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.




 International Kathina 2018  Ceremony

Offering of Monk Robe and 10th Anniversary Celebration of Volunteers's Metta.

All are welcome.










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

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

Fri 17th  - Sun 19th Aug 18




Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Seven Steps to Enlightenment

Please click here to see more photo



Fri 31st  Aug - Sun 2nd Sept 18




Weekend Meditation Retreat: Nirvana


 Fri 14th - Sun 16th Sept 18




 Weekend Meditation Retreat: Heart Blossom

 Please click here to see more photo

Activities for October 2018

Fri 29th Sept - Mon 1st Oct 18



Labour Day Long Weekend Meditation Retreat: Awakening in the garden

Please click here for photo in the gallery / 2018




Activities for November 2018

Sat 10 Nov 2018






International Kathina Ceremony

Sat 10 Nov 2018 

*Making and offering of monk robes to International Sangha following the 2600 years old tradition.

*10th Anniversary of our Thai volunteers

*Visiting the monastery garden and stone sculptures of Buddhist Art

*Fund raising for renovating the kitchen and Monk Training Program


10.00 am      Buddhist monks & nuns’ chanting & blessing for Unity

11.00 am      Alms offering to monks & nuns and vegetarian lunch for all

1 pm.             Kathina robe offering to International monks & nuns.

2.30 pm         Blessing and finish. ( Start to make the Kathina robe)


All are welcome


People who would like to help the ceremony, please contact:

  1. Food offering to monks and cooking food, please contact Aon Tel. 0406988998
  2. Setting up the tents and arranging the venue, please contact Peter Tel 0430720436
  3.  Offering of international monk robe offering, please contact Oy’ Tel 0410646127, bus Lily Tel. 0421 665 250


วัดป่าสุญญตาราม บันดานูน

เสาร์ที่ 10 พย. 2561


เป็นครั้งแรกในรอบ 10 ปีที่ผ่านมา ที่วัดป่าสุญญาตาราม จะได้มีพิธีถวายผ้ากฐินสามัคคีแด่พระสงฆ์นานาชาติ อีกทั้งเป็นการเฉลิมฉลองครบรอบหนึ่งทศวรรษของการเกิดขึ้นของคณะจิตอาสาช่วยพุทธศาสนา นำโดยน้าเจี๊ยบ จากอดีตร้านรังผึ้งและน้องๆอาสาสมัคร ขอเชิญทุกท่านร่วมเป็นเจ้าภาพกฐินสามัคคีเพื่อนำปัจจัยนี้ร่วมสมทบการซ่อมแซมห้องครัว และเป็นกองทุนในการฝึกพิเศษของพระไทย เพื่อเผยแผ่ธรรมะเป็นภาษาอังกฤษ


10.00 น. คณะสงฆ์นานาชาติ สวดมนต์ให้พร ภายในพระมหาเจดีย์กตัญญู

11.00 น. คณะสงฆ์นานาชาติออกรับบิณทบาตร ฉันเพล และญาติโยมทาน


13.00 น. เริ่มถวายผ้ากฐินสามัคคีนานาชาติ แด่คณะสงฆ์นานาชาติ 3 นิกาย

14.00 น. รับพร และเริ่มตัด เย็บ ย้อม ผ้ากฐิน


ขอเชิญท่านผู้มีศรัทธา ที่จะร่วมงานติดต่อได้ที่แผนกต่างๆ ดังนี้

  1. แผนกอาหาร และตั้งโรงทาน น้าเจี๊ยบ โทร. 0415815489 หรือ อ้อน โทร.0406988998
  2. แผนกอาสาสมัครช่วยจัดสถานที่ ติดต่อ peter โทร.0430720436
  3. แผนก รถบัส จากซิดนีย์ ติดต่อ คุณ Lily 0421 665 250
  4. แผนก เจ้าภาพถวายผ้าไตรพระนานาชาติ ติดต่อ คุณอ้อย โทร. 0410646127 น้าเจี๊ยบ โทร.0415815489



Kathina day for 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. . Please see more detail in Project / Building Karuna Cloister

Fri 16th   - Sun 18th  Nov 18

The Last 2018 Retreat for Beginners.



Weekend Meditation Retreat:  Art of A Beautiful Living

Sorry the retreat is full. Please apply for the next retreats.



Activities for December 2018

 26 Dec 2018 - 1 Jan 2019



 Boxing Day & New Year Retreat

This retreat is for our regular Sunnataram Forest Monastery meditation practicing people. You must have attained many retreats at this monastery and know many of the chantings and teachings by heart to be considered for this retreat.

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



Activities for 2019





Retreat dates for 2019

February   Fri 8th - Sun 10th Feb 19

March   Fri 8th - Sun 10th Mar 19

April   Fri 5th - Sun 7th Apr 19

May   Fri 3th - Sun 5th May 19

May Sun 19th  - Sat 25th May 19 Vesak Retreat (Only our experienced meditators)

June Fri 7th - Mon 10th Jun 19 Queen's Birthday

July  Fri 12th - Sun 14th Jul 19

August  Fri 9th - Sun 11th Aug 19

September Fri 13th  - Sun 15th Sept 19

October Fri 11th - Sun 13th Oct 19

Before you send in application form to make a reservation, please make sure that you are able to complete the whole retreat. To leave the retreat earlier is considered to be unfair because there are some other people who can't participate the retreat due to your occupied spaces. The monks and volunteers are happy to support your meditation, and they work very hard to prepare the whole monastery for your comfort.

Thank you.

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.



  November      Fri  16th - Sun 18th (The last 2018 retreat for beginners)

 December      Wed 26th Dec 2018 – Jan  Tue 1st  Jan 2019 (Boxing Day & New Year for only experienced  people)

Retreat dates for 2019

February   Fri 8th - Sun 10th Feb 19

March   Fri 8th - Sun 10th Mar 19

April   Fri 5th - Sun 7th Apr 19

May   Fri 3th - Sun 5th May 19

May Sun 19th  - Sat 25th May 19 Vesak Retreat (Only our experienced meditators)

June Fri 7th - Mon 10th Jun 19 Queen's Birthday

July  Fri 12th - Sun 14th Jul 19

August  Fri 9th - Sun 11th Aug 19

September Fri 13th  - Sun 15th Sept 19

October Fri 11th - Sun 13th Oct 19


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.

Please send your donation to:

Sunnataram Forest Monastery

ANZ Bank

BSB: 012 547

Acc No: 2370-37944

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 screw, nuts and bolts any size
  • Or just Bunning Gift Cards  or Home Hardware Gift cards and post to the monastery.

Thank you very much.

Or donation to

Sunnataram Forest Monastery

ANZ Bank

BSB: 012 547

Acc No: 2370-37944


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