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.




Luang Po Sawat has been granted for Permanent Resident Visa.

Thank you very much for all of kind support and kindness.










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

Activities for June 2018

Fri 8th - Mon11th Jun 18



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

Please click here to see some photos in Gallery/2018





Fri 29th June  - Sun 1st July 18




 36 Students from University of NSW Buddhist society will learn and practise Dhamma and meditation on this freezing cold weekend. (expecting -3 degree).



Activities for July 2018

Fri 6th   - Sun 8th Jul 18



Combined University Retreat

Students from Sydney University, MacQuarie university and University of Technology Sydney will practise meditaton in the monastery.




Fri 20th   - Sun 22nd Jul 18



Weekend Meditation Retreat: Awareness & Compassion

Please click here to see photos in Gallery/2018





Activities for August 2018

Wed 1st Aug 2018



Phra Mana starts a lecture on Buddhism, and teaches meditation to U3A Southern Highlands till Sept 2018.



Wed 15th Aug 2018



Phra Mana gives a lecture on Buddhism, and teaches meditation to U3A Southern Highlands.




Fri 17th  - Sun 19th Aug 18




Weekend Meditation Retreat: The Seven Steps to Enlightenment

Please click here to see more photo



Sat 25th  Aug 2018



Monks will attend Bodhi Nite at UNSW organized by Unibuds.




Wed 29th  Aug 2018



U3A lecture




Fri 31st  Aug - Sun 2nd Sept 18




Weekend Meditation Retreat: Nirvana


Activities for September 2018

Fri 7th Sept 2018



Phra Mana gives a Dhamma talk at Unibuds, UNSW



Sat 8 Sept 18



Dhamnma study for ANU Buddhist society at the monastery



Wed 12th Sept 2018



U3A lecture



 Fri 14th - Sun 16th Sept 18




 Weekend Meditation Retreat: Heart Blossom


Dear Everyone,

Thank you for your participation in this weekend’s Heart Blossom Retreat.

Venerable Phra Mana, the other monks, volunteers and I hope you have all had a very positive experience,

and also enjoyed the beginning of spring blossoming in the gardens.

If anyone has enjoyed the chanting and would like a copy for further study, please let me know.

Or if you have any queries about the teachings please feel free to write.

If you forgot to make a donation please do so to our ANZ account on website

Looking forward to seeing you all again.

With metta,


Please click here to see more photo

Thurs 20th Sept 2018



Phra Mana gives a Dhamma talk to Unibodhi, Sydney University



Wed  26th Sept 2018



Last U3A lecture for 2018



Activities for October 2018

Fri 29th Sept - Mon 1st Oct 18



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.

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

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. Please email us asap if you have to cancel your booking.Thank you.


Activities for November 2018

Sat 10 Nov 2018





Kathina Ceremony

10 am - 2 pm  A fundraising day to build the new mediation hall. Everybody and family are most welcome.

The program will include lunch offering to International Buddhist Monks and Nuns in all schools of Buddhism, Yummy vegetarian lunch for all, a short Dhamma talk on the history of the Harmony Day, and blessings for all.

The Kathina festival, which originated 2,500 years ago, occurs at the end of the Vassa, or monsoon, period, in November. During the Vassa period, normally nomadic Buddhist monks will have remained in one place for three months, and the Kathina celebration marks the time for them to move on. The festival also celebrates the offerings of cloth that are given to the monks upon their leaving by the lay people, and fundraising day to support the monastery activities.


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

Only a few places are available. We are going to stop retreat registratiion at the end of September. Please send in the application form at least 7 days in advance.

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.



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





Meditation Retreat dates are coming soon.



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.


 October     Fri 28th  Sept – Mon 1st Oct (Labour Day Long Weekend)

  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 will be available 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.

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