WELCOME to the peaceful and friendly atmosphere of a Thai forest Buddhist monastery in the Southern Highlands, NSW, Australia. This is a place where you can learn and apply Buddhist teachings to add inner peace in your daily life.


We offer many Dhamma programs and activities for all levels of interest, from serious meditators to students or just curious visitors.

 

Monks and volunteers have created teaching tools to simplify the complicated Buddhist teachings into modern day language. Plants in the monastery gardens are carefully chosen to link with Buddhist history and add more peaceful and pleasant feelings to both meditators and visitors.  

 

We constantly carry out in depth research of Buddhist history, by visiting many archaeological sites and museums, and by meeting with experts in many universities around the world. The knowledge that we have acquired from this research helps us to extract the spiritual values of Buddhist teachings from the veil of cultural practises.

 

Our monthly meditation retreats are highly attended by people from all over Australia. We combine the beautiful rural location, archaeological history of Buddhism, ancient artefacts, stone carvings, visual arts, Buddhist chanting, and yummy Thai vegetarian food, with many outdoor activities i.e. Tai Chi Qi Gong, walking & sitting meditation in the gardens. Many people attend up to 6 retreats per year.

 

Monks from Sunnataram Forest Monastery have been regularly invited to talk on various topics of Buddhism and teach meditation in many universities, local and Sydney schools, and other countries. The monastery is a favourite place for local school excursions.

 

Sunday is a very suitable time when individuals, couples or the entire family can enjoy the beautiful view and art work around the monastery. Visitors are welcome to participate in our programs without changing their religion!! Parents and young children can experience offering vegetarian food to monks, listening to Buddhist blessings, short sitting meditation, Dhamma talk, and can feel free to ask questions to the monks. Every Sunday 11am-2pm.

Please read more from the above tabs.

 

 


For more enquiries, please contact us by email.


NEW

THAI NEWS LETTER

If you can't open this box, please don't be worried. Because the writing is in Thai. 


ข่าวสุญญตา ฉบับที่ 2 ปีที่ 1 จันทร์ 20 เม.ย. 2558

ข่าวความเป็นไป และกิจกรรมของวัดป่าสุญญตาราม ภาษาไทย ครั้งแรก 

 

ได้รับแจ้งว่า วัดพุทธรังษี โตเกียว ที่ญี่ปุ่นถูกไฟไหม้หมดทั้งหลัง กรุณาติดตามข่าวและให้ความช่วยเหลือได้ที่ http://tidga.net/news/97-budsri00 หรือ จะโอนถวายปัจจัยช่วยเหลือได้ที่บัญชี พระอภิชัย อภิปุญโญ ธนาคารกรุงเทพ สาขาสะพานใหม่ ดอนเมือง บัญชีเงินฝากสะสมทรัพย์ เลขที่บัญชี 134-5-835985 

ขออนุโมทนาทุกท่าน

 

Every Tuesday

 

6  - 8 PM  Buddhist Chanting, Guided Meditation & Dhamma talk by the monks.  All are welcome.

Every weekend

Open Day for all visitors (good for the entire family) between 11 AM - 4 PM. 

Please read 'Guideline for Visitors'.

 


Buddhism for HSC Students


 

After experiencing teaching Buddhism in many high schools, we have decided to include a section in our website to help those students studying Buddhism in HSC. Read more in 'Dhamma Teachings/Buddhism for Students'

The Principal Teachings of Buddhism

Buddhist teaching is always beneficial and practical for everyone even in this digital age. Once we practise Dhamma righteously, we can achieve inner peace without being involved in religious rituals and supernatural stories.  Read more in 'Dhamma Teachings/ The Principal Teachings of Buddhism Part I, II and III by Ven. Ajahn Buddhadasa, Suan Mokh, Thailand.


Renovation of the Train: Finished.


Monks and volunteers of Sunnataram Forest Monastery have been renovating the 100 year old train since July 2014. The newly refurbished train is for the Men’s accommodation during our meditation retreats. Please see more photos in Gallery / 2015 / Renovation of the Train 2014-2015 

Congratulation !

Thai Missionary Monks: Further Training in Australia

Sunnataram Forest Monastery now establishes a special training program: Thai Missionary Monks: Further Training in Australia, to support Thai Buddhist Missionary monks.

This special program to train these keen Thai monks who want to teach Dhamma outside Thailand began 21 years ago. Apart from the obstacle of language, Thai monks are not well prepared to face different cultural values, and most importantly, what the people in the West want to learn from Buddhism. Most of the Thai monks do best in performing traditional Buddhist ceremonies but may not be so successful in teaching Dhamma.  

We have just completed training two Thai monks who have now returned to Thailand. Phra Maha Chanchai will continue his teaching works in Napier, New Zealand, while Phra Wittaya will be in Colorado, USA.

We welcome any non-Thai monk who would like to undertake this program to experience teaching Dhamma and helping Dhamma work in Australian culture for 3 months. Please email us.

Thank you & Sadhu


 

 We would like to thanks to all friends who kindly donate Bunning Gift cards and other gift cards to the monks. We have been using them to purchase many building materials to maintain the monastery and to support our Dhamma teaching programs. May all happiness and wisdom be with all of us. Sadhu

 

U3A SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, BOWRAL

BUDDHISM IN THE PRESENT DAY

Buddhism is a philosophy that has found a growing following in the Western world. In this term, Phra Mana will give 5 weeks lectures of meditation, Buddhist teachings, and information gained during his latest research trip to museums of Paris and London, and will demonstrate how the ancient wisdom of the Buddha can bring happiness in the present day.

Commencing date: 15th July 15. Finish date: 9th Sept 15. Hours: 9:30 - 11:00am

Need to build a new meditation hall.

The Karuna Cloister: the Shrine of Compassion started in 2007 with the concrete slab and timber poles in place.  Due to the increase in Dhamma teaching activities, the monks decided to pause the construction of both Karuna and Metta cloisters until the need arised. Now it's the time. Please see more detail in Project / Building Karuna Cloister for meditation 2015. and Lists of generous donors.

 

 

Activities for February 2015

 

Fri 6th - Sun 8th Feb 2015


The First Weekend Retreat of 2015: Jump over the moon.

Please see more photo in Gallery/ 2015/ Feb 6-8 2015 Weekend retreat and Summary for Feb 2015 retreat.

Successful lectures

Wed 11th - 15th Feb 2015




Thanks to all supporters in Australia, Thailand and Singapore who help to make this special teaching trip so successful.

The 52 Thai missionary monks are so inspired by Phra Mana's 4 lectures and they are so keen to study more Buddhist history and willing to adapt their Dhamma knowledges to modern day lifestyle. Many of them would like to come to Australia.

The special lecture in Singapore was so exciting with over 100 people attending all of the 3 sessions. We believe the archaeological history of Buddhism will enhance and deepen their understanding of the Buddha's teachings. Please see more photo and summary in Gallery / 2015 / Teaching trip to Thailand & Singapore Feb 2015

Thu 26th Feb 2015

 

Please see photos in Gallery / 2015 / Dhamma talk Unibodhi 26 Feb 2015 and more info at http://metta.unibodhi.org.au/holmebuilding

Activities for March 2015


Fri 6th  - Sun 8th Mar 2015



Weekend Meditation Retreat: Dhamma Apps

Please see more photos in gallery/2015/March 6th-8th 2015 retreat, and read the summary of teaching in Dhamma teachings/ the Four Qualities for Accomplishment.

Have a nice Dhamma drink! ( and drink mindfully, please.)


 

Sun 8th Mar 2015


Funeral service for 'Dumdee' at Sunnataram Forest Monastery. Please see more of 'Dumdee's Monks' in Gallery / Photo / 2015.                                                    

Tue 24th Mar 2015


We were so pleased to welcome our special guests; Guruji Swami Anubhavanandaje, Swami Paramananda and Swami Radhikanada Mataji and Indian families who visited the monastery and had lunch together.  Please see more photo in Gallery / photo / 2015 / 24 Mar 2015 A visit of Swami

Wed 25th Mar 2015


The Abbess and two Chinese nuns and 10 lay people from Cham Shan temple, Morisset visit Sunnataram Forest Monastery. Please visit Gallery / photo/ 2015/ 31 Mar 2015 a visit of Chinese nuns

Activities for April 2015


Fri 3rd - Mon 6th Apr 2015


Easter Long Weekend Retreat:  LIKE A DROP OF WATER ON A LOTUS LEAF

Thank you for participating in the Easter Retreat.

Here is the group photo taken at end of retreat, with the “DIE HARD” survivors of wet weather, leech and insect attacks, hot chillies, wild cat, wombats and more!!!!

Congratulations. Thank you to everyone for your fantastic feedback, which we greatly appreciate. I can see that many of you will be back to try more yummy eating vipassana.I will answer all your individual requests soon.Rejoice with everyone for your efforts and many thanks for your hard work to help the monastery in the working afternoon.With loving kindness,Kim.

Please see more photos, slide presentation and summary of teaching in Gallery / photo /2015 /Easter retreat


 Wed 8th April 2015


 Dhamma Workshop: Dhamma talk and Meditation for students of University of New South Wales (UNIBUDS) at Sunnataram Forest Monastery, Bundanoon.

Sun 12th Apr 2015

A visit of 3 Vietnamese nuns and 15 lay students from Minh Dang Quang temple, Cabramatta to Sunnataram Forest Monastery

 

Sat 18th & Sun 19th Apr 2015

A visit of teachers and volunteers from Pal Buddhist School, Cabramatta to Sunnataram Forest Monastery.

 

 

Mon 20th Apr 2015


Phra Mana gave a guided meditation and talk on 'Mindfulness & Resilence' to Yr 7 -11 students assembly of Oxley College, Bowral.

Sat 25th & Sun 26th Apr 2015


The 8th Assistant Dhamma Teacher Training Program for our Thai volunteers.

Rejoice with all volunteers' great effort to practise walking meditation amidst hail strom on Sat 25th Apr. We all had a good time learning samadhi and vipassana meditation even it was freezing cold and wet. 

Sun 26th Apr 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

 

Tue 28th Apr 2015


11 Am Phra Mana teaches Buddhism to students at the Abbotsleigh Girl School, Wollonga, Sydney.

Activities for May 2015


Sun 3rd May 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

Sun 10th May 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

 

Sun 17th May 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

 

Sat 16th -  Sat 23rd May 2015



Special Vesak Retreat: Enlightenment & Liberation

The 7 day Vesak retreat is the most serious and hard work meditation of each year. People will learn the core Buddhist teachings of Enlightenment and Liberation of the mind from unsatisfactoriness in life. In such a continuous development of mindfulness, concentration and Vipassana in this special meditation retreat, people will have more time to experience  transformation of their consciousness: to be active, clear, stable and peaceful. We accept only experienced people who have attended our meditation retreat before.

The retreat will start on Sat 16th May at 11 am lunch offering to monks and lunch for all, and will finish on Sat 23rd may at 2 pm. Please send your applicaton form at least 7 days in advance.   

Tue 19th May 2015


 

10 AM: 85 students of Year 12 from Chevalier college, Bowral visit the monastery for Dhamma talk and meditation.


Sun 31th May 2015


Celebration of the Enlightenment of the Buddha

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

 

Activities for June 2015


Mon 1st June 2015


Thailand Vesak Day: the Enlightenment of the Buddha


Fri 5th - Mon 8th Jun 2015


Long Weekend Retreat: Happiness Here & Now

This is a rare oppurtunity for busy working people to spend more days to practise mindful and Vipassana meditation, and discover instant happiness and relaxation. 

 

The retreat will start on Fri 5th Jun at 6:30 pm and will finish on Mon 8th Jun at 2 pm. Places are available.

 

Please be aware that you must finish the whole retreat so that you can get maximum benefit. Leaving the retreat early is considered unfair to both our volunteers' preparation and other people who are not able to join the retreat because the bed is occupied by your booking.

Please email your application form at least 7 days in advance. Thank you.

Activities in July 2015


Fri 3rd - Sun 5th Jul 2015

Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Power of Love

Learn how to use the combination of Mindful breathing and Powerful Loving-kindness to achieve inner peace. Places are avaiable. Please email your application form at least 7 days in advance.

Sun 5th Jul 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

1 – 2 PM Retreat summary Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

Fri 10th - Sun 12th Jul 2015

Winter Retreat for students of University of NSW (UNIBUDS)

Wed 15th Jul 2015

U3A Southern Highlands: Buddhism in the present day

9.30 - 11.00 am Phra Mana starts to teach meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation to U3A members for 5 sessions.

Sat 18th - Sun 19th Jul 2015


Meditation Retreat for Thai -Australian Volunteer Youth Group

Sun 26th Jul 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

Thu 30th Jul 2015

U3A Southern Highlands: Buddhism in the present day.

9.30 - 11.00 am Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation to U3A members.

Activities in August 2015


Sun 1st Aug 2015

11 AM  Vegetarian Food offering to monks and lunch for all.

12:30 – 2 PM Dhamma talk & short meditation for all visitors.

Fri 7th - Sun 9th Aug 2015

 

 

Weekend Meditation Retreat: Digital Mindfulness

Experience how the bio-spiritual technology of breathing meditation can help people to find inner peace and balance, in the digital age (without silicon microchip). Places are available. Please email your application form at least 7 days in advance.

Wed 12th Aug 2015

U3A Southern Highlands: Buddhism in the present day.

9.30 - 11.00 am Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation to U3A members

 

Fri 14th Aug 2015

 

 

Buddhist Library, Sydney: Caves to Canvas – The Development of Buddhist Art from Prehistoric Time Session 1

Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation in Buddhist library, Sydney for 3 sessions.

 

Sat 15th Aug 2015


Phra Mana gives a Dhamma talk at the MacBodhi night, Macquarie university, Sydney.

Fri 21st Aug 2015 

 

Buddhist Library, Sydney: Caves to Canvas – The Development of Buddhist Art from Prehistoric Time Session Two

Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation in Buddhist library, Sydney.

Wed 26th  Aug 2015 

 

 

U3A Southern Highlands: Buddhism in the present day.

9.30 - 11.00 am Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation to U3A members

Fri 28th Aug 2015 

 

Buddhist Library, Sydney: Caves to Canvas – The Development of Buddhist Art from Prehistoric Time Session Three (last session)

Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation in Buddhist library, Sydney. 

   

Activities in September 2015


Fri 4th - Sun 6th Sept 2015

Weekend Meditation Retreat: Heart Blossom

The accumulation of merit and wisdom will help us to accomplish our dreams for good health and happiness. Learn to develop mindfulness, calmness and Vipassana meditation in this early spring weekend.

Places are available. Please email your application form at least 7 days in advance.

Wed 9th Sept 2015

U3A Southern Highlands: Buddhism in the present day (last class)

9.30 - 11.00 am Phra Mana teaches meditation and Dhamma talk with slide presentation to U3A members

Activities in October 2015

 


Fri 2nd - Mon5th Oct 2015

Long Weekend Retreat: Garden of Enligtenment.

Enjoy the practise of sitting & walking meditation in the monastery gardens and experience how the calming power of nature enabled the Buddha to attain Enligtehment 2600 years ago.

Places are available. 

The retreat will start on Fri 2nd at 6:30 pm, and will finish on Mon 5th at 2 pm.

Please be aware that you must finish the whole retreat so that you can get maximum benefit. Leaving the retreat early is considered to be unfair to both our volunteers' preparation and other people who are not able to join the retreat because the bed is occupied by your booking.

Please email your application form at least 7 days in advance. Thank you.

 

   

Activities in November 2015


Fri 27th - Sun 29th Nov 2015


The Last Meditation Retreat Of The Year 2015 For Beginners: The Gift Of Love and Peace
   

Activities in December 2015

 

Sat 26th Dec 2015 - Fri 1st Jan 2016


Boxing Day & New Year Retreat: Awakening Transformation (only for experienced meditators)

   

About Us

Sunnataram Forest Monastery is a Theravada Buddhist monastery in the Thai Forest Tradition.

Meditation Retreats

The Buddhist teachings in the retreat will include Pali chanting, breathing technique (Anapanasati), Loving-kindness (Metta), ...

Guideline for Visitors

Visitors are welcome to the monastery between 1- 4 pm Mon-Fri, and 11 am - 4 pm on weekends...

Meditation retreats for the year 2015 start from 6pm on the first day, and finish at 2pm on the last day (except long weekend). Please apply online at least 7 days in advance, and see Meditation Retreat Rules and Guidelines for more information.

Retreat Dates 2015 

May 16th -23rd (Vesak - the Buddha Enlightenment Day)

Jun 5th - 8th (Long weekend Queen's Birthday. Arrival time on Fri 5th Jun at 6:30 pm. The retreat will finish on Mon 8th Jun at 2 pm.)

Jul 3rd - 5th

Aug 7th - 9th

Sept 4th - 6th 

Oct 2nd - 5th  (Long weekend labour day. Arrival time on Fri 2nd at 6:30 pm. The retreat will finish on Mon 5th Oct at 2 pm.)

Nov 27th - 29th

Dec 26th -1st Jan 2016 (Boxing day & New Year Retreat)

 

All enquiries email: [email protected] 

Thank you.

All retreats run by donation. We recommend a donation of $50 per night to cover monastery expenses.  The monastery makes no profit from your kind donation. If you wish to donate more, your generosity is greatly appreciated, and will ensure the retreat programs continue to help many more people.

Things We Need

We are grateful for your kind support to the monks, but in the past 25 years the monks have received too many unnecessary things, and they have a ‘big’ problem to store them. We feel responsible for your good Kamma and the waste of your money. For example, many kinds of food expire before the monks can eat, too many towels, toothpaste, soaps and monk’s robes are eaten by mice etc.

While other necessary things that the monks use more often, but not included in the ‘traditional monk gifts’, are not known by supporters. 

Since 2008, monks of the Sunnataram Forest Monastery, realizing people’s need for peacefulness of mind, focus their mind and dedicate their energy on teaching Dhamma and conducting monthly and special meditation retreats, for both youth and adults. The result is wonderful, inspiring  and brings much rejoicing. There is so much positive feedback that will gladden your heart, so please read the feedback and messages from our website.

To continue these worthy activities, we need many other necessary items which can be used either for the Dhamma study program or to maintain the monastery.

To support fulfilment of your wishes, to value your kind gifts to the monks, and to help other people learn Buddhism we would humbly like to suggest the following items:

 

Gardens:  the following plants- Waratahs, Rhododendrons, Pieris Temple Bells, Hellebores, Euphorbia. Chicken Wire, Garden Stakes, and bags of potting mix.

Office: Epson 82 printing ink: all colours

Research Books: we are looking for sponsors for the very rare set of two books 'Gandhara Art vol.I & II'. These books contained rare photos of over thousands of selected Gandharan sculptures from 1st Cent CE, which are now displayed in many countries around the world. The books will greatly help Phra Mana's research and lectures to many people because Phra Mana, as a Buddhist monk, may not be safe to visit the ancient archaeological sites in Afghanistan or Pakistan in the present time. Due to the limitted edition, we have already purchased the two books and will have them shipped to Bundanoon soon. Any person who would like to sponsor these rare books, please make donation to the monastery account and email us. Sadhu 

Building Materials: 

Mineral turpentine oil

Clear silicone for glass and windows

Decking timber, hard wood, any sizes & length.

Or just Bunning Gift Cards  or Home Hardware Gift cards and post to the monastery.


Thank you very much.

Things not to bring to the monastery

-Bags of rice , bags of sugar, dry noodles (we have too much and hard to store them and rat & mouse problems)

-Bath towels, toothpaste, tooth brush, soap, monk's robe, socks, shoes and medicine (we have no store room and they always expire)

สิ่งของที่ไม่แนะนำไปถวายที่วัด

- ข้าวสารถุง, น้ำตาลถุง, เส้นหมี่แห้ง(เพราะมีมากจนไม่มีที่จะเก็บ มีปัญหาเรื่องหนูตามมา)

- ผ้าเช็ดตัว, ยาสีฟัน, แปรงสีฟัน, สบู่, จีวรพระ, ถุงเท้า, รองเท้า, ยารักษาโรคชนิดต่างๆ (ไม่มีที่จะเก็บ และหมดอายุเร็ว)

สิ่งของที่ทางวัดต้องการ

กรุณาดูจากรายการข้างบน สาธุ ขออนุโมทนา

ข้อแนะนำก่อนไปวัด

- สุภาพสตรี กรุณานุ่งห่มผ้าให้เรียบร้อย ยาวปิดข้อศอกและยาวปิดหัวเข่า ห้ามนุ่งกระโปรงหรือกางเกงขาสั้นจนเปิดถึงต้นขา ห้ามใส่เสื้อรัดตัว หรือคอกว้างลึก หรือ เปิดแผ่นหลัง

- ประตูวัดเปิดบ่าย 1 โมง และปิดบ่าย 4 โมง ระหว่างวันอังคาร -วันศุกร์   หากจะถวายเพล เวลา 11 โมงเช้า ระหว่างวันอังคารถึงศุกร์ กรุณาช่วยโทร หรือ อีเมล์แจ้งก่อนล่วงหน้า เพราะบางวัน พระต้องไปสอนธรรมนอกวัด

- ปิดวัดทุกวันจันทร์ เพราะพระต้องเข้ากรรมฐานปฏิบัติธรรมตัวเอง

- เสาร์อาทิตย์เปิดตั้งแต่ 11 โมงเช้า ถึงบ่าย 4 โมง

- ขออภัยในความไม่สะดวก และขออนุโมทนาในบุญกุศลเมตตาของทุกท่าน

 



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