In recent years, the Inner Mind Center has built a special partnership with the monks in northern Thailand who teach us everything about meditation and mindfulness. During this retreat you will be immersed in a bath of mindfulness in one of the most special authentic tempels in Thailand. The monastery will leave a deep impression on you. It is therefore an opportunity that does not pass by so often.
17 – 26 October in Lamphun, Thailand
Donation-based 8-day retreat in the buddhist temple of Piyapodok Dhammastan
Retreat in Thailand
Donation-based 8-day retreat in Thailand with a buddhist monk
Welcome! Great to see that you are interested in our retreat to Thailand. It promises to be 8 beautiful, educational and special days and you will certainly leave again with many new insights. We will train a lot and intensively, but you will also be well cared for. Below you can read everything about the retreat and what you can expect. We hope to see you soon!
When will it happen?
The Essential Mind Retreat Program starts on October 18 and ends on October 26, 2020. We will all gather in Chiang Mai on the 17th. It is not necessary to travel together, so feel free to arrive a few days earlier in order to enjoy the country.
Because Master Niels lives in the temple as a monk, the information session will be conducted via skype. You can add Master Niels via skype name: niels.de.sturler.boekwijt
There will be an information meeting on Saturday 4 July 2020 at 10:00 am (CEST).
What can I expect?
The purpose of the retreat is to intensively practice mindfulness for a longer period. In addition, there is enough room for relaxation and tasty meals.
The retreat will be accompanied by mindfulness teacher Niels de Stürler Boekwijt. He has been personally trained since 2010 by Thai Buddhist monks in northern Thailand. Niels is a monk himself this year and knows better than anyone what it is like to train at the highest level. He will teach you authentic mindfulness techniques as practiced in Thailand. During the stay in Thailand you will also be personally accompanied by the other Buddhist monks.
Guidance by Buddhist monk Master Niels
You will be guided by the Buddhist monk Master Niels. He currently lives in a Buddhist temple in northern Thailand and has over 10 years of experience in the field of mindfulness and has been intensively guided by Thai monks all these years.
Many tourists traveling around Thailand want to experience a retreat. There are many international temples where foreigners can visit and find their rest for one week or longer. The temples are often visited and it is a good way to get in touch with mindfulness. To find the more authentic and special temples, you must be familiar with the country and need to have the right contacts with locals who would like to bring you there. Niels de Stürler Boekwijt has found one of the most extraordinary temples over the years and has established a special bond with the monks who live there.
The monastery is located in Lampang in the north of Thailand and is close to the famous city of Chiang Mai. The temple brings a healing and transforming energy with it and is deeply hidden in the countryside where few to no tourists can be found. Our special vipassana retreats will take place in this authentic temple. You sleep in a small primitive house with a bedroom and shower. The ecological temple is powered by solar energy and is surrounded by mango trees that provide an abundance of mangos in the summer. During the day you get up early and the mindfulness practice and lectures take place in the central hall.
The delicious Thai local meals are provided by local residents who are committed to the temple. You mainly eat Thai vegetarian meals and you decide whether you eat one, two or three meals a day. In order to get the most out of the mindfulness sessions, we recommend eating no more than once or twice a day. You can experience the effect of this yourself during the retreat.
Living habits within the temple
In Thailand we come into contact with a different culture and that is why it is nice to know more about the living habits within the temple.
Greetings: Thai people don’t shake hands but bring hands together in front of the chest and bend over. When saluting a monk, we bring hands together for the head, instead of the chest, to express respect.
Feet: In Thailand it is not very polite to point our feet in the direction of someone else. This is especially true in the temples and that is why we do not lay our feet in the direction of the Buddha statues or a monk. Most people are therefore sitting in a lotus position or on their knees.
Clothing: In the temple we wear white clothing.
Five general Buddhist rules of life:
- Do not kill (humans or animals)
- Do not steal
- Do not lie
- Do not commit adultery
- Do not take intoxicants such as alcohol and drugs
Three rules that help us train and purify the mind:
- Meals: Try to limit yourself to eating one or two meals a day before 12:00 noon (this is of course not an obligation).
- Entertainment: During our retreat period we try to entertain ourselves as little as possible. In the next two weeks we try not to entertain ourselves by dancing, singing or listening to music and / or other entertainment. Reading about Buddhism or spirituality is of course allowed and writing about your own inner processes can even be beneficial. Appearance: Apart from our natural attention to hygiene, we pay little attention to our appearance in the temple. That way we don’t have to use perfume, jewelry or other items to make ourselves look better.
- Beds: In the temple we do not use luxury or high beds. Of course, a solution is looked into if someone has back problems or other limitations.
Do not take the rules of life too strictly (excluding the five general rules). The rules are meant to help you and not to force you into a certain straitjacket.
Clothing and supplies
- 3-4 sets of white light clothing (covering, long pants, dress, etc. T-shirts are allowed) to wear inside the temple.
- Shawl / thick sweater against the cold in the evenings
- Bottom sheet and a single duvet cover
- 1 or 2x a large and small towel
- Washing powder for clothing
- Toilet roll and waste bag
- Slippers and normal shoes
- (Wind-up) flashlight
- Mosquito repellent and possibly afterbite
- Notepad to take notes
Lamphun has a relatively dry climate compared to the surrounding provinces. In the winter period there is little rain and the temperature is on average between 17 at night and 35 degrees during the day. The winter season is characterized by dry, sunny and pleasant weather. The warm weather is alternated with cool and sometimes foggy nights.
- There is enough clean drinking water in the temple.
- You can shower in your own cabin every morning / afternoon or evening.
- In the temple there are both toilets where you can sit or squat.
We recommend the following vaccinations:
- DTP (Diphtheria, Tetanus and Polio)
- Hepatitis A (infectious jaundice)
- Possibly Rabies
More information about this can be found at: http://www.ggdreisvaccinaties.nl/land/thailand
Make sure you have good travel insurance when you go on a retreat.
We recommend that you put your bank cards on world banking. If you do not do this, you cannot use your bank card abroad.
What we expect from you?
It doesn’t matter if you have just started or that you have a lot of experience with mindfulness. The retreat will be tailored to your level. During the retreat period, most people feel as if they are stepping into a warm bath. At the same time, you will also experience that your mindfulness sessions can be challenging. It therefore requires perseverance that will lead to deep insights and relaxation.
Try not to pay attention to the time during the retreat. This can sometimes be challenging because you are not yet used to the mindfulness sessions and disciplined life in the temple.
Make it clear to yourself why you have decided to go on this special journey. The more dedication you have during the retreat, the more you can reap the benefits at the end of this beautiful period.
The willingness to grow and develop. Self-development is a conscious choice for a higher growth rate. This means that new insights will arise, and where new insights arise, change will follow.
Kindness and compassion
Be kind to yourself and others.
Try to stay positive during the retreat and during the trip itself. By dealing mindfully with your feelings you give yourself a very big gift.
Most flights depart from Amsterdam Schiphol to Bangkok. From there, there are plenty of long-haul flights to Chiang Mai, where you will be picked up by a minivan to take you to the temple.
October 17, 2020 at 4 pm
October 18, 2020 (start of retreat)
October 26, 2020 (last day retreat)
+/- 13 hours
* The tickets are booked by yourself.
Departure date and return date depend on the tickets you have booked yourself. Dates above are the start and end dates of the retreat.
Costs / Donation-based
This course is donation-based. It is a special year in which Master Niels gives multiple donation-based retreats and courses. The target price for this course in the Netherlands is around 480 euros, but feel free to donate what is in balance for you.
* Cost of the airline tickets depends on the time of booking.
* It is recommended to arrive a day earlier so that we are all present in time at the airport / in the temple.
How many places are available?
10 people can participate in the retreat.
We wish you a very pleasant and inspiring journey!
Interested parties can register using the contact form below. After registration we will contact you as soon as possible.
Niels de Stürler Boekwijt is the founder of the Inner Mind Institute. While currently living as a monk, Master Niels guides retreats in Thailand, organized by the Inner Mind Institute.
Since 2010 Master Niels traveled multiple times to Thailand to expand his knowledge about mindfulness, eventually becoming a monk for the first time in 2015. This year, in 2020, Master Niels will live as a monk for one full year. His ultimate goal is to find enlightenment and to spread his knowledge to his students.
In the Netherlands Niels works as an osteopath, treating people in the Inner Mind Center in Oegstgeest and he organizes mindfulness courses and retreats in The Netherlands and Thailand.
You can learn more about Master Niels in the documentary The White Monk. The documentary is to be released later this year. Subscribe to the newsletter to receive updates about the documentary and it’s release date.