Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?
What is enlightenment?
What is merit?
Can women become monastics?
What is the purpose of spirit houses?
To visit Thailand is to experience Thai Buddhism – for the culture and religion cannot be separated. Thais have followed and supported the Buddha’s teachings for more than a thousand years. What often follows is an appreciation of the Buddhist lifestyle and an interest in the practice of meditation. Many Thai people, men and women, at some stage of their life choose to spend time at a Buddhist Temple to be immersed in the practices and teachings of Buddhism; meditation then provides the vehicle for this experience. Thais may also welcome foreigners to come to a temple and practice the Buddha’s teachings.
The extremely supportive environment of a good Thai wat or meditation centre provides inspiration and the opportunity for spiritual development. Residents of most Wats begin the day early, typically 3-4 a.m. in forest monasteries and 5 a.m. in towns, with meditation and chanting. Meditation centres expect early rising too, with sleep limited to 4 to 6 hours. Monks and novices go on pindabat (alms round) at daybreak, then eat once or twice in the morning, depending on the custom of the Wat. Most Wats have another period of meditation and chanting in late afternoon or evening. The rest of the day is used for meditation, work projects, and personal needs.
At some intensive meditation centres you will be encouraged to practice 20 hours a day. Those who are attracted to take this path often ask how they may commence this journey. It’s not just a matter of turning up at the local temple which is unlikely to offer the necessary guidance or haven being sought without a proper introduction and the language barriers may be overwhelming. So how can you learn more and be introduced to Buddhist Meditation in Hua Hin? Wat Khao Santi, Khao Takiab may have the answers. One starting point may be to join a short course offered at this Wat; an “Introduction to Buddhism and to Buddhist Meditation.” This is offered for 10 days, once a week (Wednesdays), approx. 3.25 hrs each day, from 8:30 – 11:45 at Wat Khao Santi, Khao Takiab, Hua Hin. The next regular course will start in October 2015 with the exact date to be announced by mid-September 2015.
Additionally a group of people interested in meditation meets year-round, once a week on Wednesdays, from 09:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Wat Khao Santi for meditation and discussion. Anybody interested in calming and developing their mind is welcome to participate. A short text regarding Buddhism or meditation is read at the beginning of each meeting. The reading is followed by formal sitting and walking meditation practice. A discussion or sharing about Buddhism, meditation, difficulties with the practice, etc. may end the session. The abbot or a senior monk is available for a question and answer session at the end of each day. Their answers and talks is translated from Thai into English. All other discourses and explanations are also given in English.
If this involvement meets your expectations and your interest in meditation and the Buddhist path then advice about how to proceed will be on hand. For more information about meditation in Hua Hin see:
For more information about Buddhist meditation around Thailand see: http://www.dhammathai.org/e/meditation/ page1.php