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A Guide To BUDDHIST MONASTERIES and MEDITATION CENTRES in THAILAND

 

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PENANG ISLAND, MALAYSIA

Many travelers come through this multi-cultured island to see the sights or to obtain a Thai visa. You can also stay and practice meditation here. Visitors of most nationalities typically receive a 3-month entry permit on arrival (no visa needed) in Malaysia. The country also has the advantage of easy access from Thailand (inexpensive if one comes by train or bus). English is widely spoken.

 

MALAYSIAN BUDDHIST MEDITATION CENTRE (M.B.M.C.)

ADDRESS: Honorary Secretary, Malaysian Buddhist Meditation Centre, 355 Jalan Masjid Negeri, 11600 Penang, MALAYSIA
DIRECTIONS: Located in the southwest part of Georgetown, the main city on Penang Island. Taxis provide the easiest way to get here. Buses "Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang" #5, 6, 9, and 11 pass by from the ferry jetty.
A short, inexpensive ferry ride connects Penang with Butterworth on the northwest coast of Malaysia. The train station is in Butterworth. Long-distance buses operate both from Penang (via a bridge) and Georgetown. The airport, on Penang Island, has connections with Bangkok, Phuket, and Hat Yai in Thailand and many other cities in Asia.
TELEPHONE: (04) 872-534
MEDITATION SYSTEM: Vipassana, based on the Mahasi Sayadaw techniques and Four Foundations of Mindfulness. All meditators must adhere to this method while they are here.
TEACHING METHOD: Individual interviews and group Dhamma talks; frequency is determined by the teacher.
TEACHERS: A monk experienced in teaching vipassana meditation (the teacher changes from time to time).
LANGUAGE: English is the main language; translation for the Hokkien language used locally is available. If the teacher is not fluent in English, he will use a translator.
DESCRIPTION: Look for a large 3-story building with an orange- and green-tiled roof. The office, group sitting and walking areas, and men's accommodations are inside. Women's accommodations are in a separate building behind. Kitchen and dining area are in front and to the side of the main building. Trees and grass in a suburban setting.
SIZE: monks: 2-22; novices: 0-9; nuns: 0-5; laymen: 0-22; laywomen: 5-60
DAILY ROUTINE: Day begins at 3:45 a.m. and ends after the 9:45 p.m. Metta chanting. Breakfast is at 6:30 a.m., lunch at 11 a.m. Most of the day consists of alternating hour-long periods of sitting and walking meditation; beginners can start with shorter periods, then work up to one hour. Sleep should be limited to 4-6 hours a day. Continual mindfulness through the waking hours is emphasized.
FOOD: Good quality and variety Malaysian food; vegetarian is sometimes available and can be requested then. Two meals are served in the morning.
ACCOMMODATIONS: Laypeople stay in dormitories, separate for men and women. Monks and novices have individual rooms but may have to share.
WRITE IN ADVANCE?: Recommended. Occasionally the centre fills, especially during school holidays, and staff can advise you.
ORDINATION: Ordinations are not normally provided now. The centre is associated with the Panditarama Meditation Centre in Rangoon (Yangon).
OTHER INFORMATION: The centre, declared open in 1982, offers intensive meditation instruction and practice year-round. One can begin a retreat any time. This centre is connected with the Mahasi Meditation Centre in Rangoon (Yangon), Burma (Myanmar).
Meditators should plan on a minimum stay of 10-14 days for best results. (One can come for a month or longer.) The centre requests that everyone observe 8 precepts and abstain from reading, writing (except notes for interviews), and talking with other meditators about meditation experiences. Men wear white; women a white blouse and a long skirt (plain, no bright colors) or brown sarong. The centre appreciates your bringing a letter of recommendation. Donations support most costs of operation; a M$3 (US $1.10) daily fee is levied for food and accommodation.

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Letzte Aktualisierung dieser Seite: Dienstag, 19. Juni 2001