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
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.
who come asking to stay without prior permission will not be
If you are interested in
staying at the monastery, please send by mail, or email via email@example.com:
- a completed guest registration form
- a written letter explaining why you wish to stay at
- 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
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.
||Eating Hall open for
|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.|
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
|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.
||Meditation Sitting at
Sala Bodhinyana Hall|
||Communal Chores such as
sweeping the monastery paths and cleaning the monastery
||Afternoon Drink at Sala
Bodhinyana Area. Please take this quietly.|
||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
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.
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.
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
Smoking is not allowed anywhere within the
Usually male ordinations are very limited,
with special permission required from the Abbot. The
monastery is also unable to facilitate female
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 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
- 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
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
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