Thailand travel guide




Thailand Travel Guide

Meditation in Thailand

Meditation is a characteristic of Buddhism that is very popular and is habitually practiced by the Thais and monks to get self-harmony and happiness, nearly 95% of the population is Buddhist in Thailand.
There are two major branches in Buddhist meditation: “samatha” (serenity, meditation) and “vipassana” (insight), the methods of samatha meditation are numerous, among the most usually practiced here is “anapanasati” (mindfulness with breathing). Mantra meditation, in which you reiterate a few expressions over and over, is also extensively practiced, expression may vary, but the principle of chanting is really to get the mind focused. Another technique is kasinas, where a person concentrates on an object outside himself.

Thais welcome foreign persons to come and observe the Buddha’s teachings, in that way, visitors can appreciate and learn the basics of Buddhism in the different meditation centers around Bangkok and others located around the country. Thais consider the Buddha’s teachings to be invaluable, no money is asked or expected in return for meditation teaching, and in some cases such things as lodging and foodstuff are free too.

Some retreats charge a fee for room and board, but this is minuscule compared to charges at meditation centers in western countries, usually some English is spoken or a translator can be found so don’t have to worry about verbal communication or cultural misinterpretations, regular talks and conferences allow one to get a good basic understanding of practice and to clear up any doubts about meditation techniques.

Many Wats offer very helpful conditions for meditations, these Thai meditation centers have a peaceful atmosphere and instructors who can help with difficulties providing an excellent opportunity for spiritual development. Some Wats follow a “Way of Life” in which the monastic obedience and daily routine obtain equivalent emphasis with formal meditation techniques.

All Vipassana retreats require you to follow the Five Buddhist Precepts:
  1. Do not kill.
  2. Do not steal.
  3. Do not indulge in sexual misconduct.
  4. Do not make false speech.
  5. Do not take intoxicants.
Some retreats may require that you take the Eight precepts; the Eight precepts consist of the first five and include:
  1. To refrain from taking food after midday.
  2. To abstain from indulging in songs, dances, music and shows as well as the use of ornaments, perfumes and cosmetics.
  3. To refrain from using a high or luxurious seat or bed.

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