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Sorn-Thawee Meditation centre

MEANING OF NAME: "Sorn" is the person who donated the land; "Thawee" is the founder and head teacher at the centre. ALSO SPELLED: Samnak Vipassana Sorn-Thawee

ADDRESS: Bangkla, Chachoengsao 24110


DIRECTIONS: From Bangkok, take a bus to Chachoengsao from either Northern (Moh Chit) or Eastern (Ekamai) bus terminals.  Then take a bus toward Bangkla; get off after about 25 min. (just past KM post 17) where the bus turns left at Bangkla Crossing; walk across the highway and follow the intersecting road south 300 meters, then turn right another 300 meters at the sign.


MEDITATION SYSTEM: Vipassana, practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.  Techniques using the tool of mental noting are similar to those taught by Mahasi Sayadaw.  Formal sitting and walking meditation is done 8-12 hours a day.  Mindfulness is applied to all of one's daily activities.  One must practice systematically through waking hours in order to develop the concentration needed for effective insight meditation.

TEACHING METHOD: Daily individual interviews are considered essential. Meditators report previous day's experiences, then receive instruction and guidance.


TEACHERS: Phra Ajahn Thawee, abbot (Thai; age 76) and a Western nun (Austrian) teach foreigners.

LANGUAGE: English and German are always available.

DESCRIPTION: Attractively landscaped grounds of 24 rai (10 acres) with ponds, trees, and colorful shrubs.  Rice fields surround the centre.

SIZE:  monks: 15-22 

            novices: usually 0 

            nuns: 20-30 

            laypeople: 40-50 A new Dhamma Hall has 70 rooms for meditators.


DAILY ROUTINE: 4 a.m. wakeup; 6:30 a.m. breakfast; 7:30 a.m. individual interviews begin; 11 a.m. lunch. Day is spent in or near one's kuti doing intensive individual practice. Meditators should not sleep more than 6 hours. No group practice is offered.


FOOD:  Good quality and variety; vegetarian is available on request.  Two meals are served in the morning. Meditators eat mindfully in their kutis.  The community eats as a group on special occasions.


ACCOMMODATIONS: Individual kutis with screens, fans, electricity, and attached bathrooms with running water.  Older kutis have Thai-style bathrooms; newer kutis have western-style facilities.


WRITE IN ADVANCE?: Yes, necessary to arrange accommodations.

ORDINATION: Not available


OTHER INFORMATION: Only individual (solitary) practice is offered at present; this isn't for everyone as some people feel the need for the support of group practice.  A Dhamma hall under construction is expected to open in 1993; check with the centre then to find out if group practice will be offered.  The usual retreat duration is 50 days; 20 days is the minimum recommended stay.  Visits of less than 2 weeks don't allow enough time to develop insight and won't be allowed.  Meditators observe 8 precepts, keep noble silence (especially not to talk about one's meditation experiences with others), wear loose-fitting, modest clothing, and abstain from reading, writing, or listening to radios. A blanket or light sleeping bag is needed in the cool season.  A 50 baht (US $2) daily fee covers running expenses.  Please visit other links such as


Reference: Bill Weir, A guide to Buddhist Monasteries and Meditation centres in Thailand, 3rd ed., The World Fellowship of Buddhism, 1991

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