Preparing for the retreat

What is a “meditation retreat”?

The idea of “retreat” is “the act of withdrawing, as into safety or privacy; retirement; seclusion.” A spiritual retreat allows us to withdraw from the day-to-day world and concentrate on spiritual practices.

Here we are doing a meditation retreat. At each retreat, some of us may have a lot of experience meditating, some may have no idea about it at all, and we have all ranges in between. This page about meditation may be useful for anyone, to see the approach here at Kow Tham.

You definitely do not have to have detailed knowledge about meditation in order to meditate! Meditation itself is simple: Just sit, and breathe, and be.

For some minds, or at some stages, we like to chew on some more details to give our monkey mind something to do so it will stop bothering us. There is some good general information about spiritual retreats at Wikipedia, and we have links to other selected pages and websites on our Resources page that may be useful.

General preparation

  • It is important to clear 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 organised before the silent retreat, which begins on the 11th at 1pm.
  • A meditation retreat can be both mentally and physically very challenging.
  • All participants must be in good general health, both physically and mentally.
  • The retreat is not suitable for people with mental disorders or drug addictions.
  • It is recommended to be well-rested before the start of the retreat.

What to bring:

  • Loose clothing which fully covers the body, such as fisherman pants and t-shirts. Clothing must follow our dress code. Keep in mind that the weather here is normally hot, and often humid, so lighweight clothing works better.
  • A light jacket or sweater may be wanted in evenings. Also a light shawl can be handy in the non-rainy season, when it can get quite hot and humid.
  • Flip-flops or slippers [more]
  • Personal toiletries (sanitary napkins or tampons, shaving gear, toothpaste and brush, etc.)
  • Towel
  • Torch – check the batteries!
  • Washing powder etc.
  • Mosquito repellent

What not to bring:

  • Phones, laptops, and any other electronic devices, books, reading materials, any other distractions, are not allowed during the retreat.
  • If you bring any of these, you must deposit them with the retreat staff for the duration of the retreat.

Clothes and bedding

  • No see-through or revealing clothing please. Please see the dress code page for more information.
  • Clothes are hand washed during the breaks. Please bring washing powder.
  • Fresh bedding and a mosquito net are provided by the center.

Preparing your mind:


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