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Mountain Meditation Retreat Just Announced!

October 3, 2011

Mountain Retreat: 30th Nov – 9th December

After discovering the most perfect, idyllic site imaginable for a meditation retreat, we finally can announce our first Mountain Meditation Retreat.

This page will keep updating as we get more of the details confirmed. However, the dates, the venue, and the 2 teachers are set.

The retreat is open to experienced and beginners alike. There will be special sessions for any beginners to interact with the teachers as needed.

Overview

The place is in the mountains behind Chiang Mai, near to Mae Daeng. It is high up, and pretty chilly in the evening. There is plenty of room, with lots of rooms, dorms, corners, balconies and alcoves to pitch your sleeping bag. It is not exactly private rooms, but there is a lot of space (venue can probably sleep over 100 quite easily) for you to get into your zone.

Some of the photos are here (but don’t do the place justice!)

Teaching will be Steven Smith and Mae Chee Brigitte – two marvelous meditation teachers.

Those vistas! in the pristine air :)

Cost of the retreat is 7000 baht, and your place is booked only after payment. Refunds can be made until 7 days before we leave – after that we will have booked the vans and bought the food already. WE are limiting retreatants to maximum 50 places.

….

Booking

*If you are booking from Hawaii – please contact VH for booking/payment details
*If you are booking from Bangkok – we will take bookings and deposits after 7th November (when Pandit returns from Hawaii)
*If you are booking from Chiang Mai, contact Steve from the Green Papaya Sangha here

Dates:

Nov 30th :- Meet Chiang Mai for lunch at a venue to be announced. Take minivans to the retreat. Arrive about 3pm

  • Evening of 30th November – start the retreat after settling in.
  • Retreat will be fairly relaxed (not a boot camp) with early morning group sitting/walking meditation. Some Tai Chi/Chi kong for mindful movement, and some free time in the afternoon to absorb the Mountain air.
  • Every evening will be a general meeting, meditation and Dhamma talk.
  • December 9th we will break noble silence, and have a BBQ Banquet. Return to Chiang Mai for about 4pm.

~We will serve vegetarian food throughout, with an emphasis on fresh fruit and veg.

~Participants must attend the full retreat – mainly because there is no transport up/down the remote mountain other than by the minivans we organise.

~Interviews with the teachers will be available on request.

~The meditation style will be Vipassana based on breathing and mindfulness, with a strong emphasis on Metta (loving kindness) meditation. You are also free to follow your own meditation method if you wish. All yogis will be asked to observe noble silence (not talking) for the majority of the retreat, and meeting/meditating together at the set times is stipulated. There will therefore be group meditation time, and also time to meditate alone.

Costing

This Mountain Retreat is too perfect not to use. We are not paying for the venue, however we will be paying quite a few members of staff up there, and a kitchen manager. Also is the cost of the teachers …. Honestly there is no way to guess how much the whole thing will cost in the end. So please understand!

We are not out to make a profit, and if there are lots of funds left over (unlikely!) we’ll be glad to reimburse, or use them as offerings to the teachers or other good cause. It could also be that we are short of funds by the end! We will have to see how it goes. Note that a single trip up/down the mountain in the 4w drive costs 500 baht in fuel alone, so we can’t really cater to special dietary needs, nor accept people who are not attending the retreat in full.

Steven Smith

Steven co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 and in 1995 founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma. Also in 1995 Steven helped establish the Kyaswa Valley Retreat Center in Burma, headed by Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. This partnership helped usher in the beginnings of Vipassana Hawai’i’s Fusion Dhamma approach combining traditional and contemporary teaching styles in the same retreat. Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, he was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven divides his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) meditation retreats around the world, and assisting Burmese refugee communities along the Thai-Burma border. His long term vision for preserving the Dhamma is culminating in the beginnings of the Hawai’i Insight Meditation Center (HIMC) on the Big Island of Hawai’i’s remote North Kohala coast.

He has done a number of talks for us and our Green Papaya siblings in Chiang Mai, and we have loved his personal and compassionate approach to Dhamma.

Mae Chee Brigitte

Click to link to MC Brigitte's website

Many of us know and appreciate Mae Chee – she is a wonderful meditation teacher, with a dedicated following.

Click here to link to her website, which includes the touching story of how she came to ordain.

Mae Chee is a well known meditation teacher, based mostly in Thailand. She is Austrian, and speaks fluent German, English and Thai. Her easy instructions and encouragement to meditate have inspired many people to commit to a meditation practise.  She is now based at a temple out past the Suvanabhumi Airport where visitors are welcome to stay (click the image to link to her website). However, due to popular demand she is very often away from the temple teaching meditation at different places, especially around Thailand and Europe.

Pandit Bhikkhu

Organiser behind the Little Bangkok Sangha, will be pitching in to help as needed. British-born Bhikkhu of 15 years, and the speaker behind the annual Rainy Season Dhamma Talks, and student of Buddhism, psychology, and Faerie tales. During the retreat we will be spicing things up with a detailed rendition and breakdown of a Faerie Tale – one that includes lots of beautifully expressed Dhamma.

He also lost weight since the picture to the left was taken!

(That is what Phra Pandit says and we must believe him because he is a monk.)

Steve of the Green Papaya has yet to see the venue so can add no further details but it promises to be a wonderful winter retreat!

 

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