Thai Forest Tradition Vipassana Retreats in Thailand

Published | Updated September 23, 2019

Thai Forest Tradition Vipassana Retreats in Thailand
The Thai Forest Tradition, officially the Kammaṭṭhāna Forest Tradition of Thailand, is a lineage of Theravada Buddhism.

The movement started around 1900 with the venerable Mun Bhuridatto and Venerable Sao Kantasilo. They aimed at a revival of the oldest, original Buddhism and its training methods, with a strict observance of the Buddhist monastic code, known as the Vinaya, and teaching the actual practice of Jhana and the realization of Nirvana. The purpose was to follow a meditation practice and lifestyle that resembled that of the Buddha and his early disciples.

The background for this revival was that, over centuries, Buddhist monasteries in Thailand were increasingly found in or near villages and cities with all the “defilements” that come with it. In contrast, the idea of the Forest Monasteries was to situate them back in the peace and quiet of nature (the Forests). The Buddhist Vinaya (discipline) was adhered to rigorously, monks lived without money, and followed the ascetic practices recommended by the Buddha, like for instance wearing rag robes and living, wandering or dwelling in the forest.

The monks of the Forest Tradition today often wander through the countryside and surrounding forests seeking places suitable for meditation, carrying only few possessions: an alms-bowl, three robes, a glot (an umbrella with mosquito net, used like a tent), and a few personal necessities.

Around 1930 in Thailand, the movement became accepted as a formal faction of Thai Buddhism, and in the 1960s Western students started to join, and finally in the 1970s Thai Forest Tradition meditation groups were established in the West.

A recent influential teacher of the movement was Ajahn Chah (1918 – 1992). Ajahn Chah attracted both Thais and Westerners. The number of his non-Thai followers increased that much that he established a branch monastery in Thailand specifically for them, Wat Pah Nanachat. Wat Pah Nanachat inspired to create many monasteries throughout the Western world. At present there are more than 300 branch monasteries that follow Ajahn Chah’s teachings and lifestyle for inspiration.

In this article we take a look at the various Forest Monasteries in Thailand that offer Vipassana Meditation training options for laymen in the style and lineage of the Kammattana Forest Tradition of Thailand.

Buddho Yoga
Buddho Yoga offers Yoga teachings based on alignment and transformation. Offers 200-hour yoga teacher training courses in Chiang Mai. Meditation training is part of the Y [More details...]
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Kow Tahm Insight Meditation Center
Kow Tahm International Meditation Center on Koh Phangan was founded by a Thai Buddhist nun for over 50 years to create a place for international travelers to practice Bud [More details...]
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Wat Anandagiri Forest Monastery
The Wat Anandagiri Forest Monastery in Petchabun was founded by Ajahn Achalo Bhikkhu. Ajahn Achalo envisioned a small to medium sized community of dedicated long-term mon [More details...]

Wat Boonyawad
Wat Boonyawad in Chonburi is a monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition. [More details...]

Wat Marp Jan
Wat Marp Jan is a Buddhist monastery in the tradition of Ajahn Chah and the so-called Thai Forest Tradition. The current abbot and main teacher, Ajahn Anan, continues to [More details...]
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Wat Nong Pah Pong
Wat Nong Pah Pong is a Buddhist forest monastery in the province of Ubon Rachathani and founded by the Venerable Ajahn Chah in 1954. The goal was to create a place where [More details...]

Wat Pah Ban Thad | Luangta Maha Bua
Wat Pah Ban Thad is a Thai Forest Monastery near Udon Thani in Thailand. [More details...]

Wat Pah Nanachat | International Forest Monastery
Wat Pah Nanachat is a Buddhist monastery in the Theravada Forest Tradition and was founded by Ajahn Chah. The monastery is located in the Northeast of Thailand. The monas [More details...]

Wat Tham Wua
Wat Tham Wua in Mae Hong Son is a Thai Forest Monastery and offers 10-day Vipassana Meditation courses. Free of charge, based on donations. The maximum amount of time you [More details...]
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Article Categories: Vipassana Meditation Courses and Retreats Thailand
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