Monday, March 16, 2015

Photos of Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist Temple in Chaiya, Thailand

A large, two-story kuti (monk's home or hut) at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
Small house close to the entrance.

Emanuel Shermann painted many pieces on walls of building at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
Painting by Emanuel Shermann. There are many of his works here from the 1960's.

Emanuel Sherman's painting of a Buddha meditating in fantastic style with fire at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
Another Emanuel Shermann painting on the wall at the "Eye Building."

Outside the Eye Building it is covered in these black and reddish concrete representations of early life in Siam.

Large white Buddha statue of white jade or marble at top of hill, Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
At the top of the hill is the main outdoor area where Buddhadasa spoke to the Sangha. It's a wide open expanse with sand on the ground.

Colorful poster on wall of temple, of Buddhadasa Bhikku, at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
A colorful poster of Buddhadhasa Bhikku. This poster is on the second floor of the "Eye Building."

An interesting scene of a spirit handing out eyeballs to followers at a building at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
The Eye Building. There is a spirit giving away eyeballs painted on the corner of this building. An interesting photo!

Lots of wildlife at Wat Suan Mokkh. There are many small man-made ponds around the temple and a few kinds of frogs. I saw 3 frog species yesterday.

Information center for meditation retreats at Wat Suan Mokkh. There is a 10 day silent retreat, and a self-guided stay retreat program if you wish. Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
Meditation information center. Here you can find out about the International Dhamma Hermitage 10 day silent meditation retreats they have at the IDH across the highway and down the road. Thousands of foreigners have joined the experience over the years.

This is a monk's kuti covered in orange monk robes to block the sun and keep it cool at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
A monk's kuti - hut - where he lives in the forest at Wat Suan Mokkh.

The small library with many great Buddhist books and pamphlets at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
A small library found under the large boat building. This is probably the best place to meditate, as long as people are quiet inside. The books you will find here were placed there by monks and visitors over the years. There are some very obscure books and pamphlets that you will probably never see anywhere else. A great opportunity to find gems.

Men's dormitory, second floor, at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
Men's dormitory - second floor for foreigners. Just come and stay, volunteer sweeping or doing something and meditate as you wish. No formal program on this, the Thai side, or the original temple side of Suan Mokkh. Not to be confused with the International Dharma Hermitage retreat center across the highway from here.

Monk's forest kuti under slanting bamboo at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
Another monk kuti under bamboo on the hill.

Roosters, chickens, frogs, and lizards are all over Suan Mokkh Temple.
Roosters and chickens, chicks, are everywhere!

Skeletons hanging on wall at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
At the study building, skeletons hang on the wall near the "Wheel of Becoming" canvas.

Near the art center.

Two Theravada Buddhist monks are walking in the forest on their way to lunch at the forest monestary at Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Buddhist temple in the southern province of Chaiya, Thailand.
On the way to breakfast, two Theravada Buddhist monks walk down the path.

Yesterday we again visited one of our favorite Buddhist temples, Wat Suan Mokkh Theravada Temple located in the small province of Chaiya, just north of Surat Thani, Thailand. This temple was founded by Buddhadasa Bhikku and Vern came to know it because he spoke with a monk, Santikaro, who stayed there for 13 years.

The temple was created in the forest tradition - similar to Ajahn Chah's temples in the northeast. There are acres and acres of forest, and the vast majority of the grounds have not been touched at all. Monk's kutis (huts) and other buildings are separated by large tracts of forest, trees, flowers, ponds, etc. There are dirt trails throughout the temple. There are dozens of Thai monks staying here. Yesterday I didn't see any foreign monks, and no foreign meditators staying in the men's dormitory, or walking around the grounds. It is getting to be one of the hottest times of the year currently and maybe that is what is putting off visitors for now. Here is Vern's meditation journal entry at his main blog.

Buddhadasa was focused on meditation and true dharma. He visited Bangkok as a young monk and found the Buddhist system in place to be corrupt, self-serving, and not what he wanted to be a part of. He traveled back home to Chaiya and took over an abandoned temple and started the amazing Suan Mokkh temple and the International Dharma Hermitage across the highway and down the road. This is a place where foreigners from the first to the tenth of each month can join a 10 day silent meditation retreat. This is a vipassana (insight) style retreat and is usually attended by dozens, to over 100 people each month.

Suan Mokkh sells no amulets, no statues, nothing except t-shirts with some sayings Buddhadasa once said.

Enjoy the Suan Mokkhabalarama Photos!

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