If you are very interested in learning Vipassana meditation, this 10-day meditation course at Wat Khao Tham may be just the place for you. It doesn't matter whether you are a complete novice or if you have had some previous experience in meditating, this course is open to all, both men and women who are seeking to learn or improve their meditation skills. The meditation skills offered at Wat Kow Tahm is in the 2,500 years' old discipline of "Satipatthana". This leads to Vipassana (clear-seeing), through personal observation of one’s mind and body processes. The "knowledge of seeing things as they really are" can lead to positive transformation and freedom. The course receives excellent reviews, and some say that it has helped to change their lives, solve their problems and make them happier and more contented people. The temple is located behind the beach of Ban Tai, on the south coast of the island, and is a very peaceful place, set in the countryside and surrounded by some exceptional scenery. The ten-day course commences on the tenth day of each month, with registration from 8:30am - 11:00am. You cannot book in advance, and it is on a 'first come first serve' basis. The temple takes a maximum of 60 people, so if you want to be sure of a place, make sure you are there at 8:30am. The first two days are orientation days to get used to your surroundings. This is followed by 7 days of total silence, aside some Q&A sessions, during which you will be taught and also practice meditation. The final two days are for you to rest and readjust back to the outside world. There is separate sleeping accommodation for men and women, which is in either shared rooms for two or dorms. You should be in reasonable physical condition to take this course, as you will be spending many hours a day meditating, and it can become quite challenging living in a very basic, Thai-style environment - in silence. However, some "special needs" attendees can be accommodated and alternative ways to sit while meditating are allowed. Meals are provided in the temple restaurant and feedback reports that the food is very good; special dietary requirements can be provided. The course is free of charge, but all participants are invited to make a donation to cover the costs. A rough guide is that you should consider donate a minimum 5000B - 7000B for your 10-day stay, which is less than you would pay for food and lodging at most guesthouses. If you are interested, full details can be found on the website which you should read thoroughly. You can also call/contact the number or email address below for details of dates, times and teachers, etc. The person running the class does vary, contact details listed here are for Tookata but check on the website. This is particularly advisable if you have special needs. Rates: Free, but voluntary donations are gratefully accepted. Email: email@example.com Tel: +66 879749465 Address: Wat Khao Tham, Ko Pha Ngan Website: www.kowtahm.com Getting Here: All boats coming from the mainland dock in Koh Phangan's main village at Thong Sala. Take a songthaew taxi from the pier in the direction of Haad Rin, that stops at Ban Tai beach, (located between Tong Sala and Haad Rin). Tell the driver you're going to "Wat Kow Tahm" and you should pay about 100B.
Ko Pha Ngan