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Asian Centers
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2/8/09 10:53 PM
Author: akmi
Forum: Places to Practice

Can you please suggest few centers in Asia. There isn't much information regarding Centers in Asia.

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
7/22/09 5:48 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
hello.

http://www.metta.lk/temples/kandubodha/
http://www.retreat-infos.de/Download/Retreats_in_Asia_Oct07.pdf

these are my results. This is the best i found in terms of 1) price 2) food and lodging 3) length and flexibility of stay.
in other words, it looks like its too good to be true. free, own room, 2 meals a day, + occasional coconut, rice soup, tea, stay as long as you want. initial 3 week course. and Sri Lanka is a beautiful place.

Im thinking of going there November-December for a month.
What do you guys think?

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
7/26/09 12:00 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
It certainly looks nice.

'Twould be nice to know some more about (1) how often you're granted interview with the teacher, (2) if the teachers have attained stream entry or beyond, and (3) what's the success rate of the center, i.e., how many stream winners do they “produce” a year.

Cheers,
Klaus

--
Raro sicut homo nascitur

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
7/26/09 3:41 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
i know. i posted the site on e-sangha. still awaiting results, but no one so far that has been there posted. im sure the teacher has attained stream entry and beyond. are there dharma centers where a teacher isn't? if so, i think it would still be ok for me.

are you also looking for a retreat engelholt?

Cheers,
Mitch

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
7/26/09 11:39 AM as a reply to Wet Paint.
Yes, I'm also looking for a suitable retreat. The Kandubodha place sounds goods, but I have yet to decide (the easiest would be to go for a Goenka course in Sweden (almost next door), but the climate in Sri Lanka is probably more conducive). I'd like to go for one month, either during september-november or during january-march.

I'm looking forward to hearing more about the Kandubodha centre.

Cheers,
Klaus

--
Raro sicut homo nascitur

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
11/7/09 9:26 PM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Thailand - Great things heard about this one

http://www.watkowtahm.org/data/schedule.htm

Thailand - Wat Phradhatu Doi Suthep
-This one looks cool. I also stumbled upon a facebook group of it (private) where there were good reviews as well
the only thing is that the abbot/head is also interested in educating the meditators on buddhism, and is pleased when meditators join in chantings, etc. which for me is Ok, as like in SN Goenka centers, a lot of chanting too so im used to it.

http://www.fivethousandyears.org/mos/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

I want to go to one in thailand because i think this is the place cheapest for me (tickets) and most practical.
if i do goenka, then ill need a place to stay between retreats. with this i can go for the 21/26 day course directly, which is worth the travel fees.

Anyone got their sight on thailand?

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
11/12/09 11:07 PM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
There are 3 temples in and around Chaing Mai that all teach similar courses based on Ajahn Tong's / Mahasi Sayadaw's techniques.

Wat Ram Poeng just outside Chaing Mai.
Wat Doi Suthep about 30 minutes up in the hills overlooking Chaing Mai.
Wat Chom Tong about and hour and a half Southwest of Chaing Mai.

Ajahn Tong still resides most of the year at the temple in Chom Tong. I think there is a fairly detailed description of the course there on the old site. http://dharmaoverground.wetpaint.com/page/Chom+Tong+Insight+Meditation+Center+%28Chaing+Mai%2C+Thailand%29

All 3 temples operate on a donation basis. I have seen many people say they want to stay for a few months at the temple in Chom Tong, but I have never seen anyone do it without leaving for a while. The basic course of 21 days is very difficult and people usually need a break afterwards.

I have spent a bit of time at Doi Suthep and Chom Tong. If you are going for the practice, I would go to Chom Tong. I am very biased towards Chom Tong though. Doi Suthep is a magical sacred place and definitely worth spending time there.

If you have any other questions feel free to PM me.

Greg

Someone who has practiced at all 3 temples has put up a web blog.

http://wanderingdhamma.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/comparing-international-meditation-centers-wat-chom-tong-wat-rampoeng-and-wat-prathat-doi-suthep/

RE: Asian Centers
Answer
11/14/09 10:53 AM as a reply to Dark Night Yogi.
Hello!

My all time favorite is Nilambe in Sri Lanka. It's a small center for lay meditators. It's up in the mountains outside Kandy. No warm water and no electricity. So make sure you bring a flashlight and batteries. Yoga is done two times a day. But the teaching depends on who's staying there. If you know a little bite of yoga you may end up teaching it. Two meals a day and snacks in the evening.
From webpage:
"Though essentially a Vipassana Meditation (Insight Meditation) centre it can be classified as non sectarian. In the evening there is a short chanting session of Lord Buddha, which many choose to participate or just listen, before beginning the last session of Meditation for the day.
Going by the concept, that ultimate discipline is achieved by ultimate freedom, the programme here looks very free, yet the responsibility to adhere to it and benefit from the stay is totally in the hand of the visitor.
Nilambe is ideally suited for the self explorers who want to find out what meditation is, and as well as to the serious meditators who wish to deepen their practice at his/her own pace."

I was there the first time 2001 after its resident teacher Godwin Samararatne had died so there wasn't really a teacher at that point. But an American monk that I can't remember the name of gave interviews. The second time I was there Upul had taken up the responsibility as teacher. But I don't know if he is an arhat or not. I didn't interact much with him because I was doing semi solitary retreat and was very much doing my own thing. I had a interview with him before beginning my retreat. Were I told him I wanted to do metta bhavana for five days (taking one person each day.) And then vipassana for a week. And at the end of the stay he called for me to hear how I was doing. But the centre is all about practice and not about nice dharma talks. They have dhama discussions in the evenings. But I guess the quality of the discussions depends on the participants. And they are not compulsory.
One thing I noticed about meditation centers in Asia is that you rarely find the peacful and soundproff meditation centres you think you need. But Nilambe had the nices distractions I can imagine, the sounds of insect, birds and other animals, that becomes quite loud in the afternoon.
The food is very basic and bland, but nutritious. When I was there I think they served three different dishes and I liked one of them. So I had something to look forward to every third day.
The cost of staying is only four dollars a day so its a good place to do long retreats.
One thing i which I brought is a pair of rubber glows since you have to do your own laundry by hand and the detergents are quite harsh to your hands.
The best way to get there is by tuck tuck or taxi. But you can take the bus From Kandy. But then you might want to get a tuck tuck any way last few kilometres. Or having to hike uphill for about an hour.
There are cellphone nr on the webpage, but I have never managed to get through when I've been there. So the best way is just to go there and se if they have any place for you.
So if your are self-reliant practical meditator who doesn't need to be spoon feed dharma talks every night, this is the place for you.

http://www.nilambe.org/
http://www.nilambe.net/

Godwins gentle way of buddhist meditation i highly recommended. http://www.godwin-home-page.net/