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“Best gift you can give to yourself”

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Phuket Meditation Center
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level 5 Contributor
52 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Best gift you can give to yourself”
Reviewed September 29, 2012

This August (2012) I did the Five Day Retreat at Phuket Meditation Center. It was the best gift I have ever given to myself. It was not easy, but I was determined to give it my best effort and learn how to quiet my mind. We started every day at 6:00 for either yoga or going to a location to meditate and have a lesson with Tobi. (Beach, Temple, Big Buddha). During the day we had four set times to practice on our own. Then at 4:30 we had another class with Tobi. During the free time, between meditations you can sit by the beautiful pool, relax in the garden, just watch the clouds go by. It was such a great feeling to turn off all the media in my life and take care of myself with some true peace and quiet.

One day I had to meditate on a certain topic all day, a way of dealing with it so I could move forward. This was easier for me because I had something specific to think about. With instruction twice a day from Tobi and practicing on my own 4 times a day I finally learned the proper technique to meditate. Before this retreat I was mixing up to many different “ways” and my mind was still racing. Now I spend 30 minutes every morning on Loving Kindness and some time at night on awareness.

Go to The Phuket Meditation Center. Just do it. It will be the best thing you do for yourself, ever.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank chipsahoy67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Lisa,
Thank you so much for your review here on Tripadvisor. We are really happy that your stay with us has given you so much. We are so happy you managed to integrate the lessons you learned so well into your daily life. That's great!
We hope to see you again sometime soon and wish you all the best for your practice,
Warm regards
Tobi and Parn
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Warsaw, Poland
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed August 15, 2012

I attended a 5 day retreat at the end of May/early June 2012 and only getting to write this review now due to positive life change experiences following my time at the centre.

I experienced a safe, open and warm environment in which to meditate and learn amongst others and this began from the initial introduction to the final day. Tobi and Parn are great people to spend this time with and give exactly the right balance of time with you to help guide and support you through the whole process. If you are looking for a place to spend quality time, then this would be the place to go!

The day is perfectly balanced with teachings, activities, good suitabale food for meditation and private time to learn and reflect. Ther are also a host of other additional treatments and courses available to compliment the meditation sessions and time there, of which I did a number and found to be excellent! The supplementary treatments and courses certainly help to make the whole experience complete. There is also a complementary steam room and sauna available which was great to relax further at the end of the day.

I found Tobi to be a great mentor at the retreat offering support and guidance to all, which was also followed up afterwards when home with on-line communication to help with continued meditations and practices. The after service support for me reflects the overall attitude and service of Tobi and Parn in the how they treat and respect their guests at the retreat and was a major factor in my overall satisfaction of the retreat.

If you are looking for a place with a personal touch and yet privacy, then this is the place and people to share it with!

Fantastic!

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank leeskatharrison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Lee,

Thanks for your fantastic review! We are so happy that you liked your stay with us. By now we have changed the program for the better. I am sure you would love it a lot. We are much more out in the nature, there is more Yoga on a daily basis. However, all the good things you have mentioned are still going on. We still offer a lot of privacy and personal attention so it's perfectly balanced by now. We hope all is going well and we will see you again soon
Warm regards
Tobi and Parn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Greenwich, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed July 14, 2012

I can highly recommend this place for learning meditation. Pan and Toby are a really sweet couple guiding travelers into deep meditation, beginners to advanced.

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank MsReal33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 16, 2012
Dear Jake, Thank you so much for your lovely review my friend. Yes, I can only agree. Phuket is an ideal location for Meditation. Although often people might think it is not the right place because of all the nightlife on the Westcoast. Well, the Eastcoast and central Phuket are very different and I found many great teachers, guides and generally wonderful spiritual people here. I found that Phuket has two sides. One is the Party/Nightlife side. The other one is the Spiritual/Wellness/Training side. So many people are here to get out of their harmful habits, establish a new beginning and find peace. It gives Phuket this very special energy that both Parn and me like very much. Jake, you are definitely an amazing person and I wish you all the best on your spiritual path - strength and internal power. May Buddha bless you!
Warm regards from Tobi and Parn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed July 8, 2012

I attended the Phuket Meditation Centre in April 2012; I have a fair bit to say so here it goes;

Arriving at the Centre – I was delivered by taxi to the back of a Thai suburb, when I got out I was standing in front of a private home with a banner on the fence with the centre’s name on it. I thought to myself “Oh my God, what have I done”. I looked over the roof thinking maybe the nice resort is behind this building? What I later found was the resort was just down the road about 5 minutes away. The house is where Toby and Parn live and they run the centre from here.

Checking in – I believe the website said to make sure you arrive before 4pm. I arrived around lunch time and they were just about to have a session. I think it was the daily meditation session open to the general public. Parn took me to the office and Toby came in to greet me. He commented on my being early and I was taken aback by his nature. To me it seemed like I had inconvenienced him? I was left with Parn who very briefly went over the schedule. She provided me with a menu to select my meals. Not being too familiar with Thai food nor a vegetarian I knew that I would find the meals difficult but I had made the decision when booking that I would just go without if I didn’t like something. Parn didn’t seem very confident and at first I found her English a little hard to understand, she kept saying that Toby would go over everything with me later so I didn’t press her for too much information as I didn’t want to make her more uncomfortable. Toby never went over anything later but I think perhaps I should have asked him when we had our first meeting.

Resort – The resort was lovely, situated far away from stores and distractions, beautiful little cabins, surrounded by palm trees and a pool. The cabin had a little verandah, was air-conditioned with a TV (that you’re not supposed to watch) and a private bathroom. Unfortunately the shower head was quite near the toilet, this meant the seat was always wet and had to be dried off. On my first two days I asked 5 times for toilet paper. On the second day Parn gave me a small packet of serviettes and told me the resort didn’t have any paper left and the manager was too busy to get some. As there were no shops close by I couldn’t go out and get some for myself (also you need to be careful in the streets as there are quite a few dogs roaming about – Parn warned me). Luckily I had a couple of packets of tissues in my bag which lasted the rest of my stay, but I was very annoyed by this. Also my room was never cleaned and I had to mention this to Parn who told me the cleaners don’t come because they don’t want to interrupt in case you’re meditating (fair enough). Perhaps this is one of the things that should or could have been mentioned when checking in (maybe if I had spoken to Toby I would have found this out?).

Meals – As previously stated when booking I knew I would find the meals difficult but I had decided I would go without if it was something I didn’t like. What I hadn’t counted on was the cook (also the manager of the resort) taking offence to me not eating her meal. During breakfast she came and asked me why I did not eat dinner and I had to explain that there was nothing wrong with the meal it was just me not being used to that type of food. She told me to just tell her what I wanted and she would cook it for me, Parn also agreed that if I didn’t like a meal it could be changed. I thought well ok if you’re happy to do that then I’ll change my order, no point in wasting time cooking a meal that won’t be appreciated. The following day I thought I should ask for a lunch change as I was sure it was the same meal I disliked previously. Parn was reluctant to make the change which I found strange from the previous days conversation but she accommodated my request however she stated I should really talk with Toby. Later in the day Toby asked to speak with me to find out what the problem was and I had to explain all over again. He was quite annoyed and told me that since I was only there for 3 days he would let it go but if I was staying longer than I would just have to go without. I was caught off guard and tried to tell him that was my intention from the start but in the end I gave up, it just seemed pointless.

Meditation Sessions – Perhaps I misunderstood when booking but I thought I would have one solo session, a one on one session with my instructor (Toby) and one group session. However it turned out to be 3 solo sessions with a 1 hour break in between (not much time to really do anything) and then an evening group session. The one on one session with Toby occurred on my first day and lasted only a few short minutes and then again on my last day which resulted in me being in tears. In the group session Toby would raise a subject and the conversation was supposed to flow and change on the basis of retreat members contributing. Again this was not something I knew (nor other members I suspect) and most of the talking was done by Toby and I either couldn’t understand what he was saying, couldn’t relate or just didn’t agree with him, it was a lot of repetitive rambling. There were a few occasions he would say something quite interesting or on the mark that made me think but for the most part it was too much? I recommend he ask retreat members what questions they have about meditation and such instead of picking a subject and going on about it for far too long. We would end the session with a brief meditation before the evening was over. I shared my retreat with a young married couple who started a day before me and I felt on some occasions that I seemed to be missing something, like I was a step behind. Also on their last evening they spent a lot of time talking about their feelings and relationship, the subject matter was quite serious. They also spoke of the retreat and what they thought of it. During this time I felt there was no way to move the conversation onto another subject that I could contribute to and benefit from, it just didn’t seem right to interrupt. On my last day I raised these points with Toby and was quite surprised by his response. He basically told me that on our first meeting (which lasted a few short minutes) he had me pegged as being someone who spends all their time comparing themselves to others and should just worry about myself. As for not being able to contribute during discussions again it was all my fault and I only needed to speak up, he said he lets the retreat members drive the conversation and if I wanted the subject to change I should have said so. At this point I decided to give up, he seemed to have labelled and judged me and I thought it just wasn’t productive to continue. There were some valid points he made but I do feel like he was quite intolerant.

Extra Options – Yoga, not an extra option but I just wanted to say I was not fit and knew I would have trouble with this. However the instructor was a lovely considerate man who provided a lesson that allowed me to fully participate. I really appreciated that. I also had a Tarot Reading and Reflexology (by Parn), both were enjoyable although I did felt a bit awkward with Parn being my masseuse but she is a lovely lady who puts you at ease.

Toby and Parn – On my last session with Toby he came back determined to help me leave with some satisfaction and learning from my retreat. Whilst he and I clashed I do respect what he is trying to do and I think it does come from the heart. However I also think he must remember that a beginner is a beginner and it is hard. Parn was lovely, so nice, she was much more relatable and would talk about her failings and how she uses meditation to help her resolve issues. I really enjoyed our morning excursions to the Big Buddha and the Beach. Getting out of the resort in the early morning was like a breath of fresh air.

Recommend – Firstly I must say be sure this is what you want to do. I thought spending my days meditating and discussing meditation would be great and a real chance to learn but I found it very difficult. Sitting for an hour 3 times daily for solo meditations was hard. Being at the Resort with nothing to do and no-one to talk to was also hard. I started to feel like a caged animal in a zoo with feeding time when Parn would drop off meals. I tried to steer clear of the television but the evenings were so boring I couldn’t help myself. I confessed this to the other retreat members at breakfast and they also admitted to reading books and using their ipad for entertainment! As I said I do believe this is all done from the heart but Toby is hard core (as a fellow retreat member stated) in his approach. I really think he needs to take a step back and remember what it was like to be a beginner again. On leaving the retreat Parn kindly saw me off and I must say I couldn’t wait to get out of there. I do like meditation and actually do it even more now I just think my approach is different to what the retreat offers or believes in. It simply wasn’t for me but I’m glad to have gone and experienced it and now I know what I want to gain from my meditations so it was useful in its way.

Room Tip: Just take mozzie repellent
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  • Stayed April 2012, traveled solo
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Helpful?
10 Thank Jane R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Dear Jane,
First of all, thank you very much for your lengthy review. It surely will help a lot of people to know what they are about once they start a retreat with us. You also give us a great opportunity to improve a few points that we have not been made aware of when you were still here with us. I did not know that you perceive me this way - I was clearly mistaken because I thought you'd be feeling good - in fact I remember you as such a joyful and open person. I truly didn't notice that you've had such a hard time here with us - to be honest I would have loved to know from you that you are feeling this way so I would have changed it immediately. Like this it's too late - that's really sad since both of us, Parn and me did not intend to make you feel bad in any way.
We always tell our guests upon arrival that they clearly need to tell us when they feel unhappy with something to avoid offering the wrong type of service or guidance. This retreat lives by the input of our guests so clear communication is vital for us.
I can't be sorry for your personal experience of the program, but I am sorry for not having had the chance to help you making it a beautiful experience as it has been for the absolute majority of our guests. I am very grateful for your review as you teach me that we have to devote ourselves even more to understanding our guests the right way. You also teach me that I obviously can't make it up to everybody on this planet. This gives me further strength to let go and be myself - just in a continuously better way. Thank you for that, dear Jane.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed June 30, 2012

I attended a 3 day retreat with Tobi and Parn recently and I hope to return as soon as possible to stay for 7 days. I have attended group retrets in the past but this was altogether different. Meditating alone was a powerful life changing experiane, made relaxing and comforatable by the quiet and pleasent surroundings and made intersting by the great daily activities. Most importantly though the support, guidence and openness of Tobi made the whole experiance safe and special for me.
They also offer a whole range of complimentary servicies and therapies which I would like to indulge in on a future visit.

Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank Lewis A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Dear Lewis,
Thank you so much for your lovely review. Parn and me are really happy that you've enjoyed your time with us so much. I appreciate all the communications we've had, the shared openness and basically both of us are grateful to have met you. Hope everything is going well for you and you have a good time integrating the techniques you've learned.
Warm regards from Phuket - looking forward to see you again soon.
Love
Tobi and Parn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phuket, Thailand
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed June 27, 2012

it s always been a difficulty for me to express my feelings. But this time, I decided to write it down.
The accommodation is just perfect, clean,quite and has friendly staff. The owner of the resort P'Lek took really good care of me and cooked my favourite green curry for me everyday. I was truly appreciated. And the swimming pool there is clear and fresh as well.
The yoga teacher there is brilliant. As a rookie, I totally enjoyed it.
I took a 3 days Retreat for Meditation, But for me, it more like a Heeling Program. I have to admit that, I came to Tobi & Parn as a confused, unhappy and half-souled person. And I didnt even remember what i said in the very first conversation with them.
Well, they noticed my problem, and set a unique meditation program for me. In these 3 days, we had quite a few long insightful conversations about all sorts of humanity issues concerning life, death, parenting,love and so on. And Tobi didn't teach me "How to be a master of Meditation", but much more importantly, "How to truly and sincerely live your life". At the end of the session, my heart is full of joyousness and fulfilment. And i have no idea how to express my gratefulness towards them.
I believe this retreat will be a lifetime treasure for me. If I have time, I ll definitely do it again.

cheers

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank chen1207
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, July 10, 2012
Hi Chen Chen,
Thanks for your very positive and uplifting words. We were really happy meeting you here. The retreat was indeed a very nice experience, profound and heart-opening. I enjoyed the sessions very much myself - you gave so much great input and made me think a lot.
We wish you all the best of success, spiritually and otherwise.
Warm regards from your friends
Tobi and Parn
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Montreal
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed May 29, 2012 via mobile

I stayed at the Phuket meditation retreat for only 3 days but left with positive changes that are still following me in everything I do. I went in with a fear of cats that has existed for as long as I can remember. There have been many attempts in the past where people tried to help me get rid of this silly fear, but it getting closer to cats made me hate them even more. The subject about cats came up at the retreat when I was asked by Tobi if I am ok with cats walking around the resort, and I shared my fear with him. He suggested that we could work on it during my retreat if I wished, which I gladly agreed to. Amazingly enough, after 1 day's meditation and exercises done with Tobi, I was able to leave the retreat picking up a cat and petting it in my arms. That was a magical moment in my life that I will never forget. It has made me realize how strong my mind actually is and how I can use it to create many more positive changes in my life. Tobi & Parn are extremely kind and have made me feel well and comfortable during my stay. I felt like I was visiting family. Thank you!

  • Stayed March 2012
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Helpful?
Thank ConsuelaElena
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PhuketSamadhi, Owner at Phuket Meditation Center, responded to this review, January 9, 2013
Dear Consuela,
Thank you so much for your positive review. We are very pleased that you enjoyed your three day retreat so much. Most of all we are happy that you left with a big personal change :)
We hope to see you again sometime soon,
Warm regards
Tobi and Parn
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Phuket Meditation Center

Property: Phuket Meditation Center
Address: 69 / 509 Moo 1, Soi Chaofah 5, Chalong, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Phuket Town > Chalong
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 54 Specialty Lodging in Chalong
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Dharana Meditation and Retreat Center in Phuket. We offer high quality authentic meditation retreats, workshops, seminars and Wellness activities on Phuket Island. We have beautiful and clean rooms and create an atmosphere of loving kindness and warmth for our guests. Our facilities include a beautiful swimming pool, herbal steambath, Sauna and lovely Thai Style retreat houses. We really look forward hearing from you or seeing you soon at the Retreat. With love, Tobi and Parn ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Phuket Meditation Center Chalong

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