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.

Used hot water tank -needed


Due to cold weather in Bundanoon, the monks are looking for old hot water tanks (in any size & no leaking) to make the heating system for meditation retreat in both men and ladies' accommodation. Anyone who wants to donate their old tanks, please email the monastery. Or if you can deliver directly to us because we don't have a regular driver, we will feel very grateful.

Thank you very much. Sadhu Anumodhana.



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 May 2017

Fri 5th - Sun 7th May 17



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


 Please click on the photo to see more pictures

Sun 14th  - Sat 20th  May 17 Vesak



Vesak Retreat: Find Independence within the Dependent Origination of Unhappiness

 Please click here for more photos and read the feedback


Activities for June 2017

Fri 9th - Mon 12th Jun 17



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

Please click here to see photos and feedback



Activities forJuly 2017

1 - 2 July 2017




Unibodhi: Retreat for University of Sydney Buddhist Society.



Fri 7th  - Sun 9th Jul 17


Weekend Meditation Retreat: Awareness & Compassion

Thanks for all of our wisdom and compassion to make this meditation retreat beautiful. All 50  people braved thier meditation practice against the freezing cold temperature. Rejoice with you all.

Please click here to see more photos.




14 - 16 July 2017





Unibuds Winter Retreat

Dhamma talks and meditation retreat for University of NSW Buddhist Society.



Activities for August 2017

Fri 11th  - Sun 13th Aug 17



Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Seven Factors of Enlightenment

Please click here to see photo in Gallery 2017



Sat 19 Aug 2017




Candle Offering Ceremony

 Thanks for generosity to all people who help to support the monastery acitivities. We all enjoyed a short guided meditation and yummy lunch. The monks explained the history of Buddhist art symbols, which candle represented the Buddha before the creation of the Buddha images.

Please click here to see photos in Gallery/2017




Sat 26th -Sun 27th Aug 17




Thai volunteer retreat

This weekend meditation retreat is reserved for our Thai volunteers who have been helping the monks to do all kinds of work in the monastery i.e. cooking for the retreat, building, gardening etc. in the past 10 years. We treasure their generosity and value their time to help us, and we want them to have their private time for their own meditation practice. Please click here to see photos in Gallery /2017



Activities for September 2017

Fri 1st  - Sun 3rd Sept 17


Weekend Meditation Retreat: Shangri La

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for your enthusiastic and co-operative participation in the Shangri La retreat.

Venerable Phra Mana, LuongPo Sawat the volunteers and I hope you have had a wonderful weekend at the monastery,

and have returned home with new skills and a more peaceful vibration. Please apply your mindful breathing to enhance your speedy daily activities, and enjoy Shangri La within.

Don’t slow down your creativity and responsibilities, unless you need to take a breakJJ Coffee time is your deep breathing exercise time.

We hope you will return for another retreat or join us for lunch at 11am any Sunday.

Attached is the group photo and we love to hear your comments and feedback.

If anyone would like me to email them a copy of the chanting or would like to clarify any of the teachings please let me know.

We will have more photos on the website for you to see during the week.

Thank you all for your help to keep the monastery beautiful and welcoming, for everyone to enjoy.

With metta,


Please click here to see photos in Gallery / 2017


Happy Father's Day

Sun 3 Sept 2017



11 am Lunch offering to monks and lunch for all

1.00-2.00 pm Dhamma talk & Summary of the retreat.

All are welcome.



Sat 9 Sept 2017




9:30 AM - 5 PM  Dhamma workshop for Australian National University Buddhist Association



Fri 29th Sept- Mon 2nd Oct 17



Labour Day Long Weekend Meditation Retreat: Awakening in the garden

The Buddha was born in the garden, attained Enlightenment in the garden, taught in the garden and passed away in the garden. Let us enjoy the practise of sitting & walking meditation in the monastery gardens and experience how the calming power of nature enabled the Buddha to attain Inner Peace 2600 years ago.

Sorry the retreat is full. We are trying to organize another retreat on 1-3 Dec 2017. Please email us if you are interested. Thank you.



Activities for October 2017

6 Oct 2017




Dhamma talk at Sydney University Buddhist Society



Activities for November 2017

Fri 3rd - Sun 5th Nov 17



Last Meditation Retreat for Beginners for the year 2017: Art of A Beautiful Living

The Buddha's teachings discusses about three kinds of Dhamma beauty. First, beauty of good deeds brings happiness; second, beauty of relaxation brings calmness; and third, beauty of realization brings liberation. Add Dhamma beauty into our lives for the coming greeting season.

Sorry the retreat is full. We are trying to organize another retreat on 1-3 Dec 2017, if there is enough interest. Thank you.



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.



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)


Retreat dates for 2008 are coming soon.

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