Retreat schedules change through the ten-day period according to the teachers, but wakeup time is 4 a.m., breakfast 8 a.m., and lunch 1230 p.m. A typical schedule for meditators staying "between" retreats is 4 a.m. wakeup; 5 a.m. meditation; 6 a.m. yoga or other exercise (optional); 8 a.m. breakfast; 9 a.m. chores; 1130 a.m. meditation; 1 p.m. lunch; 430 p.m. meditation; 530 p.m. drinks; 7 p.m. tape or talk; 8 p.m. meditation; 9 p.m. individual practice; 10 p.m. lights out.
Although Suan Mokkh prefers not to make rules, it is much appreciated when visitors dress and behave within the rather conservative traditions of Thai forest wats. Laypeople observe 5 precepts. A daily charge of 50 baht (US $2) covers food and accommodation expenses during and between retreats.
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu founded Suan Mokkh in 1932 and moved it to its present location about 10 years later. He has sought to provide a natural setting where visitors can forget "themselves" and study, practice, and realize the Dhamma. His many books, some translated into English, skilfully explain anapanasati meditation and other aspects of the Buddha's teaching. Ajahn Buddhadasa died at Suan Mokkh on July 8, 1993; He was 87 years old.
The "Evolution/Liberation" newsletter comes out once a year with articles and news; it's available free by mail or at Suan Mokkh; donations support publication and distribution. The foreign library at Suan Mokkh has a variety of books on Buddhist and related topics. Most are in English, though German, French, and other languages are represented too.
In order to do the retreat successfully, you must be really free from all commitments for the period of the retreat. All phone calls, e-mail, letters, tickets, flight confirmations, money changing, visa extensions etc. must be arranged and organized before the retreat begins. There is no way to do them during the retreat. Your phone, tablet, notebook etc. has to be deposited for safe keeping during the retreat.
You must be in good general health, both physically and mentally. The retreat is not suitable for people with mental disorders or drug addictions.
A motto of Venerable Ajahn Buddhadasa was "Live plainly, aim high". This is reflected in the retreat's very simple living conditions in close contact with nature. For example:
The private room for your use is small, containing just a hard bed with a
simple straw mat, a blanket, a mosquito net, and a wooden pillow.
Toilets (mainly Western style) and baths (Asian style mandi) are shared facilities.
We'll have two vegetarian meals a day plus a drink in the evening.
We cannot provide any extras or special diets and you may not bring
any food or drink in the retreat.
Loose clothing e.g. T-shirt, fisherman pants. Due to monastic custom the
body should be completely covered from the shoulders to below the knees,
including the upper arms. No see-through clothing please.
It is not necessary to dress in white during the retreat.
Slippers, since shoes have to be taken off in all buildings.
Personal toiletries, mosquito repellent, towel, hand mirror for shaving.
Umbrella or raincoat (during rainy season).
Some purchases (toiletries, etc.) can be made during the retreat at our small shop.