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.



To follow up our current activities, please visit Instagram @kimmcsweeney52  or   #sunnataramforestmonastery.

Police want to talk to this man



On Thursday 13 April 2017 - Songran festival- the New Year day of many countries in SE Asia at 3-4 PM, while the monks and volunteers were working in preparation for the Easter retreat commencing on the next day, this man went into many buildings, and money in donation boxes disappeared.

Age: Early forties and short hair cut

Character: Polite, but not sophisticated.

Dresses: Like travelling salesman, very tidy appearance, not labourer.


This is the fourth time that our monastery has been robbed in the past few years. But it is the first time we have a photo and vdo footage from CCTV.  

Anyone sees him, please ask him to contact S/C Amy Finch, Bowral Police Station Tel.02-48629299.

Please click here for the higher resolution photos



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

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

Please read 'Guideline for Visitors'.

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'

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.

Teaching Monks: Further Training in Australia

Sunnataram Forest Monastery now establishes a special training program: Teaching Monks: Further Training in Australia, to support international Buddhist monks who want to learn how to teach Buddhism in Australia and the West.

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

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 December 2016

 26 Dec 16 - 1 Jan 2017



 Peaceful Transformation

Thanks and rejoice with all retreat participants who are very serious in thier practise. We had a lot of private time to deepen our concentration and vipassana meditation. A lot of mindful breathing and mindful observing the 'unpredictable & uncontrallable' change of the nice feeling. And we never have enough of 'being mindful'. Sadhu Anumodhana to all.

Please click here to see photos and feedback

Activities for February 2017

Fri 3rd - Sun 5th  Feb 17



 Weekend Meditation Retreat: Power of Unconditional Love

Dear Everyone,

Thank you all for participating in our Power of Love weekend retreat.

Venerable Phra Mana, LuongPo Sawat, Peter, all the volunteers and I hope you had a very happy and fruitful weekend.

We hope you all return home with new skills to support your work and family life.

Please send me an email if you would like further explanation of the teachings, a copy of our chanting book or any other queries.

We look forward to seeing you again.

With metta,


Please click here to see photos in Gallery / 2017

9- 16 Feb 2017 Thailand





Sat 11 Feb 2017 Kim recieves King Asoka Pillar Awards for her volunteer help to Sunnataram Forest Monastery's Dhamma Activities in Australia since 2001 from the Princess of Thailand at Buddhamonthon, Bangkok, Thailand.



Mon 13 Feb 2017 Phra Mana gives a lecture on 'Archaeological History of Buddhism' to a group of 60 Thai missionary monks, Bangkok, Thailand.

Please click here for more photos




Activities for March 2017

Fri 10th - Sun 12th Mar 17



 Weekend Meditation Retreat: Power of Mindfulness

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for bringing your beautiful and enthusiastic energy to the monastery this weekend.

Venerable Phra Mana, all the monks and volunteers hope that you have had a very productive and enjoyable retreat.

We believe that your cultivated power of mindfulness will support you to feel peaceful in your everyday activities.


Mindfulness is the Mother of all virtues.

Loving Kindness is to prevent anger.

Recollection of our own good deeds helps to prevent depression.

Reflection on death helps to remove attachment.

And lastly, the Smart Phone Buddha may not help everything in our life, but the awakened consciousness will guide our lives to Inner Peace.

Breathe mindfully and enjoy the awakening radianceJ

With metta,


Please click here to see photos in Gallery/2017/ 10-12 March 2017 Retreat

Wed 22nd Mar 2017



A day of gratitude, respect, friendship and peace.




A very inspiring day to welcome 50 monks and nuns from 25 monasteries from Thailand and NSW. Thanks to all Venerable monks and nuns for your kind participation and rejoice with all organizers, supporters and volunteers to make the day special. The rain just stopped for our ceremony with warm sun and green garden beds. After the function finished, we got a very big storm,  and every thing was soaked wet and blown away. It seemed the heaven hold the pouring rain till we accomplished our performing of gratitude. Then, everything is clean and blessed !

Please click here to see more photo of the event in Gallery / 2017 / The Gratitude Day





Activities for April 2017

Fri 14th  - Mon 17th Apr 17 Easter



Long Weekend Meditation Retreat: Liberte'

Please click here for some photo in Gallery / 2017 / Easter 2017 retreat



Activities for May 2017

Fri 5th - Sun 7th May 17



Weekend Meditation Retreat: Like a drop of water on a lotus leaf

Learn how to use our meditation of calmness and wisdom to secure our places in this unsecure & changing world with a peaceful mind.

Sorry the retreat is full. Please book for the next retreats. Thank you.




Sun 14th  - Sat 20th  May 17 Vesak



Vesak Retreat: Find Independence within the Dependent Origination of Unhappiness

Only our experienced people to return for futher Dhamma practise



Activities for June 2017

Fri 9th - Mon 12th Jun 17



Queen's Birthday Long Weekend Retreat: Happiness is here & now.

Practise meditation to live in the present moment and enjoy the happiness of calmness and freedom. Never wait for tomorrow happiness, never yearn for yesterday happiness, it is always here and now. Don't miss the bus !


Before you book in for the retreat, please be sure that you can complete the whole retreat. Leaving the retreat earlier is considered to be disrespectul and unfair to many friends who can't come due to your booking and our volunteers who need to prepare the meals. Thank you.


Places are still available. Please send in the application form at least 7 days in advance.



Activities for July 2017

Fri 7th  - Sun 9th Jul 17



Weekend Meditation Retreat: Awareness & Compassion



Activities for August 2017

Fri 11th  - Sun 13th Aug 17



Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Seven Factors of Enlightenment



Activities for September 2017

Fri 1st  - Sun 3rd Sept 17



Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Spring of Happiness



Fri 29th Sept- Mon 2nd Oct 17



Labour Day Long Weekend Meditation Retreat: Garden of Enlightenment



Activities for November 2017

Fri 3rd - Sun 5th Nov 17



Last Meditation Retreat for Beginners: Gift of Love and Peace



Activities for December 2017

Tue 26th Dec 17 - 1st Jan 18




Boxing Day & New Year 2018 Retreat

Only our experience people to futher their Dhamma practise



Retreat Dates

Meditation retreats 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.



May  Fri 5th –  Sun 7th

May Sun 14th –  Sat 20th  (Vesak retreat for only our experienced people)

June  Fri 9th - Mon 12th ( Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend)

July  Fri 7th – Sun 9th

August  Fri 11th –  Sun13th

September  Fri 1st  -  Sun 3rd

September Fri 29th – Oct  Mon 2nd  (Labour Day Long Weekend)

November  Fri 3rd –  Sun 5th  (Last retreat for beginners)

December Tue 26th – Jan  Mon 1st 2018 (Boxing Day & New Year for only our experienced  people)


All enquiries email: [email protected] 

Thank you.

All retreats run by donation. We recommend a donation of $55 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,  and bags of potting mix.

Office: Epson 82 printing ink: all colours

Research Books: Thanks and Anumodhana - Rejoice with Ong Wei Jin for your kind donation to purchase these books which will greatly help Phra Mana's research and lectures to many people. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Building Materials: 

  • Decking timber, hard wood, any sizes & length.
  • Outdoor srew, nuts and bolts any size
  • 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)




ข้าวสารถุง, น้ำตาลถุง, เส้นหมี่แห้ง(เพราะมีมากจนไม่มีที่จะเก็บ มีปัญหาเรื่องหนูตามมา)

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


กรุณาดูจากรายการข้างบน สาธุ ขออนุโมทนา


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