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“26 Day Veteran”
Review of Wat Ram Poeng

Wat Ram Poeng
Reviewed April 14, 2013

I completed the 26 day program at Wat Ram Poeng. It was very challenging, but also very rewarding. I learned a lot about mediation and improved my practice beyond what I thought I could while I was here. I also learned a lot about myself, much more so than I could have ever expected. This was a life changing experience for me and the highlight of my trip.

As others have said, this is a place for people who are highly committed to mediation practice and improvement. It does not matter what level you are at to begin with, but be serious and committed.

I think just about anyone can handle the 10 day program, though it is challenging as well. If you are not sure if you want to commit to the 26 program, the 10 day program will give you a good introduction, and then you can decide whether you want to continue or not.

Stay for 26 days, it will change your life.

11  Thank SwhrEvrywhr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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24 - 28 of 57 reviews

Reviewed April 5, 2013

I stayed here several years ago, I went with no idea of what to expect. What a truly wonderful place, I was a complete novice and found it very hard to begin with but I learnt a lot about myself. I am going back again in January 2014. It's all about thinking, thinking, thinking.

8  Thank AmandaWalden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2013

This is the best monastery/meditation place I have ever been too in the world. I have traveled to over 55 countries and this place Changed my life forever. Highly recomend it if your serious, interested in learning discipline, patience and peacefulness. Learned endless amazing things, top 5 highlights of my entire life. Went many years ago, stayed over a month.

11  Thank FCR444
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 28, 2012

I didn't realize how serious the meditation retreat is until I got there. It's really for the hardcore meditator. I went there for the first time just to get information about the retreat and I was received by a monk who treated me terribly and would not give me any information except that I had to read the informational booklet 3 times and then call the office at night. As a westerner full of questions, it was hard to believe that no one would talk to me. I decided to see it for myself. I walked around the complex for quite some time and visited the houses where the monks live and also the accommodations for the westerners which seemed slightly better than the rest.
Luckily I found one guy from Ireland on his first day there and he talked to me a bit. After that I was able to talk to another monk - westerner - who gave me some information however I noticed he didn't want to talk much.
So, my advice: do it if you are prepared. Really think very seriously if you can do it. It's ok if you can't. I was not prepared so I didn't do it. It's really hard but I am sure you will probably learn a lot about yourself if you do it. Don't go there with a western mind as you will be very disappointed. Go with an open mind to do what you have to do. It's the only way.

12  Thank SrTaub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 11, 2011

Here's the deal - don't go here if you're not serious. If you're looking to "dip your toe" into Vipassanna Meditation, go elsewhere. This for the hardcore meditator with a certain resolve to see it through. I was disappointed to see so many people come and go, sometimes on the same day! The class is for 26 days, they ask you stay atleast a 10 day minimum, to give it a chance. Most don't make it to day 10, and so few make it to day 26. The last 3 days, "Determination", where you lock yourself in your room for 3 days straight of meditation (no sleep, and they bring 2 meals a day to you in plastic bags) is mind-blowing. Meditation alternates between walking and sitting. When you're not doing one, you're doing the other. There are places on the grounds, both indoors and outdoors you can use for this, or you can choose your room.
You will wake up at 4 am and be expected to begin meditation. At around 6:30, the bell rings for breakfast. At 10:30, lunch, and that's it. At 5 pm the bell will ring for a small soup or liquid snack (after 12 there are no solids eaten. Plain yogurt is fine, but fruit yougurt, nope.) There is a small store on site where you can buy things like milk, yogurt and little things to eat. The food at the dinig hall is not too good for most western tastes. But you can go for seconds, so stuff yourself before the fasting at noon.
Rooms are VERY sparse, a bed, 2 inch mattress and a plastic chair are about it. Hey, you need to follow the precepts of buddhism here. You report once a day to the teacher (I had a bhikunhi, or nun, but recently I understand they went back to the abbott of the temple). That is the only talking you will do. You are not allowed to talk to anyone about ANYTHING. SIlence is the rule - mindfulness doesn't involve talking, so keep it to yourself, even at meals. White is worn at all times, and a stop watch is vital-all can be bought at the temple site.
This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever done, but I learned so much about myself and things in general. The saddest part is seeing so many people go and then just give up after such a short time without giving it a chance. It is truly rewarding in a way that most people, especially in the west, will never understand.
If you go, promise yourself no matter how hard it is, give yourself atleast the 10 days minimum. You won't regret it. The first few days are needed for adjustment, it gets better as the time goes along, you won't regret it. Like most things in life, you get what you put into it.

One last bit of advice, SLOW DOWN. The first few days I found myself walking fast everywhere, and realized thre was no reason for this. Every step, every bite og food, every action is thought about.

127  Thank inspectorjavert70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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