The experience of retreat does not stop at the end of silence, or even after you leave Khao Tham. You may find it more satisfying to take your time in leaving — wind down slowly and let the benefit of the retreat really enter into you, rather than rushing off to get a visa extension or visit your next country.
Day 18, 5pm – ending silence
At 5pm on Day 18 we can break silence in the Meditation Hall in sharing our experiences, and after that silence is over.
But you don’t have to talk, and you can carry your mindfulness into your speech when you do.
Days 19 and 20 – leaving Khao Tham
There will be no wake-up bell on the last two days. There will be a late breakfast provided, and an 11am lunch depending on arrangements with the retreatants.
Although the formal silent retreat is over, we are still on the Khao Tham grounds, and are mindful of the customs of our Thai hosts, our Code of Conduct, our Dress Code, and the five Buddhist Precepts which we affirmed at the end of retreat.
Although retreat is over, you are still in a Thai monastery. Please do not return to your skimpy tourist clothes until you have left the Khao Tham grounds. 🙂
Khao Tham does not have transportation services.
Depending on our finances and availability of driver, we may be able to give rides to town, to the pier, etc. Our truck does not fully partake of the Khao Tham magic, and does need gas (petrol), and therefore gas money! If truck is not available — the main road is only 1.5 km away, and it’s all downhill. “Taxis” (songthaews) go up and down the main road pretty often. If you are going to catch the ferry, be sure to allow at least half hour, more if you are walking down to the main road, plus extra for unexpected delays.
Day 21 – You’re on your own!
A meditation retreat experience can be a shake-up, but it is quite often a subtle one. If you give yourself a relaxing time after the retreat, and even try to continue some sitting and walking practice, you will be more able to really feel it, and to carry the benefits of this special experience back into your daily life.
And we hope to see you again!