Muttodaya Forest Monastery

Muttodaya Forest Monastery #

  • Name of Center: Muttodaya Forest Monastery
  • Address: Kloster Muttodaya, Herrnschrot 50, 95236 Stammbach, Germany
  • Phone Number: +49 (0)9256 960435
  • Website: http://www.muttodaya.org
  • Contact Email: muttodaya@gmail.com
  • Tradition(s): Forest Thai Tradition (Wat Nong Pa Pong tradition of Venerable Ajahn Chah)
  • Technique(s):
    • It seem that they emphasize the order of the three Trainings, i.e. first Morality, then Concentration and finally Wisdom
    • They teach not make any separation between shamatha and vipassana, though all the instructions I got were tailored towards shamadi, i.e. Jhana
  • Teacher(s): Ajahn Cattamalo (german Monk)
  • Cost: Dana Basis
  • Accommodations: five stars, clean and neat are the keywords
  • Facilities:
    • The monastery is located in a house, which was re-modeled to fit the necessities of the monastery
    • Male yogis sleep on shared bedrooms (actually depends on the number of yogis)
    • Female yogis sleep in a cabin separated from the main building
    • Nice meditation hall
  • Physical Setting: in the middle of a quiet forest, perfect setting for meditating, very quiet
  • Food (Vegetarian/Vegan/etc.): non-vegetarian
  • Retreat Length(s): People who have been here before or are personally known to us usually can stay two weeks or according to agreement. The monastic community reserves the right to send people away who act in a way detrimental to a harmonious community life.
  • Typical Schedule:
    • 6.00 a.m. Morning puja (only on Saturdays and Uposatha days)
    • 7.00 a.m. Work meeting and simple (optional) breakfast
    • 7.30 a.m. 30 minutes house cleaning and 2 hours work period
    • 9.00 a.m. On some days the monks go out on alms round (pindapata)
    • 11.00 a.m. The meal
    • 12.00 a.m. Dhamma conversation with one of the monks
    • 1.00 p.m. Quiet time for individual practice
    • 6.00 p.m. Guests can take their evening drink
    • 7.00 p.m. Evening puja (on Uposatha days followed by a paritta ceremony,
    • on Saturdays followed by a Dhamma talk, sutta reading etc.)
    • after that Quiet time for individual practice
  • Issues of Taboos around attainment, real practice, disclosing insights, etc.: actually open
  • Issues of Rites/Rituals: bowing to the Buddha statue & teacher are recommended
  • Issues of Proper Dress: comfortable
  • Issues of Etiquette: In the Thai tradition monks and novices are usually addressed “Tan” (rhymes with “sun”) and their Pali name. Senior monks who have been ordained for more than 10 years are addressed “Ajahn”. Alternatively you could use the Sri Lankan way of adress: “Bhante” which is appropriate in all cases.
  • Issues of Language: German, English and Thai
  • Health Issues: none
  • Logistical Issues: you can get there by car or by train. If traveling with the train you will need to hire a taxi from the train station to the monatery
  • Strengths: definitely a place to visit if you are looking for a quiet place to practice shamata
  • Weaknesses: none
  • Other Comments:
    • I learned that Ajahn Chah tradition do not follow the Visuddhimagga (for good or for bad), i.e. all the map thing concerning the "progress of insight" (e.g. A&P, Dark night, etc) are NOT used or discussed
    • Very quiet, very clean
    • Practice could tend to be "laid back" since there is no "tight" schedule like in the Mahasi or Goenka Centers. This can be good for advanced mediators, but not an advantage for beginners
    • You must be aware that you will invest a part of your retreat time helping with cleaning/cooking
    • Instruction and guidance by the monks mainly takes place in Dhamma talks and discussions on Saturdays after the evening pújá, sometimes on other evenings as well. A private conversation with a monk can usually be arranged, but please note that a monks is not allowed to sit or talk in private with one single woman without any other male person present.
    • For more details on visit the website and have a look at their handbook
  • Overall Impression: Very good, if you want to develop the Jhanas go for it!
  • Worthy of recommendation on the Dharma Overground? yes
  • Name of Person Reviewing the Center: Guillermo Z
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