The Worthy Endeavour: An Insight Meditation Retreat

24 – 28 October, 2012 – with Steven Smith and Pandit Bikkhu

Forest Hall

Did you become enlightened after your first retreat? Hearing, studying and aspiring to the philosophy of Buddhism is one thing. But after the inspiration and thought experiments comes the real work – turning your life over to a truly worthy endeavor. Overcoming hindrances, and maintaining a dedicated meditation practice takes time and a persistent effort, and is not as easy as one would hope. During this retreat we will be looking at the methods for unseating the deep-rooted tendencies; for taking the meditation beyond a simple calming exercise that adds a little stability to daily life, and towards a genuine and enduring way of living.

We invite you to join us for this wonderful 4-day retreat on our beautiful sustainable farm in the scenic north of Thailand. The retreat will be led by two wonderfully engaging and highly experienced teachers – our good friends Steven Smith and Pandit Bikkhu.

Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, Steven Smith was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by revered monk Sayadaw U Pandita, one of the foremost meditation masters alive today. Co-founder of Vipassana Hawai’i meditation centre, 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.

Pandit Bikkhu is well known as the organiser behind the long-running Little Bangkok Sangha, the hub of many dhamma talks, retreats, and workshops around Bangkok and Thailand. Ordained as a monk in Thailand in 1996, his contemporary and popular style of teaching of Buddhist meditation draws from a wide array of influences, including other Buddhist traditions, Western psychology, mythology and fairy tales as metaphors for tools for modern living.

The retreat will be geared towards people with some prior meditation experience. However, newcomers are welcome and will be given some special assistance and time with the teachers.

Information

The retreat will begin at 7.30pm on the evening of Wednesday, October 24, with an introductory talk, and end on the afternoon of Sunday, October 28, at 5.00pm. You are welcome to arrive anytime between 2pm and 8pm on Wednesday, or after 6am on Thursday. Please do not arrive outside of these times. The retreat will be held in English.

Retreat fee:

Single room/Twin share room  4000 baht per person

4-person Dorm room (gender-separated) 3000 baht per person

NB: An added cost of 500 baht per person applies if you wish to stay at the foundation an extra night on Sunday after the retreat ends.

Places are limited so please sign up immediately so that we can reserve a room for you. For more information or registration, please contact us at: retreats@newlifethaifoundation.com

Please note that New Life is a non-profit organization. The retreat fee covers only food, electricity, accommodation, and the teachers’ travel expenses. Being a young foundation, we need a lot of support, so additional donations are very welcome! Please help us spread the word and bring some friends.

Most rooms are single rooms. A very limited number of twin rooms are available for couples. All come with ensuite toilet and shower, warm water, fan, and towels.

There will be plenty of time to enjoy the swimming pool and our herbal steam bath. Simple, healthy meals will be served, consisting of breakfast with fruit and yoghurt and Thai-style meals for lunch and dinner. Do let us know if you are vegetarian/vegan or have any food allergies. Coffee, tea, fruit and snacks will be available during breaks.

Location: New Life Foundation

No. 49 Moo 1, Tambol Don Sila, Amphoe Wiang Chai, Chiang Rai, Thailand

The retreat fee does not include transportation to and from the retreat location. There are a number of low-cost carriers within Thailand and the Asia region if you would like to fly to Chiang Rai. Buses are also a good option. Taxis and tuk-tuks that will take you straight to the foundation can be hired at the airport or bus station.

For a detailed map and directions, see this page: www.newlifethaifoundation.com/contacts/

Things to bring

  • Warm clothing, as October evenings and mornings can be chilly in Chiang Rai
  • A meditation cushion and yoga mat, if you have your own
  • Mosquito repellent
  • A bathing suit
  • A torch, as the path to our meditation hall is very dark at night
  • A refillable water bottle

 

Some more background on Steven Smith and Pandit Bikkhu

Steven SmithSteven co-founded Vipassana Hawai’i in 1984 and founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma in 1995. In 1995 he also 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. 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.

Pandit BikkhuPandit Bikkhu (Pandit Cittasamvaro), 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 he will be spicing things up with a detailed rendition and breakdown of a Faerie Tale – one that includes lots of beautifully expressed Dhamma.

Retreat Schedule

The retreat will include sitting/walking meditation, Dhamma talks and short interviews with Steven Smith. While we seek to make good use of our time together, there will also be some free time to absorb the peaceful surroundings and swimming and steam bath facilities at the foundation.

Wednesday 24.10 19.30   Introductions and opening talk
Thursday 25.10 05.30 – 07.00   Sitting/walking meditation
07.00 – 08.00   Silent breakfast
08.00 – 09.00   Tour of the foundation
09.00 – 12.00   Morning meeting
12.00 – 14.00   Lunch
14.00 – 17.00   Group practice
17.00 – 18.30   Yoga, swimming, steam bath, nature walk
18.00 – 19.30   Dinner
19.30 – 21.30   Evening meeting, meditation, Dhamma talk
Friday 26.10 05.30 – 07.00   Sitting/walking meditation
07.00 – 08.30   Silent breakfast
08.30 – 12.00   Morning meeting
12.00 – 14.00   Lunch
14.00 – 17.00   Group practice
17.00 – 18.30   Yoga, swimming, steam bath, nature walk
18.00 – 19.30   Dinner
19.30 – 21.30   Evening meeting, meditation, Dhamma talk
Saturday 27.10 05.30 – 07.00   Sitting/walking meditation
07.00 – 08.30   Silent breakfast
08.30 – 12.00   Morning meeting
12.00 – 14.00   Lunch
14.00 – 17.00   Group practice
17.00 – 18.30   Yoga, swimming, steam bath, nature walk
18.30 – 19.30   Dinner
19.30 – 21.30   Evening meeting, meditation, Dhamma talk
Sunday 28.10 05.30 – 07.00   Sitting/walking meditation
07.00 – 08.30   Silent breakfast
08.30 – 12.00   Morning meeting
12.00 – 14.00   Lunch
14.00 – 17.00   Group practice
17.00   Group photos and farewells

 

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