: 69/509 Moo1, Tambon Chalong Amphur Mueangphuket 83130 Phuket | Phone: 087 – 2797655
The Middle Way Meditation Retreat at POP House
This is a nonprofit institute that operates in six countries. In Bangkok, the organization coordinates retreats at Power of Peace which is located just outside the city in a quiet and natural setting, dedicated to the study of this technique which aims at attaining the Dhammakaya, a state of purity and a path to wisdom within.
The three-day retreat introduces beginners to learn and practice the philosophy of mindfulness through meditation, and live among the tenets of Buddhism during their stay. Yoga and other activities are available to encourage conscious and healthy living and meditation sessions are supervised by a teaching monk who suggests solutions to individuals’ meditation obstacles.
If you are looking to detox your system well, you should go here. Sense Detox offers two popular retreat which are Fresh Start Cleansing Program and Kick Start Cleansing Program of five days both. Your days will start at 7am and consists of blissful meditation, treatments, yoga, spa & massage, and optional excursions. The packages start at 17,500 Baht or $509 USD. The menu is delicious featuring various body cleansing and healthy food in the form of fresh juices, basil seed drinks, smoothies, raw pad thai, and more. The most unique feature of this center is that it can only accommodate only eight guests at one time so it is a very intimate experience.
This is a spotless and serene resort with the most fabulous services and staff. There is great attention to each and every detail like even a beach bag is provided in the room. The room service menu is wide-ranging and there is delicious healthy breakfast buffet.
Sense Detox | Address: 65/74 Sapam Village, Moo1, T. Koh Kaew, Phuket, Thailand 83120 | Phone: +66 (0) 804 399 949