What is the 10- Day Retreat?
It is a very special period of time in one's 1ife which one devotes just to oneself. The time to explore and learn the "inner side" of oneself. Thus getting to know oneself thoroughly in all aspects e.g. who one is, what one really needs or wants in life, what is the real goal in one s life, how one can accomplish it etc.
The retreat is run monthly all year round. It begins on the last day of the month before and ends on the 11th of the month. (e.g. the January retreat starts on December 31st and ends on January 11th)
Why is it?
Being born into this world without warning is being thrown into this life without any preparation, training or aim at all. One gets lost easily and quickly. Especially in the so called "modern, material world" where most of the people and environments influence or lead or even "force" one to choose a competitive, material way of life to lead. Thus, inevitably, resulting in an undesirable, unhealthy or even a miserable life. A way of life, which one has no time to stop and think it over or notice for everything is always in a hustle and bustle state.
The 10 - Day retreat provides an opportunity (or probably the only opportunity) for oneself to take a break, and look over things and take a serious review on what has been happening or going on (whether right or wrong) in one's life. The chance to reflect, modify, adjust and/or make changes in ones life.
How is it done?
In the retreat, all participants are required to observe rules among which are as follow:-
• Keep complete silence
• Refrain from
* destroying all forms of life
* taking things without permission
* harming the other by speech
* any sexual activity, mentally, verbally or bodily
* smoking or intoxicating oneself with any intoxicant
* having a meal in between afternoon and before dawn
* beautifying or entertaining oneself
* sleeping or sitting on luxurious bed or seat
• Stay the whole 10 days
• Observe the schedule strictly (see the attached schedule)
This is to keep oneself to oneself only, no one else!
What do the participants learn?
1.1 The concept of four noble truth these are
* Dukkha —traditionally translated to English as suffering but contemporarily known as stress, frustration, fear, anxiety, anger etc.
* The cause of Dukkha
* The cessation of Dukkha
* The way to the cessation of Dukkha
1.2 Anapanasati (mindfulness with breathing)
* The breath & the body
* The feelings
* The mind
* The Dhamma
2.1 Formal meditation
* sitting meditation
* standing meditation
* walking meditation
* lying down meditation
2.2 Meditation in action (in daily life)
when a participant has a question / problem on meditation practice, the person can make a request to see a teacher for consultation.
For whom is it good?
The retreat is open for people from all walks of life, races, ages, sexes, faiths and beliefs without prejudice nor discrimination. It is good for everyone who needs a happy life, a life that has an aim, a life that is full of meaning, a life that is free from all stresses, pressures, frustration, or any kind of problem. A life that is beneficial to everyone and everything in this universe.
These are a few basic benefits among others which one normally gains after attending the full 10 - day retreat.
* By being completely isolated for 10 days, and be only with oneself and one's mind, one gets the chance really get to know oneself. There is no way to escape for there is no one to talk to, no radio nor television to watch, no book to read, nothing to write. Thus one is forced to face oneself, to look inside and to read one's own mind. The chance like this is very rare in an ordinary daily life.
* One learns to focus one's mind on one thing at a time and not letting it be scattered all over places. Thus can perform any thing more effectively and efficiently.
* One learns to be "here and now" at this present moment with an undivided attentiveness and concentrating on what is being done at this moment. By being totally aware of here and now, one lets go the worries of the past and the anxieties of the future or all other events. Thus frees oneself from stresses and becomes more relax, calm, peaceful and understanding.
* One learns about feelings and emotions, how to treat them right and frees oneself from their influence and controls which results in a more peaceful and happier, contented life.
* With mindfulness training supported by Anapanasati and the talks given in the retreat, one can apply as tools to cope with daily life situations and problems to make one's life more simple, healthier, happier and stress-free.
All participants are required to pay 1 ,500 Baht fee to cover the cost of their own food during the stay. The fee is not refundable. The teaching is free of charge. For those who feel that the retreat is beneficial for themselves as well as for the others and would like to keep it going for the sake of loving kindness and compassion, they may make donation at the end of the course. All donations are welcome but not asked for.
After the registration each participant will be provided with a personal room with a mosquito net, a pillow, a simple straw mat and a blanket.
What to take to the retreat?
• Loose clothing e.g. T-shirt, fisherman pants. No sleeveless shirts or shorts, no see-through.
• Women need to wear bras
• Slippers, since shoes have to be taken off in all buildings
• Flash lights
• Mosquito repellent (no coiled-type)
• Personal toiletries
• No food, the food provided is vegetarian, two meals a day plus drink in the evening.
Advanced booking is not possible. The best is to show up a day before the last day of die month before the retreat starts.
Arrangements before participating in the retreat
Once one decides to do the retreat, one must make sure that one is really free from all business connections (.both personal and public) for the period of the retreat. All phone calls, letters, tickets for one's transportation to and from the retreat, money changing, VISA, etc. must be arranged and organized before the retreat begins. There is no way and no time to do during the retreat for one must be completely isolated from external world.
In order to participate in, one must be in good health in general, both physically and mentally. People with mental problem or disorder or under drug addiction cannot be accepted.
How To Get to Suan Mokkh
Suan Mokkh is about 600 km. south of Bangkok and 50 km. north of Surat Thani, just off the main highway running south to Malaysia. On the map, we are just south of the narrowest part of Southern Thailand. Suan Mokkh can easily be reached by train, bus, and plane, but please do not arrive after firstname.lastname@example.org