About Us

The International Buddhist Center at Prathat Doi Suthep practices Satipatthana Vipassana (Insight Meditation in line with the 4 Foundations of Mindfulness) based on Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw’s teaching, who is Ajaan Tong’s teacher.

Students actively engage with a teacher (Ajaan Buddhasak: Current teacher) during a set window of time after lunch, on an individual basis, and receive personalized instruction based on their practice and progression. This meditation technique is passed down from Ajaan Tong, one of Thailand’s most famous meditation teachers. In the daily interviews, meditators receive very helpful and clear instructions for practice. Practitioners engage in meditation in their own bungalows or in the meditation hall, and all practitioners receive individual meditation instructions.

During the retreat, practitioners actively practice the four bases of mindfulness (observing body, feelings, mind, and mind objects) and mentally note all arising phenomena. Initially, the rising and falling of the abdomen is the primary object of meditation during sitting, and the movement of the foot during walking. Each meditation period begins with a mindful prostration, followed by a period of walking meditation and a period of sitting. Beginners start with 10 minutes and gradually increase to an hour. Every day includes a Dhamma talk (5.30 am) and daily chanting (6 pm).

A beginners’ course lasts approximately three weeks. Since courses are individual, no particular dates need to be observed. The retreat begins with an opening ceremony and ends with a closing ceremony. Individuals who have already taken a course at the center can participate in 10-day courses. As the center at Doi Suthep is considered a training center, meditators are required to follow instructions as given and practice wholeheartedly. Meditators are asked to observe 8 precepts during their stay.

The language of instruction is both English and Thai, depending on the group of meditators. English-speaking teachers, advisors, and staff are always available to assist meditators in whatever way possible. Wake-up is at 5 a.m., and practice starts before breakfast. Breakfast is at 7 a.m., and lunch is at 11 a.m. Reporting is either in the morning or afternoon (Regular time starts at 2 pm now).

There are individual rooms in separate areas for men and women. Accommodations are all modern-style with insect screens, lights/electricity, shared bathrooms, and showers at the end of the building.

Wat Doi Suthep fully supports international dietary needs. Expect normal Thai dishes without spice and vegetarian alternatives at every meal. Breakfast (7 a.m.) and lunch (11 a.m.) are varied and of good quality. There is always a choice of two or three vegetarian dishes and sometimes fruit. No meals are served in the afternoon (drinks such as milk, tea, and yogurt are permitted). Drinking water is filtered and therefore potable. For special dietary needs, assistance can be sought from the foreign department.

Clothing should be white, comfortable, and decent (no shorts or tank tops). Wake-up is at 5 a.m. Daily necessities can be purchased in the small temple shops. A digital alarm clock, flashlight, flip-flops, water bottle, insect repellent, toiletries, and possibly tea and coffee should be purchased before the retreat. A sleeping bag and fleece jacket are particularly useful during the cooler season. These items can all be purchased in Chiang Mai city before arriving at the center.


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