For many years I have wanted to complete a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat and I am so pleased I now have and what a stunning location in south Thailand, near the town Chaiya.
Known also as a silent retreat, meditation retreat, 10 day retreat or Anapanasati retreat.
A beautiful and profound experience, that the written word does not really do justice to but I shall try and perhaps inspire you to consider to complete one too.
The retreat was at Wat Suan Mokkh International Dhamma Centre, Chaiya. 10 days of noble silence. A bell to wake us at 4am and guide us through the day. Beginning with 4.30am Dhamma (teachings of the practice and nature of Buddhism) sitting meditation, yoga, walking and sitting meditation. 8am breakfast of rice and vegetables. Chores and then sitting, dhamma, walking, sitting meditation. Lunch at 12.30pm rice and vegetables and rest. 2pm sitting, walking sitting, chanting. 5pm sweet tea and hot springs, then sitting, group walking, sitting meditation. 9pm bed! The same routine every day, bar day 9 when we only had one meal.
As each day went by, I got deeper into the experience of meditation practice and found the energy was finer with eating less food. I practised qi gong and yin yoga. The nature was stunning. Sandy mediation shala, trees, birds, flowers and the natural hot springs devine towards the end of the day. We slept on a concrete bed with wooden pillow, which was more comfortable than it sounds and I had such good nights sleep.
I love noble silence but some found it hard and giggled and chatted with each other. In the end they were asked to leave as it showed great disrespect for the group.
So, the time came all too quickly to leave. It was strange to talk again. The silence and teachings and practice gave time and space to go within, notice habitauted reactions, thoughts, and whether in past, present or future.
The photo above was taken at the railway station leaving Chaiya. Nick, a British guy, Yooi from Vietnam and Sister Ben from Thailand.
I have never felt so healthy and peaceful and look foreward to sharing the practice with you.