Itinerary – Summer 2016

Program Itinerary – Summer 2015
June 30 – July 29

Contemplative Practice: Summer Study Abroad in Thailand

Program Objectives
This program will be an intensive, experiential introduction to mindfulness meditation and other contemplative practices. The entire program will take place in Thailand, where in addition to daily practice and instruction in a variety of settings, students will learn firsthand the concepts and principles of contemplative thought and practices, their development in Buddhist traditions of Southeast Asia, and manifestations in contemporary culture. Students will witness both urban and village lifestyles during their three week field tour. For a portion of the trip, we will be in residence at Ubon Ratchathanee University, where we will have much time for interaction with Thai students, and will be teaching English conversation. We will visit important historical sites and landmarks, temples, nature preserves, and will participate in meditation retreats in temples in Thailand’s northeast. For further details on the contemplative practices that will be studied during the program, also consult the page on the program website titled “Mindfulness.”

Suggested Reading
Here are some suggested readings for background to be done before departure. Participants do not need to bring books along. The program leaders will have a few copies available for reference and discussion.

Mindfulness with Breathing. A Manual for Serious Beginners by Buddhadasa Bikkhu. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0861711116  (also available online:

Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0861719068  (an earlier edition available online at:

Anapanasati Sutta: Mindfulness of Breathing. Available online at:

Satipatthana Sutta. (Four Foundations of Mindfulness) Available online at:, and, in an different translation at:

Happiness by Thich Nhat Hahn. ISBN 978-1888375916

Heartwood of the Bodhi Tree by  Buddhadasa Bikkhu. Wisdom Publications. ISBN 978-0861710355 (available online:

A Tree in a Forest by Ajahn Chah

No Ajahn Chah by Ajahn Chah

Monsoon Country by Pira Sudham

Program Schedule and Itinerary
(subject to modification)

Daily: morning and evening mindfulness practice, with meditation, t’ai chi, discussion

Mon., June 30: Bangkok

Arrival – Transfer to Hotel. Meeting. Recharge.

Tues., July 1:  Bangkok

-Orientation on Mindfulness course work and contemplative practices
-Visit Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha)
-Wat Pho (Temple of the Reclining Buddha).
-Traditional massage at Wat Pho
-Dinner at Riverside restaurant
-River Cruise (down the Chaophraya river)
-Meditation session

Wed., July 2: Bangkok

BKK- Damnoen Saduak
– Morning trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
– Afternoon free time and dinner with traditional puppet show (Joe Louis Restaurant)
–  Asiatique (opportunity for some souvenir shopping at the riverfront Asiatique open air mall)

Thurs., July 3: Bangkok

– Lumpini Park – T’ai Chi and Meditation Practice
– Visit Wat Mahathat temple and meditation center
– Afternoon free time and visit to Bangkok markets
– Sala Chalermkrung Royal Theatre : Khon (traditional theater) performance

Fri., July 4: Ayutthaya

Depart from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
– Ayutthaya Historic Park – tour ruins of the ancient capitol
– (optional) Elephant ride
– Visit Wat Mahaeyong meditation center

Sat., July 5: Buriram

Depart by coach from Ayutthaya to Buriram
Visit to ancient Khmer ruins at Phanom Rung / Prasat Muang Tham national monuments and parks.

Sun., July 6: Ubon

Arrival in Ubon Ratchathani
– check in at University of Ubon Rachaphat- Ubonrachathani Art and Culture Center Hotel
– Visit campus and recreation
– Orientation to culture and social exchanges
– Mindful Discussion session

Mon., July 7: Ubon

– Educational and social exchange with local students – Day 1
– Visit Ubon Town/ Leisure
– Mindful Meditation session

Tues., July 8: Ubon

-Educational and social exchange with local students – Day 2
– Wat Tung Sri Moung, Central Park
-Toung Sri Moung activities/ Mindful exercise/ Meditation/ Yoga/ T’ai Chi

Wed., July 9: Ubon

– Educational and social exchange with local students – Day 3
– Visit Wat Pa Nana Chart (International Temple)
– Wat Nong Pa Pong
– Fruit and Vegetable wholesale market – Talad Chalernsri
– Mindful Meditation session

Thurs., July 10: Ubon

– Educational and social exchange with local students – Day 4
– Leisure / Free time
– Mindful Meditation session

Fri., July 11: Ubon

– Educational and social exchange with local students – Day 5
– Afternoon free time
– Visit to Town Center/ Night market
– Mindful Meditation session

Sat., July 12: Ubon

Full Day Excursion:
– Wat Tham Phupha Cave temple
– Pha Taem National Park (prehistoric cliff paintings)
– Soi Sawan Waterfall
– Meditation

Sun., July 13: Ubon

– Morning alms offering at Wat Pa Nanachart International Temple
– Mindful eating at Boon Niyom Vegetarian Restaurant
– Crafts and art center
– Mindful Meditation session

Mon., July 14: Ubon – Srisaket

Khmer Ruins:
– Kampaeng Noi/Kampaeng Yai
– Wat Larn Kuad (million bottle temple)
– Eco-Mindful meditation session

Tues., July 15: Ubon

– Visit temple – candle carving workshops
– Half day excursion to visit Rachathani Asoke community
– Vermiculture farming
– Organic rice farming
– Crafts and arts Center
– Mindful livelihood session

Wed., July 16: Ubon

– Tai Chi/Yoga
– Visit Wat Suphat
– Moon River visit/ Fish sanctuary
– Wat Luang
– Street market
– Dinner at Thai-Chinese restaurant
– Mindful Meditation session

Thurs., July 17: Ubon

– Candle carving workshop
– Visit international candle carving team
– Ubon Museum
– International Candle Phansa competition

Fri., July 18: Ubon

– Meeting and Activities with Southeast Asian students
– Meditation

Sat., July 19: Ubon

– Khao Phansa Parade
– Kham Poun Silk village  visit

Sun., July 20: Ubon

– Activities with Southeast Asian Student exchange program students
– Meditation

Mon., July 21: Ubon

– Activities with Southeast Asian Student exchange program students
– Meditation

Tues., July 22: Wat Pa Nanachart

Meditation Retreat — orientation and retreat opening

Wed., July 23: Wat Pa Nanachart

Meditation Retreat — Day 1

Fri., July 24: Wat Pa Nanachart

Meditation Retreat — Day 2

 Sat., July 25: Wat Pa Nanachart

Meditation Retreat — Day 3

Sun., July 26: Wat Pa Nanachart

Meditation Retreat — Day 4
Retreat concludes

Mon., July 27: Wat Pa Nanachart

– Ubon morning market
– Nine temple tour
– Prepare for departure

Tues., July 28: Ubon – Bangkok

– Travel to Bangkok
– Farewell dinner

Bon Voyage!



All participants are encouraged to complete the suggested reading in advance of the program, as it will provide a good background for our activities and discussions. We also highly encourage all participants to keep a journal during the trip – you are likely to find it very useful in the future.

Students registered for credit
If you are registering for an independent study for credit in conjunction with the program, readings and journal are required (not merely suggested). Additionally, students registered for credit are required to submit a reflective paper within one month after conclusion of the program.

Contact: University of Mary Washington Department of Classics, Philosophy, and Religion / Leidecker Center for Asian Studies      –



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