MEANING OF NAME: "Sorn" is the person who donated the land; "Thawee" is the founder and head teacher at the centre.
ALSO SPELLED: Samnak Vipassana Sorn-Thawee
ADDRESS: Bangkla, Chachoengsao 24110
DIRECTIONS: From Bangkok, take a bus to Chachoengsao from either Northern (Moh Chit) or Eastern (Ekamai) bus terminals.Then take a bus toward Bangkla; get off after about 25 min. (just past KM post 17) where the bus turns left at Bangkla Crossing; walk across the highway and follow the intersecting road south 300 meters, then turn right another 300 meters at the sign.
MEDITATION SYSTEM: Vipassana, practice of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness. Techniques using the tool of mental noting are similar to those taught by Mahasi Sayadaw. Formal sitting and walking meditation is done 8-12 hours a day. Mindfulness is applied to all of one's daily activities. One must practice systematically through waking hours in order to develop the concentration needed for effective insight meditation.
TEACHING METHOD: Daily individual interviews are considered essential. Meditators report previous day's experiences, then receive instruction and guidance.
TEACHERS: Phra Ajahn Thawee, abbot (Thai; age 76) and a Western
nun (Austrian) teach foreigners.
LANGUAGE: English and German are always available.
DESCRIPTION: Attractively landscaped grounds of 24 rai (10 acres)
with ponds, trees, and colorful shrubs. Rice fields surround the centre.
SIZE: monks: 15-22 novices: usually 0 nuns: 20-30 laypeople: 40-50 A new Dhamma Hall has 70 rooms for meditators.
DAILY ROUTINE: 4 a.m. wakeup; 6:30 a.m. breakfast; 7:30 a.m. individual interviews begin; 11 a.m. lunch. Day is spent in or near one's kuti doing intensive individual practice. Meditators should not sleep more than 6 hours. No group practice is offered.
FOOD: Good quality and variety; vegetarian is available on request. Two meals are served in the morning. Meditators eat mindfully in their kutis. The community eats as a group on special occasions.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Individual kutis with screens, fans, electricity, and attached bathrooms with running water. Older kutis have Thai-style bathrooms; newer kutis have western-style facilities.
WRITE IN ADVANCE?: Yes, necessary to arrange accommodations.
ORDINATION: Not available
OTHER INFORMATION: Only individual (solitary) practice is offered at present; this isn't for everyone as some people feel the need for the support of group practice. A Dhamma hall under construction is expected to open in 1993; check with the centre then to find out if group practice will be offered. The usual retreat duration is 50 days; 20 days is the minimum recommended stay. Visits of less than 2 weeks don't allow enough time to develop insight and won't be allowed. Meditators observe 8 precepts, keep noble silence (especially not to talk about one's meditation experiences with others), wear loose-fitting, modest clothing, and abstain from reading, writing, or listening to radios. A blanket or light sleeping bag is needed in the cool season. A 50 baht (US $2) daily fee covers running expenses.