Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Discussion of ordination, the Vinaya and monastic life. How and where to ordain? Bhikkhuni ordination etc.

Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby Maitri » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:49 am

If this thread needs to be moved, please do so! I thought this might be the closest sub-forum for my question.

I'd like to stay in Asia (looking at perhaps Thailand or Sri Lanka) for about three months for study and meditation retreat next year. However, as a female my choices are more limited by both availability and safety concerns.

Does anyone have a temple, nunnery or retreat center they could recommend for a lay woman to study at? I have no wish to ordain at this time, but only to go deeper into my practice and volunteer if given the opportunity. The reason for staying in Asia is that I also wish to live in a Buddhist country for a period of time to better understand the place of Dhamma in everyday life.
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Re: Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:18 am

I have never been to Thailand or Sri Lanka yet, but Bhikkhuni Dhammananda has a monastery at:

Songdhammakalyani Monastry 195 Petkasem Highway Muang District, Nakhonpathom Thailand 73000
Tel. +66 34 258-270 Fax +66 34 284-315

In Sri Lanka there are probably several choices as it is somewhat the leader in providing bhikkhuni ordinations.

In Sravasti, India there is Maha Upasika Bongkot's Dhamma center. A beautiful place with a huge meditation hall, kutis, several hectares of land, etc. There are about 108 men and women there, mostly women, who wear white and follow the 8 precepts. She also runs another facility in Thailand, but sorry don't know the address of that one.

edit: I have a list of bhikkhuni centers in Asia here:
http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?tit ... ni_centers
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Re: Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby pilgrim » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:53 am

Bhikkhuni Dhammananda's place may not be very suitable for quiet retreats as it is next to a highway. I have heard good things about Sathira Dhammasathan, a place for women, but I have not visited.

Otherwise, the many retreat centres all over Thailand do allow safe and comfortable environments for women on retreats. Same goes for centres in Burma under Sayadaws Pa Auk, U Tejaniya, and U Pandita. There is an online book named here which has pretty extensive information
http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/ ... enters.pdf
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Re: Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby upekha » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:51 am

I just returned from a retreat in Sri Lanka, and I would highly recommend the center. It is very safe for women, in fact there were quite a few westerners staying at the time I was there.

It is a few kilo meters out of the capital. The name of the center is

Sumathipala Nahimi Aranya Senasena,

Kaduboda, Delgoda.Tel 0112402805

Location:

Next to the Siyane Samatha Wipassana Meditation Centre, Delgoda.
Bus Route 224 Pugoda – Colombo
Distance 30 kms’ away from Colombo
Land Extent about 12 Acers

Facilities available:

55 person could be accommodate at once
Small Pantry, attached bathrooms are provided for all rooms
Special facilities are provided for families, elders and people with Sicknesses
10 days to 03 weeks programs available
Daily Dhamma discussions at 4.30 to 6.00 pm
Hall facilities available for group of 50

Free of Charge Service and donations could be given

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Re: Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby Maitri » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:22 am

Thanks very much for the recommendations! I wanted to specifically ask for centers for lay women because many times I see many retreats or training directed towards preparation for Bhikkhuni ordination- which is great, but not my intention.

Practicing in Sravasti sounds amazing, but I am concerned about traveling alone in India. I want to return to Bodhgaya and perhaps practice there at some point.
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Re: Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:51 pm

Maitri wrote:Does anyone have a temple, nunnery or retreat center they could recommend for a lay woman to study at? I have no wish to ordain at this time, but only to go deeper into my practice and volunteer if given the opportunity.


Most Wats in Thailand have as many women (or more) as men in them even though they are very patriarchal, most Wats that cater for foreigners cater just as well for both sexes. Of course if you prefer a male free environment that limits your choices very much.
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Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby GraemeR » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:17 am

Maitri wrote:If this thread needs to be moved, please do so! I thought this might be the closest sub-forum for my question.

I'd like to stay in Asia (looking at perhaps Thailand or Sri Lanka) for about three months for study and meditation retreat next year. However, as a female my choices are more limited by both availability and safety concerns.

Does anyone have a temple, nunnery or retreat center they could recommend for a lay woman to study at? I have no wish to ordain at this time, but only to go deeper into my practice and volunteer if given the opportunity. The reason for staying in Asia is that I also wish to live in a Buddhist country for a period of time to better understand the place of Dhamma in everyday life.


Please try The International Women's Meditation Centre in Rayong, Thailand.

I know the abbess, De Lee and would recommend her teaching.

If you would rather go south try Suan Mokkh which has excellent teaching and is well organised for foreign visitors.

http://www.suanmokkh.org/

http://www.iwmcf.org/index.html

Graham
Last edited by GraemeR on Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Temple/ Retreat Stay for women in Asia

Postby GraemeR » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:23 am

Goofaholix wrote:Most Wats in Thailand have as many women (or more) as men in them even though they are very patriarchal, most Wats that cater for foreigners cater just as well for both sexes. Of course if you prefer a male free environment that limits your choices very much.


I was told in one temple in Chonburi that I couldn't do meditation there because I was a foreigner and they suggested I go to Bangkok instead.

Some temples will just ignore foreigners and let you get on as you please, other will try to be helpful, though language skills may be limited.

Graham
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