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Meditation Retreats with Guidance ~ by Mana

What is the daily program like? What should I bring?

“What I really appreciated was the way Mana tuned into what each participant came to the Centre to work through”


What is a meditation retreat? 

A retreat is a time where we choose to simplify all our usual activities so we have a real opportunity to go more deeply into what is going on under the surface in our lives. This includes beginning to recognise our profound human potential as well as all the ways in which we hold ourselves back from this.
During retreat, we put aside phones, computers, messages, emails, visits to see people or places etc – so we can just go into our inner experience with increasing clarity and capacity for being mindfully present.
As we open more to what is happening right now, we begin to feel more connected with our lives. We learn a lot – directly, from our own experience.
Usually we are also learning from a teacher who introduces us to useful approaches and reliable practices, and helps us explore more effectively.
Meditation Retreats generally require some effort and commitment from us. We will learn to meet our challenges. Meditation Retreat is quite different from a holiday or a pampering time.
If we have committed to a time of simplification and doing quite a bit of meditation practice in a supportive environment, that is a retreat.

What is special about Meditation Retreats at Open Mind Centre?

  • All our courses are oriented to living full contemporary lives – including relationships, social engagement, study, exploration, work, business.
  • Practical orientation – meditation is here to bring more awareness into our lives so we can make more informed and genuinely effective choices in our lives.
  • Work at your own pace – You will be encouraged to extend yourself, and also to rest when needed – You will learn how to craft a day of awareness. We find this approach really helps our meditators integrate the benefits of meditation into their daily lives.
  • We bring a variety of awareness through movement practices into your retreat, including your own improvised movements. This directly helps us find a fresh, flexible and energised awareness.
  • Natural hot spring baths on site – helps you keep your body supple and well.
  • Broad spiritual path – we use many Buddhist practices, terms and ideas as they are just so useful and so well tested. However, we are not exclusively Buddhist, many of our teachers are also from Sufi, Hindu, Taoist and Shamanistic traditions.
  • As well as the traditional practices of Thai Buddhism, we also offer many courses in Tibetan Buddhism. We offer a wide range of traditional and contemporary teachings in Theravadin, Mahayana and Vajrayana schools. If you would like further information on this, just ask us.
  • We offer guidance for all levels of experience.

The daily program 

In a typical program, we have a mixture of scheduled classes and unscheduled time for you to learn how to put together a day of mindfulness. Most people living contemporary lifestyles find this approach definitely helps them integrate the many benefits of retreat with the rest of their lives.
We usually meet 2 times a day for 1.5 or 2 hours each time – usually before breakfast and before/ after dinner. During these class times we will explore resources for meditation practice, including traditional and contemporary teachings, and do practical meditation sessions together so you can confidently do the practices yourself. There will be plenty of time for your questions. The rest of the day is free for you to put into practice what we have discussed in our classes – including time for meditation practice, some rest time, some walks in nature, some movement, perhaps some making or artwork when appropriate – all this will be covered in classes/ meetings with time for your questions too.
There is no ‘right’ amount of meditation to do each day. We are all different. You will be encouraged to rest when needed, also to gradually extend yourself to make the most of your retreat time.
In general, we put together a program that suits you. Our scheduled programs are also responsive to who is present – exactly when we introduce different methods and practices will depend very much on how you are going in your meditation practice, and what you need to help you take the next step in your journey.

What to bring

Loose & comfortable clothing, notebook and pen, alarm clock, torch. Mosquito repellant if you wish. November – Mid January is winter here – mostly lovely sunny days mid-20’s, with cool evenings & mornings – pack warm socks, & a sweater or light jacket.

Please bring an alarm clock that is separate from your phone or other connected device.

Before your retreat starts

We strongly recommend that you complete all phone calls, emails and messages, and let people who may be wanting to contact you that you will be offline with your phone and computer switched off for the time of your retreat. Please also complete any arrangements for banking, onward journeys, medications, personal toiletries etc. The nearest ATMs and markets are 7km away. Please arrive at the centre a day early if you know you need some time in Pai to complete these preparations before your retreat begins. You are welcome to arrive a day or some days early for some chill or preparation time, depending on availability of rooms.

During retreat

Keeping it simple.

We do not have a rule of silence, but we do want to simplify our lives so we can begin to open up to what is going on at deeper levels than our usual conversations, activities or general busy-ness. Also, let us know if you want to be silent, you will be supported in this.

For full-time retreats:
  • We strongly recommend that you stay and eat at the centre. This will help your meditation retreat – a lot! We have nutritious and tasty vegetarian meals with meat options available at our cafe three meals a day. Depending on availability, you may be able to use our guest kitchen
  • We ask that you turn off your phones / tablets / computers etc completely.
  • During your retreat please put aside all phone calls, skype, internet, emails, messaging, reading.
  • Small amounts of journaling are ok, and sometimes some small amounts of relevant reading also – please check about these with your instructor
  • Please stay on the property, unless cleared with your retreat instructor
  • Please live as well as you can by the five precepts during your stay at the Centre
  • Most people also offer some karma yoga to help their meditation and to support the centre

Costs For Meditation Retreats

Scheduled Retreats on OMC Calendar

(minimum 3 days registration)

Scheduled retreats qualify for a discount. Prices are all inclusive – room, meals, training, individual questions as necessary –

1300 B per day (Bamboo Cabin) e.g. 5 days = 5 x 1300 = 6,500 THB per person
1450 B per day (Superior Room) 5 days = 5 x 1450 = 7,250 THB per person

Check that the retreat you are interested in is available, then make a deposit to confirm your retreat here

These are discounted flat rates for group retreats. For conditions, click here.

Meditation Retreats to suit your Schedule

“If you feel stuck in your life, this is a great place to come and begin to get unstuck. I feel healed and loved and full of gratitude and joy”


Teaching & guidance is 750 baht per person for each day of your guided retreat, in addition to your room and food costs. For conditions, click here. Bring some friends – for groups of five and more, you will qualify for the discount rates above.

Meditation Retreats longer than 10 days – you are welcome to stay as long as you like. We want to help keep your retreat affordable – you qualify for a discount rate – please discuss with Mana.

Please confirm your tutor is available for the dates you are interested in, then make a deposit to confirm your retreat.