The name of this place was given by the venerable Ashin Nagadipa, abbot of the mystical and esteemed Burmese Buddhist monastery Kyaik Htee Tsaung. Although in its infancy, there is faith that Thuwannabhumi Deepa will manifest its auspicious name - a place where there is the light of hope and happiness born from truth and the refinement of mind and bodily conduct.
To wake up and think, 'I am an onion, we all are'. The self is bound in layers of no centre, it is an empty expression of psycho-energetic flux in a universe of challenges and ignorance. Past-lives stretch behind us, pulling with them many superficial values that we develop since childhood. Future lives charge ahead destroying vain expectations we held for this life. In the wake of the carnage of this cosmological current of death and rebirth is left a small gleaming jewel of wisdom. It holds the power to elevate us above the suffering of death, rebirth, and our exasperated search for true identity.
I am building a meditation center and monastery in the mountains of Northern Thailand. It is firmly rooted in the great lesson of the man who became the Buddha Gautama over 2,500 years ago. It is nestled in lush jungles that rise amidst the ancient slopes of rich soil pouring into the stream marking the foremost border of the land. It is a special place deeply connected with the spirit of nature, offering tranquility and a refuge from a clamorous society. Its purpose is to offer visitors the chance to be more than onions.
It is the way of this place that practitioners have the space to develop inner tranquility and discover the fruits of truth within themselves. Therefore it is important that we allow each other this sanctity of being, and not impose our view and will on others. It is also important that visitors respect that the teachings of the Buddha are the way of this place, and that they are careful not to misrepresent them to others here. Those who wish to come to teach and heal others will find that their purpose does not align with the purpose of this refuge. Here we learn to heal and teach ourselves, and to gently be with others as friends walking the same path. However, there are many alternatives in Thailand that are intended to accommodate teachers and healers.
I am a 28 year old Irish man living in Thailand. I have been studying and practicing the Buddhist path for several years now with some success. I have ordained as a temporary monk in Myanmar several times and have a close relationship with a venerable abbot and monastery there. The mediation centre was named by this abbot and is encouraged by him.
Currently, my father in law lives on the land. He is a Buddhist monk living a simple life. He enjoys growing fruit, veg, and flowers.
The land is a spiritual refuge and so certain rules strictly apply, being the five precepts, abstinence from all sexual activity, and abstaining from the eating of meat and eggs. The five precepts are:
1) To abstain from the taking of life.
2) To abstain from taking what is not freely given.
3) To abstain from sexual misconduct.
4) To abstain from false, frivolous and harsh speech.
5) To abstain from the taking of mental intoxicants (the smoking of tobacco its allowed.).
Volunteers are also asked to refrain from wearing black and ember-red clothing. Females should cover shoulders, knees and cleavage. Males should not be topless and cover their shoulders when not working.
In Asia, respect is the essence of culture and it is reflected in many refined ways. Physical contact is reserved and this is especially the case with monks. Hugging is a precious and deep gesture and not given and received easily. Touching the head is especially considered disrespectful. Although many westerners express affection through touching, and this can be a beautiful symbol, practitioners who enjoy touching are advised to refrain from this while staying here out of respect for the way of the culture. Also, pointing at a person or holy image is not considered respectful in many Asian cultures, as well as pointing your feet at people and holy images.
In many Asian cultures, ‘hello’, ‘thank you’ and ‘good-bye’ is not said between the locals. There is also a noble tradition that is dying out in respecting the conversation and truth of quietude. Practitioners need not be concerned that others are dissatisfied with them if they experience this from others. These affections are often expressed in slight gestures and giving instead. Although the owner is Irish, he has adopted many of the Burmese customs. You are supported and appreciated in all your good efforts.
Asians are also very understanding when others make honest mistakes. However, intended disrespect is taken very seriously, especially to the elders and monks of society. Volunteers are advised to check their tempers in such situations. Do not be concerned if you have made an honest mistake with respect to these guidelines. Forgiveness and the acceptance of forgiveness is in the nature of this refuge.
Volunteers are asked to work 4-5 hours a day, Sundays are more relaxed. Work will be given according to the abilities of the individual. Volunteers will find the work to be enjoyable and conducive to their practice. None need fear it!
Wifi is available, but it is slow and not suitable for serious online work.
Cooking / shopping
Help with Computers / internet
Foremost, it is wished that visitors will benefit from the inner wisdom, solace and mysteries that we all possess. The method used to unlock our latent spiritual power is the eight-fold Path as taught by the Buddha. First there is the abstinence from worldly desires and corruptions (following the five precepts, as well as the complete abstinence from sexual practices and eating meat), then there is the active doing of good (in this case supporting the altruistic meditation centre intended to bring a wise happiness to visitors). This moral behaviour empowers the will of the mind, and so we can successfully practice releasing our mind from corrupted thoughts and motivations, and cultivate positive mental powers through mediation.
A purified and powerful mind may experience extraordinary psychic phenomena such as spontaneous remembrance of past lives, or visions of extra-dimensional beings. Such experiences reorientate our perspective on existence, naturally feeding the faculty of wisdom. Yet excitement can equally feed into folly. Otherwise, wisdom can be cultivated independent of such experience, and by applying a pure and powerful mind to the lessons of truth taught by the Buddha, we may discover profound depths of wisdom within ourselves. In this way, we may hope to discover the Nibbanic element, the realm of the fully enlightened who are free from suffering and death.
However, nibbana is a special experience unique to the Buddhist path. Practitioners should exercise caution in understanding their experiences. Misunderstandings can create great obstacles for the practitioner that inhibit their progress. Practitioners are also advised to be discrete in sharing their spiritual experiences with others, as this can cause confusion.
Beyond this, construction skills may be acquired.
Currently, there is hosting available for 1/2 people depending on the situation.
Help is needed with a variety of hands-on tasks. Currently I am landscaping a great deal, and am preparing the first roads and shelters.
Something will be found to fit the skills of the helpers. Helpers should endeavour to help for 4-5 hours a day.
Helpers will find that this work will be of great benefit to their spiritual practice. Provided your intentions are good, there is nothing to worry about.
Bring enough clothing to cover your work, it can get messy. Laundry services are available free of charge. Bring a nice and loose sets of clothes for meditation practice and day trips. Black and ember red clothing should be avoided. If you are worried about coming, practice letting go of that anxiety and turn your mind toward the solace of living the simple life in a mountain refuge. Everything will be ok. All levels are welcome, including beginners.
English, German, a little French
Practitioners stay in a bamboo hut, one person to a hut. Accommodation is simple and pleasant.
Three meals a day will be provided, although it is recommended that serious spiritual practitioners avoid dinner in order to empower their mental abilities.
It is highly recommended that time off is spent developing inner peace. Occasional sightseeing trips to spiritual places will be arranged. A scooter is available for local transport. The centre is an hour's drive from Chiang May city centre, pick-up and drop-off is available for stays of one week or more. For shorter stays it is recommended that you rent a scooter in order to get here. You may contact us first to check if we will be going in and out of the city on your preferred dates anyway. For stays of 3-5 days, collection and drop-off at Doi Saket town is possible.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
More than two
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week