Welcome to Wat Marp Jan Registration.


REGISTRATION, RULES AND REGULATIONS WEBSITE

FOR LAY PRACTITIONERS STAYING OVERNIGHT AT WAT MARP JAN, THAILAND.

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In general staying at Wat Marp Jan (WMJ) is about a way of life. There is no opportunity for silent long retreats, but instead there is an opportunity for lay guests to develop themselves through living and participating in a monastic culture. Lay guests are expected to have an attitude of service towards the monastery and to the monks staying here. In participating in this service-orientated culture, Venerable Ajahn Chah always stressed constant mindfulness in any activity and the attitude that abiding by the routines of the monastery is a way of letting go, the heart of the Buddhist practice.

Applying to stay at Wat Marp Jan

If you wish to stay at Wat Marp Jan, written permission must first be granted by the abbot of the monastery. For lay guests who are coming for the first time, a maximum of 3 days stay is permitted. For guests who have visited before or who would like to specially request an extended stay, permission may be granted for a stay of up to a maximum of 7 days. WMJ is a monastery for the training of monastics so is unable to cater for long-term stay guests. 
Guests who come asking to stay without prior permission will not be accepted.
If you are interested in staying at the monastery, please send by mail, or email via marpjan@gmail.com:

  • a completed guest registration form
  • a written letter explaining why you wish to stay at WMJ,
  • a current photo.
  • a guarantee letter from a monastic who has an affiliation with WMJ.
  • If one is unable to obtain the above letter of guarantee, then one must instead provide the monastery with:
  • an official certificate of good conduct or a lack of criminal record or similar from a government department in one’s home country.

Upon receiving your inquiry, the monastery will consider your request and may either reply by sending an application form as well as a detailed description of the monastery rules, or by suggesting another place that would be more suitable for your practice.

WMJ recommends that one practice first in a monastery that is of the Ajahn Chah lineage in the West. One will get better guidance on Buddhist practice in one’s own language. For Europe we recommend Cittaviveka Monastery, in America, Abhyagiri Monastery, and in Australia, Buddha Bodhivana Monastery (780 Woods Point Rd, East Warburton VIC 3799) or Bodhisaddha Forest Monastery. Once one is known to that community, one may obtain a guarantee letter from the abbot of that monastery and request to stay at WMJ.

After receiving and submitting the application form, please allow several weeks in which to receive a written response. You may follow up your mail by calling the monastery directly. Acceptance is not guaranteed, as at many times of the year the accommodation at the monastery is not vacant.

General Lay Guest Schedule


Lay guests are expected to have some basis in meditation practice, an intention to uphold the Eight Moral Precepts and knowledge of how to conduct themselves in a Buddhist culture.


DAILY SCHEDULE

Time Schedule and Description
4:00 a.m. Morning Wake-Up Bell
4:30 a.m. Eating Hall open for Morning Meditation
5:00 a.m. Morning Chanting
5:45 - 8:00 a.m. Monks and Novices go out to surrounding villages on alms-round. Lay guests sweep the kitchen area down to the front gate and help in the kitchen. If all the set-up for the meal is finished, guests should go meditate in the Eating Hall.
8:00 a.m. Daily Meal. After the monks, novices and anagarikas have taken their food, lay guests can take their food in a quiet and orderly manner. Do not eat in the inner areas which are fenced off. Please eat quietly.
8:30 - 11:00 a.m. After washing your own dishes, please help to wash all the communal dishes, utensils and serving trays, then wipe all the tables down and pack up the kitchen area. Help to take the garbage out. See if there are work projects such as maintenance work, gardening or helping the monks with other various duties.
to 2 p.m. Personal Meditation Time
2:00 p.m. Meditation Sitting at Sala Bodhinyana Hall
3:00 p.m. Communal Chores such as sweeping the monastery paths and cleaning the monastery public toilets.
5:30 p.m. Afternoon Drink at Sala Bodhinyana Area. Please take this quietly.
6:00 p.m. Proceed to Uposotha Hall for Meditation
6:45 – 9:00 p.m. Evening Chanting and Group Meditation. Enter the Hall from the front or side. Male and Female guests are to sit on separate sides.
9:00 p.m. Personal Meditation Time and Rest. Turn all lights off and be quiet around any others’ dwellings.

As this is a Thai monastery all talks are given in Thai and there are no translation of any Dhamma talks given. Usually the abbot is attending to the supervising of the monastery and the training of monks so there are no individual meetings with the abbot. Question and Answer sessions with the Abbot or other monks may be requested, but at most will be infrequent depending on availability and if there is anyone to translate.

Accommodation

Lay guests will stay in dormitories with other lay guests. The monastery provides straw mats to sleep on, pillows and blankets. As lay guests follow the 8 precepts, there are no mattresses given. Lay guests are expected to clean their places of stay each day as well as the communal toilets that they use.

As the monastery is mainly for the training of monastics, female lay guests are unable to stay at the monastery except under special permission by the Abbot.

Staying in the Monastery

During their stay, lay guests will wear white clothing. For men this will generally be a white shirt and loose white and long trousers. If lay men are unable to acquire this, a set can be loaned from the monastery. If women are visiting the monastery, this will generally be a white blouse and long black skirt or pants. Women should be well covered at all times.

The Kitchen Area and the surrounding tables are to be used during the meal time only. At other times these areas should not be used. No requests should be made of the kitchen volunteers.

Lay guests will share in the food offered to the monastic community by the lay people each day. Only one meal a day will be eaten, but drinks and tonics after the chores period can be taken. The monastery is unable to cater for special diets. 

Smoking is not allowed anywhere within the monastery.

Usually male ordinations are very limited, with special permission required from the Abbot. The monastery is also unable to facilitate female ordinations. 

If any guest acts inappropriately and intentionally or unintentionally breaks any monastery rules, the monastery has the right to ask them to leave within 15 minutes of the incident.

Before Arriving

Before arriving one must:

  • Read the “Rules and Observances for Guests Staying at Wat Marp Jan” booklet and have a clear understanding as to what is required of them,
  • Send a copy of one’s fully-paid, confirmed round-trip air ticket
  • Send a copy of one’s travel health insurance covering their allowed stay at WMJ.
  • Send a copy of the photo page in their passport
  • The written acceptance letter from the abbot as well as the completed registration form should be brought.
  • Be in good physical and mental health

If there are any changes to arrival and departure dates, the Abbot must be notified and permission given.  Passports will be held at the office until the morning of the guest’s departure.

Lay guests are to be responsible for visas required to stay in Thailand. Guests should organise: visa, white clothing, toiletries, mosquito repellent (though there is no malaria in the area), towel, torch, copies of documents sent, flip flop sandals.

Before coming please contact the monastery the day before arrival to notify the estimated time of arrival. Guests should aim to arrive before 8 am before the meal and proceed to the eating hall located close to the entrance of the monastery and notify someone of their arrival. If arriving outside of this time, proceed directly to the office located 800m further down the road from the eating hall. 5 p.m. is the latest possible time of arrival to the monastery.

Leaving the Monastery

Before leaving, guests should pay respects to the Abbot. Lay guests should have their own transport organised out of the monastery. Please clean the place of stay and any clothing or bedding used before leaving.