Located about one hour west of Chinag Mai is Chom Tong, a small rural village hosting a beautiful Wat (temple) with Buddha relics, a meditation master and retreat facilities for Thai and international meditators as well as monks and nuns. Beginners courses last 21 days, after which you may take courses ranging from 12 to 14 days. Courses are ongoing throughout the year, just contact the center beforehand to check if they have room and to let them know you are coming. (See contact information below)
There is also a forest retreat center affiliated with this Wat located about 1 hour east of Chinag Mai. Accomodations were rustic at the time of writing, but for those who want to meditate in the forest it would be a good option – perhaps for a second or third course – you’re probably better off doing a first course at the main center.
There are also centers in Israel, Canada, The US, Mexico and Germany – or atleast there seems to be. I would contact Thanat and Kathryn for more specific information if you want to do a retreat in any of these other places.
About the teachers
Meditation Master: Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo
Venerable Ajahn Tong has devoted his life to the practice and teaching of Satipatthana Vipassana Kammatthana (insight meditation based on the four foundations of mindfulness). He has spent 6 decades teaching meditation and establishing and expanding meditation centres throughout Thailand. He ordained as a novice monk in 1934 and as a full fledged monk in 1944 giving him 63 years as a monk and 73 years in robes. Ajahn Tong is currently Abbot of a Buddhist Monestary called Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara in Ban Luang Commune, Chom Tong District, Chiang Mai Province which includes an international meditation centre and approximately 300 meditation rooms. He is Chief Vipassana Kammatthana Master of the Northern Region of Thailand and is one of Thailand’s most highly respected meditation teachers. Spending most of his time teaching in Thailand, he has authorized several teachers who have learned under his guidance to share this practice abroad.
Thanat Chindaporn is a lay meditation teacher in the Therevada Buddhist tradition and is currently the Director of the International Meditation Department at Wat Phradhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara, Chomtong, Chiangmai where he trained under Venerable Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo and the late Venerable Phra Banyat Akkayano, the former director of Thailand’s Northern Insight Meditation Centre. Since 1988, he has taught meditation in Thailand, India, Washington State, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, California, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Slovenia, France and Israel. Based in Thailand for most of the year he spends the summer months teaching western students internationally. In 2004, he received Thailand’s Benefactor of Buddhism Award for his dissemination of Buddhism world-wide.
A student and teacher of Vipassana for over 20 years, Kathryn Chindaporn has taught meditation in Thailand, India, Washington State, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, California, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Slovenia, France and Israel. From 1999 to 2007 she lectured at the Mahachulalongkorn Rajavidyalaya Buddhist University in Chiangmai, Thailand and is currently Thai/English interpreter and Associate Director of the International Meditation Department at Wat Phradhatu Sri Chomtong Voravihara, Chomtong, Chiangmai. Since 1989 she has interpreted for prominent Thai meditation masters, published five Pali/English Buddhist translations and appeared as guest speaker and interpreter on Thai and Mexican television and radio. In 2000, Kathryn received the Benefactor of Buddhism Award of Chiangmai Province and the Sema Dhammacakka (Golden Pillar of Dhamma Award) in Recognition of International Dissemination of Buddhism, the latter conferred by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand.
Chom Tong Insight Meditation Center
(Wat Phradhatu Sri Chom Tong Voravihara)
Tambon Ban Luang, Amper Chom Tong, Chiang Mai 50160
Tel: 0-5334-2184 (English) 0-53826-869 (Thai)
Web site: http://www.sirimangalo.org