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Vipassana Meditation

Wat Phradhatu Sri Chomtong  Voravihara Monastery

ABOUT

 

Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Woravihara is situated on a Holy Buddhist Site with a history dating back more than 2,500 years. The temple is a Royal Historic Treasure and means "Holy Relic Monastery on the Glorious Golden Hill”.  Enshrined within the temple is the Holy Dakkhinamoli Buddha Relic (Piece of bone from the right side of the skull).


Wat Chom Tong follows the Theravada Buddhist tradition and teaches Satipatthana Vipassana (Insight Meditation based on the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness).


The Meditation Center at Wat Chom Tong was founded by Phra Prom Mongkol Vi (Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo) in 1992 and is the main Vipassana Meditation Center in Chiang Mai province.

Ajahn Tong is one of Thailand‘s most revered meditation teachers and is respected by religious leaders across many faiths around the world.  Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo is the previous Abbot of the temple and also is the Principal of the Vipassana Meditation Centre. He have passed away three years ago on December 13, 2019.

 

Located at the base of Doi Inthanon in Chom Tong District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand; the temple is spread out over approximately 20 acres and is constantly expanding. 

It is a Royal Monastery which teaches meditation, has multiple meditation halls, a dining hall, administrative offices, and sleeping quarters.

Courses

Foundation course - 21 days

Newcomers are recommended the 21 days Foundation Course in Satipatthana Vipassana Meditation as their first course. 
Meditation techniques include mindful prostration, walking meditation, sitting meditation as well as contemplation of daily activities during consciousness.
The emphasis in this course is on learning the basic technique of recognition of the body, feelings, mind, and mind-objects in the present moment. 
Course content includes daily meetings with a teacher.
No previous experience is required.


Advanced Review Course – 10 days

The ten-day course is a review of the foundation course.
Meditators will meet with their teachers daily and receive instruction and guidance on their practice.
The emphasis in this course is on refining the knowledge gained in the foundation course, building confidence and familiarity in regards to the insight meditation.

How to get here? 

Reservation office

 

Pay homage to the 5 protections (Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha, meditation practice, and our meditation instructors ).

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma-sambuddhassa. *(x 3)

Pay homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the fully self-awakened One.

The leader will recite the following text:

Namami buddham guna-sakarantam.

I pay respect to the Buddha who is of great virtue.

Namami dhammam muniraja-desitam.

I pay respect to the Dhamma taught by the King of Sages.

Namami sangham muniraja-savakam.

I pay respect to the Sangha, the disciples of the King of Sages.

Namami kamma-tthanam nibbanadhigamupayam.

I pay respect to the meditation practice which leads to freedom.

Namami kamma-tthana-dayakacariyam nibbanamaggudesakam.

I pay respect to the Meditation Teacher who teaches the path to Nibbana.

Sabbam dosam khamatha me / khamatu no.

For all anger & wrong-doings, please forgive me / forgive us.

Offer the 1st tray to the Buddha, switch the light button for the candles and incense.

Prostrate x 3

Paying Respect To The Triple Gem

Meditators will say together or the leader will recite and all repeat after. With hands joined together in anjali, recite the passage in Pali:

Araham samma-sambuddho bhagava; Buddham bhagavantam abhivademi  

  

The Lord, The Perfectly Enlightened and Blessed One, I render homage to the Buddha, the Blessed One.

Prostrate      

           

Svakkhato bhagavata dhammo; Dhammam namassami.    

                                                 

Well proclaimed is the teaching of the Blessed One, I pay homage to the Dhamma. 

Prostrate              

                                                           

Supatipanno bhagavato savakasangho; Sangham namami.  

                                                                         

Perfectly practiced are the disciples of the Blessed One, I humbly bow low to the Sangha.        

             

Prostrate

Requesting The Eight Precepts

Offer the 2nd tray to the Monk

Prostrate x 3, then with your hands joined in anjali, recite the following request:

Meditators will recite together or the leader will lead and all will repeat after.

One person/ (More than one person)

Aham / (Mayam) Bhante tisaranena saha attha silani yacami (yacama)

Venerable Sir, I / (We), request the 3 Refuges with 8 Precepts.

Dutiyampi Aham / (Mayam) Bhante tisaranena saha attha silani yacami (yacama)

Venerable Sir, for the 2nd time I / (We), request the 3 Refuges with 8 Precepts.

Tatiyampi Aham / (Mayam) Bhante tisaranena saha attha silani yacami (yacama)

Venerable Sir, for the 3rd time I / (We), request the 3 Refuges with 8 Precepts.

 

Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma-sambuddhassa.   *(x 3)

Pay homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, the fully self-awakened One.

Buddham saranam gacch-ami                       To the Buddha I go for Refuge.

Dhammam saranam gacch-ami                       To the Dhamma I go for Refuge.

Sangham saranam gacch-ami                       To the Sangha I go for Refuge.

 

For the second time…

Duti-yampi bud-dham sara-nam gacch-ami          

           

Duti-yampi dhammam sara-nam gacch-ami  

                   

         Duti-yampi sangham sara-nam gacch-ami                      

 

For the third time…

 

Tati-yampi bud-dham sara-nam gacch-ami    

                 

Tatiyampi dhammam sara-nam gacch-ami    

                 

Tati-yampi sangham sara-nam gacch-ami      

               

Monk: Tisarana-gamanam nitthitam   This completes going to the Three Refuges.

All respond: Ama Bhante   Yes, Venerable Sir.

 

 

Receiving The Eight Precepts

To undertake the Eight Precepts, with your hands joined in anjali, repeat each precept after the leader in Pali:

1.Panatipata veramani sikkhapada samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from destroying living creatures.

2.Adinnadana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from taking what is not given.

3.Abrahm-acariya veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from any kind of erotic behavior.

4. Musavada veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from incorrect speech.

5. Surameraya-majjapamadatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from intoxicating liquor and drugs, which lead to carelessness.

6. Vikalabhojana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from eating at the wrong time.

7. Naccagita-vadita-visuka-dassana-malagandhavilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanatthana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to shows, wearing garlands and beautifying myself with perfumes and cosmetics.

8. Ucca sayana-maha sayana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami.

I undertake the precept to refrain from lying on high or luxurious sleeping beds.

Imani attha sikkhapadani samadiyami       *(Repeat 3 times)    

I undertake these Eight Precepts.

 

Monk: Imani attha-sikkha-padani. These are the eight rules of training.

Silena sugatim yanti. Through virtue they go to a good destination.

Silena bhoga-sampada. Through virtue is wealth attained.

Tasma silam visodhaye. Therefore, we should purify our virtue.

These Eight Precepts have morality as a vehicle for happiness, good fortune and liberation. Let morality therefore be purified.

All Respond: Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!    Well (said)!  Well (said)!  Well (said)!

 

Requesting for the Meditation Practice (Kammatthana)

Offer the 3rd tray to the Monk    Prostrate x 3

1.Paying homage and offering oneself to the Buddha:


Imaham bhagava attabhavam tumhakam pariccajami.

Holy Sir, the Lord Buddha, the Blessed One, may I humbly offer my body and mind to you for the purpose of practicing Insight Meditation.

2. Paying Homage and offering oneself to the Teacher:

Imaham acariya attabhavam tumhakam pariccajami.

Venerable Sir, Teacher, may I humbly offer my body and mind to you for the purpose of practicing Insight Meditation.

3. Requesting the Meditation Exercise:

Nibbanassa me bhante sacchikaranathaya kammatthanam tehi.

Venerable Sir, please give me the instruction for Insight Meditation so that I may realize Nibbana (nirvana).

4. Extending friendship to yourself:

Aham sukhito homi niddukkho homi avero homi abhaya pajjho homi anikho homi sukhi attanam pariharami.

May I be happy, free from suffering, free from enmity, diseases and grief, free from troubles, difficulties and danger and be protected from all misfortune.

5. Extending friendship to all beings:

Sabbe satta sukhita hontu avera hontu abhaya pajjha hontu anigha hontu sukhi attanam pariharantu.

May all beings be happy, free from suffering, free from enmity, diseases and grief, free from troubles, difficulties and danger and be protected from all misfortune.

6. Practicing the exercise of mindfulness of death:

Addhuvam me jivitam.

Our lives are transient and death is certain. That being so, we are fortunate to have entered upon the practice of Vipassana on this occasion, as we now have not been born in vain and missed the opportunity to practice the Dhamma.

7. Resolving to the Buddha and his disciples:

Yeneva yanti nibbhanam buddha tesanca savaka ekayanena maggena satipatthana sannina.  

      

The path taken by all Buddhas and their two Chief Disciples, their great disciples and their Arahant disciples to Nibbana, the path which is known as the Four Foundations of Mindfulness and is the path comprehended by the wise, I solemnly promise to practice to attain that Path, the Fruition and Nibbana, according to my own initiative, from this occasion onwards.

8. Imaya dhammanudhamma patipattiya rattanatayam pujemi.


With this practice of Dhamma, worthy of Dhamma, I worship The Triple Gem.

Prostrate (x3)

 

The monk will then give a short speech about Dhamma, you may sit in a sideway position.

The following text will be read out 3 times in Thai for all to repeat after.

Vipassana nainaew satipatthan si: Nueng Gai, Song Vedana, Sarm Jit, Si Dham.

Vipassana nainaew satipatthan si: Nueng Gai, Song Vedana, Sarm Jit, Si Dham.

Vipassana nainaew satipatthan si: Nueng Gai, Song Vedana, Sarm Jit, Si Dham.

Vipassana based on the four foundations of Mindfulness: 1. Body, 2. Feelings, 3. Mind, 4. Mind-objects.

Asking For Forgiveness (Khamapana)

It is advisable, in the Teachings of the Lord Buddha, that when a person has done wrong to another—by thought, word or action—to ask for the forgiveness of the wronged person. One should not have thoughts of revenge against the former, but should forgive the other for their wrong doing. If a person undertakes the meditation practice with thoughts of anger, hatred or revenge against the Teacher, s/he will not be able to progress in the meditation. Therefore, it is advisable to beg forgiveness from the Teacher before beginning the meditation practice, during the course of the practice (when wrong doing has occurred) and upon completion of the practice, when taking the Closing Ceremony.

To ask forgiveness, with hands joined in anjali, recite the following passages:

Acariye pama-dena dvarat-tayena katam sabbam apara-dham kamatha me (kamathu no) bhante

Forgive me (us), venerable teacher, for all wrong doings done carelessly to the venerable One by way of the three doors (by body, speech, and mind).

The Teacher then responds: AHAM KHAMAMI TAYAPI (TUMHEHIPI) ME KHAMITABBAM

 I forgive you (all), and please forgive me also.

All respond: Khamami (Khamama) Bhante. I (We) forgive you, Venerable Sir.  

Prostrate x 3

Office Hours:
Every day between 08:00 A.M. to 11:20 A.M. and 13:00 P.M. to 16:30 P.M.


Telephone: +66 5 334-2184 Ext. 11 for males Ext.12 for females

International Reservation Office Email:    info@watchomtong.com

**Minimum 10 days advanced reservations are required.**

Requirements:
Please provide the following documentation at reservation office:

  1. A completed application form with your signature 

  2. One photocopy of your valid passport and visa with entry stamp.

  3. Your arrival and departure dates (from this temple).

  4. A  certificate of Covid-19 vaccination. (Unless you have a medical exemption for covid-vaccine from the hospital)

  5. Upon arrival, you will be required to do a covid test at the infirmary on the opposite of the Dining hall.

Living

Individuals are provided with their own private room(Kuti).
The living zones are separated by gender, women zone and men zone. For safety concerns for newcomers, each compounds are surrounded by walls.

Beddings are provided by the temple. You may ask for a meditation mat from under the reservation office.

Dining Hall

Meals are provided twice a day
Breakfast at 06:00 A.M.  

Lunch at 11:00 A.M.

Vegetarian and non-vegetarian options are served daily at each meal.

*Must wear mask inside the Dining hall at all times.*

Practicing

21-Day Foundation and 10-Day Advanced review course 

Minimum stay of 3days

Requirements

1. Your valid passport and visa.
2. A working alarm clock or timer. You must be able to set it to increments of five minutes.

   (Available for lending from the reservation office)
3. At least two sets of white clothing.

   (Available at local store in front of temple EXCEPT white underwear/bra) or buy from Chiang Mai City.

For men: Loose, modest, non-transparent white trousers and a shirt. White underwear is a must.
For women: Loose, modest, non-transparent white sarong or trousers, a loose white shirt with sleeves and a white ‘sa-bai’ (a white scarf, which is worn over the breast and around the shoulder).

White underwear (including bra) is a must.
Personal items 
(soap, shampoo, toothpaste, towel, sandals, etc.)

General Rules for Meditators

What does it mean to stay in a monastery?

Inside the monastery, the Eight Precepts are followed. Please read these in the ‘Opening Ceremony’ section.  The following points should also be noted: 

1. You and your clothing must always be clean, proper and hygienic.  You need to wear white clothing day and night.

 

2. Keep your room neat and tidy.

 

3. Keep the bathroom and toilet clean, in order to prevent fungi and bacteria.

 

4.Meditators are not allowed to talk about their personal meditation practice or experience.  Do not discuss or compare your meditation practice with each other.  Your experience is your own, and may not be the same as others’.

 

5. You are not allowed to mix the practice with other techniques.

 

6. You are not allowed to smoke cigarettes in your room or temple area, it would be better to avoid that burdensome habit.

 

7. No kissing, hugging, holding hands, massaging or any other physical contact is allowed.  No sun-bathing.

 

8. While taking a bath or sleeping, make sure that the door and window/curtains are closed and locked.

 

9. The Meditator’s rooms are for their privacy. Visitors are not allowed to enter the Meditator’s rooms.

 

10. Meditators should not visit others in their rooms.  Men are not allowed to enter women’s rooms.  Women are not allowed to enter men’s rooms.

 

11. No smoking, socializing, gossiping, etc.

 

12. No reading—this includes Buddhist books.  No writing (letters, diaries, etc.).  No listening to radios, tapes, CDs, etc.  No telephone calls during your practice.  Please switch off mobile phone during the course (Permitted use as an alarm clock).

 

13. If you are tired during the day, you may lay down and rest in your room, but meditators are not allowed to sleep during the day.

 

14. Please unplug all electrical appliances when not in use, and turn off all lights, fans, etc., when leaving your room.

 

15. Temple Authorities reserve the right to refuse entry, or to expel anyone in the case of disrespect regarding the rules or instructions.

 

16. Upon completion of the course, meditators must pay respect to the teacher one day prior to the Closing Ceremony (Request Precept 5), and gain further advice from him/her about the practice.

 

17. Meditators are responsible for the loss or damage of Temple properties.

 

18. All Temple properties must be returned and the meditator’s room must cleaned before leaving.  Imagine you are the next person who will use the room. Don’t forget to return your key to the registration office.

 

19. Each night in Wan Phra (Buddha Day or Buddhist Observance Day, full-moon/half-moon), meditators have to join the ceremony, called “Wain-tien” or “Padakkhina”, walking around the pagoda 3 times to worship the Triple Gem, after the evening chant (20:00) in the Dhamma-Sammakhee hall (next to the Golden Pagoda).

*Note* Wan Phra occurs 4 days in a month, there will no opening/closing ceremony conducted on this day. Vipassana Office support team let you know if you have to change your preferred date a day before/after Wan Phra.

20. Donations are appreciated.  All donations should be made at the Temple office, where an official receipt can be obtained. There is no fixed charge, however your kind donation is essential for the ongoing support of the program. You can make a donation for the monastery on the last day of your program. 

Daily Routine

 

 

4:00 A.M.

The bell or your alarm clock rings. Get ready and start the day by doing mindful prostration, walking meditation, sitting meditation.

4:30  A.M.

Morning Chanting at Mahasala Hall (*Dhammasamakkhee Hall on Monkday) (By choice)

6:00 A.M.

Breakfast. It is your responsibility to arrive at the dining hall on time. Alms food is considered sacred; take only as much as you will eat. Eat slowly, mindfully, and preferably alone. Carry back to your room.This means no talking during and after meals, as doing so is disruptive to mindfulness. *Wear a mask inside the dining hall at all times*

 

Wash your dish immediately after eating. (The First Precept, to refrain from destroying living creatures, implies that we shouldn’t create situations in which it is easy to destroy living creatures. Take care of your rubbish; there is a designated area near the sink where you clean your dishes.

 

After breakfast, you may wash and shower.

7:00-10:50 A.M.

Start mindful prostration, walking meditation, sitting meditation in your room or public area (Mahasala hall, Dhammasala hall, Area behind monk zone(*men only))

11:00 A.M.

Pick up lunch at the Dining hall to eat in your room. You may relax or laydown mindfully, but meditators are not allowed to sleep during the day 

6:30-8:00P.M.

Evening Chanting (By choice)

10:00 P.M.

Sleeping may begin, while dressed in your white clothing.

 

*Opening/ Closing ceremony starts between 15:30 every day except on Wan Phra/ Buddhist Observance Day (Occurs 4 days in a month).

*The schedule may change according to your assigned meditation instructor (Phra Ajahn (Art) Poonsak).

Anchor 1

Additional Advice to Foreign Meditators

 In Thailand, the feet are considered the lowest part of your body.  Therefore, it is rude to point your feet at anyone.  While sitting and during meal times, please be aware of this and sit with your legs either crossed, in front of you, or to the side. Do not touch the top of any Thai person’s head, as this is also considered rude.

 

Be aware that it is rude to point your feet at any Buddha images. 

Reporting:

 

Once a day you Report to the Teacher.

 

  Here is an example of what you might say:

 

“Sawatdee-ka, Ajahn Poonsak”  (for women)

“Sawatdee-krap, Ajahn Poonsak”  (for men)

“You told me to do the first walking step, acknowledging ‘left-goes-thus, right-goes-thus’ for 20 minutes.  I was asked to do 20 minutes of sitting practice, too, observing and acknowledging the rising and falling of the belly as rising and falling.  In total, I was told to do 7 hours.  I did 8 hours.”

“The practice is both easy and difficult.  Walking is easier than sitting, and pain is a problem, with cramped legs when I sit.  I never imagined that 20 minutes could be so long.  I had feelings of anger, doubt, impatience, and I was constantly looking at my timer.  Sometimes I felt a little bit tired, sometimes my thinking became like a movie.”

            If the Teacher wants to know more, s/he will ask you.  Give short answers.  No story about the pain, anger, or thinking is necessary—you do not have to find excuses for why you are not perfect.  You must just learn to understand your imperfection.  Be patient with yourself.

 

The Four Foundations of  Mindfulness Explained

 

            Acknowledging is the heart of Insight Meditation.  It is the continual work of mindfulness to be aware and acknowledge.  Insight meditation, through the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, focuses on the body,  the feelings, the mind (thought) and objects of the mind.  Literally, the four foundations of mindfulness serve as the base of mindfulness.  Practically, they are the state of being continually mindful of what happens to the five aggregates (which are: body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and consciousness).

 

            1. Mindfulness of the Body is to contemplate bodily action and sensations.  This includes, for example, acknowledging or being conscious of the lifting, stepping and placing of the feet during walking meditation, and acknowledging the rising and falling of the abdomen in sitting meditation.

 

            2. Mindfulness of One’s Feelings is to contemplate the happiness/suffering/neutrality of your experience.  That is, to acknowledge happiness, to know how happy one is, or to acknowledge misery, and to know how miserable one is, or to acknowledge the neutral feeling which is neither happiness nor misery.

 

            3. Mindfulness of the Mind (Thought) is to contemplate one’s thoughts or to be conscious of the passion, anger, delusion, sloth, distraction, peace, etc. in the thought.  While in meditation our minds may think of the past or the future.  We then take that thought as the momentary focus of the meditation by acknowledging ‘thinking-thinking-thinking’ before returning our focus to the breath or the feet.

 

            4. Mindfulness of Objects of the Mind is to contemplate mental recognition and other volitional activities.  Recognition is to know something when perceiving it.  Volitional activities happen when we think about or comment on something.  While we think, we must be mindful of thinking.  When we are desirous, angry, slothful, restless, or doubtful as a result of thinking or external stimulation, we must be mindful too.

In short, the foundation of mindfulness is the principle of continually practicing mindfulness.  We should be conscious of what we are doing both physically and mentally in the present moment.  We contemplate the present only, not the past or future.  The present moment is immensely important to meditation practice.  Acknowledging the body/mind in the present moment develops and strengthens momentary concentration.  Without acknowledgement of the present moment, meditation practice cannot progress, because momentary concentration cannot occur.

Continuity is also important.  Be mindful from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep at night.  We have to acknowledge our daily activities.  When we rest after meditation, we may begin to talk without mindfulness.  When this happens, the mind wanders away and gets distracted.  Thus the momentary concentration developed in meditation will weaken.

The goal of Insight Meditation is to gain a clear, complete understanding of the three obvious characteristics: Impermanence, Suffering and Non-self.  Having gained an insight into the three characteristics, the meditator realizes that everything in this world is transient, subject to suffering and uncontrollable.  Thus the mind abandons the desire to acquire, to have and to be.

Lord Buddha gave five purposes for insight meditation:

 

To purify the mind.

To get rid of sorrows and lamentations.

To get rid of physical and mental sufferings.

To understand the truth of life.

To extinguish suffering and gain Nibbana  (nirvana). 

 

The Four Foundations of Mindfulness are the heart of the Buddha’s teaching.  The Lord Buddha repeatedly taught them to his disciples from the time of his enlightenment until his ceasing.  As he stated strongly and clearly in the Mahasatipatthana Sutta:

 

“Look, you who find the cycle of rebirth harmful, the four foundations of mindfulness are the only way to the purification of all sorrows and lamentations, the end of all suffering and grief, and the attainment of Nibbana  (nirvana).” Buddha

Opening Ceremony