World Weavers is excited to bring back our ground-breaking program, Monk for a Month – Thai Temple Life, Vipassana Meditation Retreat.
Our 2019 Thai Buddhist Temple retreat is now open for booking! Secure your place with a 20% Deposit on Checkout! (Please find our booking conditions and cancellation policy at the bottom edge of this page).
Dates for 2019 are:
1) 1st April to 14th April
2) 20th October to 2nd November
Exactly 10 years ago, the first Monk for a Month program was born in Northern Thailand. The program aimed to offer a unique spiritual immersion allowing guests to find greater enlightenment and achieve positive transformation. Although the program was discontinued after Ben Bowler (Founder of World Weavers) returned to Australia, the Buddhist temple-stay turned out to be the first in a series of cultural exchange and spiritual immersion programs around the world.
This pioneer program has always remained dear to the hearts of everybody at World Weavers and we are thrilled to bring it back in 2019!
Location & People
Located in Fang, in Northeast Thailand, a beautiful part of the world untouched by mass tourism, the BCDC Vipassana Meditation Centre is at the 13th Buddhist Community Development Centre. The area is full of natural beauty and cultural diversity – stunning waterfalls, caves, hot springs, hill tribe villages and temples. You will get to know the community and experience their kindness and hospitality, and interact with guests, monks and the lay people of the temple and local community.
You’ll also have the opportunity to visit some amazing places near Fang, filled with natural beauty and wonder, as well as the Blood Foundation Projects (an NGO created to assist migrant communities living along the Thai-Burma border).
14 days monastic living at the BCDC Vipassana Meditation Centre, offering a full immersion into the daily life of Theravada Buddhist Monks. You’ll learn more about Theravada Buddhism and core teachings of Vipassana Meditation. Vipassana meditation is a practice which involves at its core, paying close and constant attention, moment by moment to the five aggregates of existence – body or physical form, feelings or sensations, memory or perception, mental formations and consciousness – as they arise and cease across all physical and mental activity.
- Develop your knowledge and deepen your wisdom through the teachings, practices and philosophies of Theravada Buddhism
- Learn and practice Vipassana meditation with experienced and trained Theravada Monks
- Engage your mind, body and spirit in an adventure crafted to promote personal and spiritual development and growth
- Participate in group discussions and reflections with the guests, our facilitators and the monks.
- Explore and immerse yourself in the beautiful Northeast part of Thailand
- Visit, Learn about and Interact with the people behind Blood Foundation, an education-based NGO located on the Thai-Burmese border whose mission is to give ethnic minority and refugee children better opportunities for education
- Rare opportunity to gain insight into a daily life of Theravada Buddhist Monks
- Small group with a designated Facilitator for a personalised experience
- Unique opportunity for personal and spiritual development and growthPlease note that unlike traditional meditation retreats, we offer guidance to our guest through the help of a facilitator. We also encourage a level of mindful social interaction between the guests, monks and the lay people of the temple and the local community.
However, we ask that our guest voluntary observe the eight precepts (att.-sila), ancient undertakings of morality and conduct which form the foundation for conducive practice by protecting the body and mind from acts and thoughts which may hinder meditation and progress.
The Eight Precepts are :
- Abstaining from harming or killing any living beingsAbstaining from stealing
- Abstaining from sexual activity
- Abstaining from wrong speech; such as lying, idle chatter, malicious gossip or harsh speech
- Abstaining from intoxicating drinks and drugs
- Abstaining from eating after noon
- Abstaining from singing, dancing, listening to the music and beautifying the body
- Abstaining from using luxurious furniture
- Accommodation starting day 1 in Fang until day 13
- Breakfasts from day 2 to day 14
- Lunches from day 1 to day 13
- Transfer from Chiang Mai downtown to Fang and back to Chiang Mai
- Three Day trips (inclusive of entry fees; National Park entrance fee and sightseeing)
- World Weavers Group Facilitator
- Daily Lectures and Guidance by Centre’s Theravada Monks
- Visit to One Blood Foundation education based projects
Secure your place with a 20% Deposit on Checkout! (Please find our booking conditions and cancellation policy at the bottom edge of this page)
- Flights to and from Chiang Mai
- Travel insurance
- Any Visa requirements
- Accommodation in Chiang Mai
- Expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances
- White robes or white loose clothing
- Any additional expenses arising out of unforeseen circumstances
In 2008 together Ben and his wife, Jildou founded Blood Foundation, a local NGO focusing on education projects along the border and advocacy. In 2008 Ben founded the innovative Monk for a Month temple-stay program in Chiang Mai province offering men and women from around the world the opportunity to experience Thai temple life and temporary ordination. In 2010 Ben launched Muslim for a Month in Turkey offering guests first-hand experience of Turkish Islam and Sufism, underneath the spiritually inclusive banner of Rumi. In 2011 Ben launched World Weavers, a brand that today operates spiritual immersion programs in Tibetan India, Nepal, Cambodia and Ethiopia. In October 2015 at the Parliament of World' Religions Ben launched 1GOD.com, an online platform aimed at countering religious fundamentalism, relativism and western materialism.
Ben is also a co-creator of U-day “interspiritual” music festivals and the Convergence Radio platform.
Professor Darrol Bryant
M. Darrol Bryant is the Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Spirituality in the World Religions. Educated at Concordia College, Harvard Divinity School and the University of St. Michael’s College (Toronto), he has edited/authored more than 25 volumes including “Religion in a New Key” and “Muslim Christian Dialogue.” He has been involved in interfaith dialogue since the mid-1970s. A sabbatical with his family in India transformed his approach to the religious pathways of Hinduism, Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Sikh traditions, and travels in China changed his approach to Confucian, Daoist and Chinese Buddhist Ways. The dialogue of the intercultural and interreligious world remains his passion. He received the Huston Smith Interfaith Educator of the Year Award in 2011.
He is currently the North American Director of the India Mystic Express Journeys and the U Day Interspiritual Music Festivals as well as the 1God.com Interspiritual Online Education Academy. Also, he is Director of Eco-Ministry, Forum 21; event coordinator, The Interspiritual Network; and editor, “Steering Toward the Omega Point: Roundtables 2 and 3: Discussions of Altruism, Evolution, and Spirituality.” In the 80’s he was the Director of an organization that hosted many major international, interfaith, ecumenical conferences. Also, he was the Director of a medium sized publishing company in NYC. As well, he has been teaching Meditation, Intuitive Development and Hermetic and Perennial Wisdom teachings for nearly 30 years. The primary focus of his work has been to help people experience the still, small voice within or as he prefers to call it: “The Embrace.”
He is the author of six books on Meditation and Intuition and three Meditation CDs.