Retreat Infos

Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek and BuddhaMetta Project


Bhikkhu Gavesako and website (Feb. 2010)


Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek

Moo 5 Tambol Ban Reua
Ampher Phu Wiang
Jangwat Khon Kaen

Phone: +66-4329-1820
Mobile: +66-83326-8708

Email: or





Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek is a socially engaged monastery of the Thai forest tradition located in Phu Wiang, Khon Kaen province, north-east Thailand. It welcomes Thai and international visitors to study and practise the Dhamma.

The BuddhaMetta project is an original and innovative idea of a 'Dhamma village' aimed at providing a unique chance to ‘live in the Dhamma’. It will create a special kind of community in which laypeople can freely interact with the monks to learn from and supporteach other in developing the Dhamma. It has been initiated to meet the needs of people seeking to fully understand and practise the Dhamma by living in a Buddhist community. In Thailand the temple system often makes it difficult for visitors to meet with and learn from the monks. This project aims to overcome this difficulty. As well as offering a unique environment for the development of meditation practice, the project offers a way of directly encountering the Buddhist way of life and a chance to interact with the local village community. The project will also sponsor community projects and international exchange for school children and university students. It will become a place for people from all over the world to practise meditation in a peaceful, caring and harmonious environment. The project will provide
opportunities to work with the local community and be involved in providing almsfood for the monastic Sangha. Environmental projects such as organic fruit and vegetable gardens, rice paddy fields and tree planting are an essential part of the whole concept. The location of the 'Dhamma village' is in an area of strong, natural power in Loei province (Tambol Pha Sam Yot, near Erawan cave, about 2 hours from Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek) with caves, a lake and forests conducive to the development of a peaceful mind and wisdom.


At Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek, there are huts (kuti) for the monks and male visitors, and a kitchen building for female visitors. At BuddhaMetta project, there will be ten wooden houses for accommodation surrounded by a landscaped forest. Each house has two stories in a Thai style, with two bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom, living room , bathroom, small kitchen and dining area on the ground floor. There will also be a main public kitchen for the preparation of food. It is hoped that the organic fruit and vegetable gardens on the property will supply all of the food required  together with the food from the monks' almsround (pindapata). However, people can also purchase their own food to cook in their own kitchen and contribute to the community by offering almsfood to the monks. The Sala (meditation hall) will be the centre for many activities such as Dana offering, chanting, Dhamma teaching and meditation practice.

How to get there

From Bangkok's northern bus terminal Mochit, there are overnight buses (e.g. 999, Muang Loei Air) going directly to Phu Wiang, leaving around 8-9 pm and arriving around 4-5 am. One can also travel during the day, or go to Khon Kaen and catch another bus to Phu Wiang from there (about 40 mins). It is also possible to fly from Bangkok to Khon Kaen. From the bus terminal in Phu Wiang, it takes only 30 minutes to walk to Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek (about 2 km): turn right after the big gate and follow the road to Ban Reua until you see the monastery sign on the left. One can also take a three-wheel taxi (samlor) to the monastery. Transport to the BuddhaMetta project in Loei province will be organized from Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek as required.


Ajahn Sudhiro or other English-speaking monks and invited teachers will be available for meditation instruction, teachings and discussions. Ajahn Sudhiro (Phra Chaowaphit Sudhiro) has been ordained in the Dhammayut tradition for over 20 years. For many years he has practised meditation in seclusion, living in caves and wandering on tudong. Later he established Wat Pah Kanjanabhisek near his hometown and started several projects to help the local community, especially children and sick people. Young boys have a chance to ordain as novices and pursue monastic education up to university level in Bangkok. Students from Khon Kaen also come for meditation retreats. In the last ten years, Ajahn Sudhiro has also been active internationally, teaching at the Samatha Group in England and staying at the monasteries of the Ajahn Chah tradition there. He also established Sammapatipadarama monastery in Napier, New Zealand, where he now usually spends the rainy season (Vassa).


Several Westerners have already ordained as monks for shorter or longer periods of time with Ajahn Sudhiro as their teacher. Ordination can be arranged after individual consultation, depending on the readiness of the candidate. Even older candidates are accepted, there is more flexibility here compared with places like Wat Pah Nanachat. One is expected to be self-reliant and to study by oneself, with the opportunity to discuss practical matters with the teacher as necessary. There is daily chanting in Pali and English, and one is expected to learn most of the chanting by heart. There is also daily group meditation and chores such as sweeping and cleaning. After the almsround early in the morning, the monks eat one meal a day at 8 am. In the afternoon there will also be drinks and sweets available.

Meditation technique

Individual, no specific technique is emphasised, but Ajahn Sudhiro can teach anapanasati and meditation on the elements, as well as walking meditation.

Monastery regulations

Visitors are usually expected to keep the 8 precepts, but in some cases eating in the afternoon is also possible.


Thai, Lao and English.


Voluntary donation.

What to bring

Flashlight, alarm clock, mosquito repellent. Everything can be easily bought in the town nearby.

When to visit

Best time is during the cool season, from November until February.