PROGRAMME (FIRST 30 DAYS)
The Monk Life Thailand ordination programme will provide you with a comprehensive foundation for living the life of a monk and improving your meditation practice. Located in the thickly forested mountains about an hour and a half outside of downtown Chiang Mai, the International Forest Monastery (or iMONASTERY for short) has been constructed on a beautiful plot of land with the intention of creating a true refuge for international men seeking peace and quietude walking the path of Dhamma. The training consists of a five-day preparation for the ordination procedure, the actual ordination ceremony, and more than three weeks of practicing meditation, learning Buddhist teachings, and cultivating good habits and discipline by living the life of a monk. In addition to the main teaching monks from the Monk Life Thailand, the training team will also include specialised meditation tutor monks and other skilled staff for a very high quality training programme for participants.
PROGRAMME (SECOND 30 DAYS)
After setting a strong foundation for your monk life and meditation practice in the first 30 days of the programme, the next 30 days is designed to help you dive deeper into your meditation. To help you in this process, the team will relocate to another training site about three hours away in Hot district, fully developed and designed with meditation in mind. The pictures below will give you an idea of the comfortable facilities/meditation hall and beautiful scenery that awaits you for these 30 days. The supportive environment, the earlier 30 days you had to adjust and adapt to as a monk and the team of advanced meditation tutors will all contribute to these 30 days being conducive to discovering ever-deepening levels of inner peace. The international monks who stayed on longer after the 2021 programme (as well as the staff who came for meditation) can attest to the transformative power of this suitable environment. If you decide that you enjoy this environment, the opportunity will be open for you to continue meditating at this retreat alongside your brother monks for up to three months or more.
Due to the nature of the training, all applicants must be: male, in good mental and physical health – free from infectious diseases or any physical or mental disability. You must be in good financial standing (able to cover all travel, registration, and other associated costs of the programme, and free from debts or unresolved financial obligations to another person), and have no commitments that might cause interruptions during the programme. You must be willing to follow all guidelines and forms of respect and have the discipline of being a Buddhist monk , and willing to adapt to a community environment.
In order to ensure your safety, the safety of the other participants and our staff, you will be required to undergo a blood test for HIV, a chest x-ray for TB, a urine analysis for presence of illicit substances and get a clean bill of health via a general health check-up. This must be done in your own country before coming to Thailand (unless you have already been in Thailand for a while). If you are accepted into this programme, we will send you a form with the check up requirements. You will also be required to obtain a criminal record report from your home country. Please contact your local police station for details about this process.
In addition to this, the individual must have a visa that is valid for the duration of the programme. Before applying, please make sure that you have fully researched the visa/travel process and are confident that you are willing and able to meet the cost requirements and go through the process of obtaining the appropriate visa to enter Thailand. Thank you for your willingness to devote time and effort into educating yourself before asking questions that you can find through the resources we have provided.
Please note that Monk Life Thailand will NOT provide any form of financial aid for travel costs or any other costs within the programme. Before joining, you must be in a stable enough financial situation to cover all of the following associated costs independently:
- Registration fee: THB17,500 (approximately US$500+) in cash
- (Please note that THB10,000 (approximately US$300+) of this fee must be submitted as a deposit via Pay Pal in order to reserve your spot. This deposit is non-refundable but will count towards your overall registration fee)
- General Medical Check Up (blood test, chest x-ray, and urine test): check with local hospital in your home country for prices
- Criminal Record Check (check with local police station in home country for prices)
- Travel costs inclouding but not limited to : visa fee, return plane tickets
- Any other costs incurred outside of the programme dates (i.e. medical emergencies)
The registration fee will cover the costs of ordination, food, accommodation, travel expenses, clothes, basic necessities, basic living costs, and various items that you will be able to use during this 30-60 day programme. The registration fee has increased from previous years for a number of reasons.
First and foremost, the previous fee amount typically was just enough to cover a very small amount of programme expenses. Without the generosity of many donors, past ordination programmes could have never happened. However, for the sake of sustainability and maintaining a high-quality programme, the increased registration fee will allow operations to continue smoothly in the future as we build a truly supportive community for international monks.
Please note that if you decide to stay on as a monk after the end of the two 30 day programmes, most of the costs you will be required to cover moving forward will be related to monk visa applications and extensions. These can range from THB2,000 to 8,000 baht to extend your visa up to a year. If you wish to remain a monk after a year, then iMONASTERY will cover your visa extension costs from that point forward.
What to Submit
- Registration fee: THB7,500 in cash (the remaining THB10,000 will be covered by your deposit)
- Medical checkup results
- Criminal record check
What to Deposit
To ensure the safety of your belongings and to minimise distractions so that you and those around you can focus and derive the most benefit possible out of the training, we ask that you deposit the following items on registration day:
- Jewellery or accessories of all sorts(rings, necklaces, bracelets, bands, watches, etc.). These items are not permitted during the programme.
- Cash, Passport, Wallet, IDs Credit/Debit Cards
- All portable electronics including phones, MP3 players, tablets, computers, cameras, etc.
- In the event of an emergency, we can either communicate with someone on your behalf or allow you to use your device momentarily. However, this should be kept to an absolute minimum and avoided entirely if possible. All of the items that you deposit will be kept safely with the staff for the duration of the programme or longer if you decide to continue your monkhood.
What the Monk Life Thailand Team Will Provide You With
2 white T-shirts, 1 monk brown bag, 1 warm orange hat, 2 orange socks, 2 orange long sleeves, 1 bathing robe, 1 spoon bag, disposable orange masks, 1 shower basket, 1 chanting book, 1 notebook, 1 blue pen, 1 water bottle, 1 set of spoon-fork-soup spoon, cloth to clean tent and 1 blue box to keep everything in.
Personal Items You Must Bring
- Personal sandals – must be open-toed and no heel straps (monks are not allow to wear shoes with straps around or covering the heel). Please bring sandals that are of a single color: either brown or black. Please make sure that your sandals are both durable and broken in. We will likely be walking a long distance in them, so you want to make sure they are comfortable .
- Personal medication
- Personal toiletries (razor, soap, toothbrush, etc. ) if you run out of these, MLT can provide you with more
- Warm clothing (during the months of October-March). Chances are it will be cold during the night/morning time (sometimes less than 10 degrees Celsius) so you may bring your thermal undershirts, long johns, a scarf, socks, etc. to wear especially while sleeping. Please avoid bringing clothes that are exceedingly vibrant, have patterns, or are black. Warm colours like orange, yellow, darker red, or nude colors like white/tan/brown would be best. During the day, we ask that you wear the warm clothes that we provide if you feel that you need extra warmth. We do, however, ask that you wear the orange hat we provide (if at all) and the orange long sleeve shirt that we provided on top of any warm shirts that you bring.
MLP Application Process
|Application Form||3 Days|
|Background Check||3 Days|
|Acceptance Letter News and Updates||10 days before the programme begins|
Terms and Conditions
By filling an application for Monk Life Project Thailand (hereinafter referred to as ‘MLP’), applicants hereby agree and acknowledge the following Terms & Conditions:
All information submitted by the applicants during MLP Application Process must be true and accurate.
MLP reserves the take the following action in any case of suspicions and/or proof that information provided is false and/or incorrect:
- Lifetime ban on the applicants from joining MLP or any associated programmes hosted by MLP or its partners and affiliates.
- Termination of the application without any refund of payment made for the programme.
- Termination from MLP during the programme including disrobing from monk and novice status.
- Termination from MLP during the programme – MLP is not liable to provide any aid to the participants after the termination.
- In case the applicant fails to provide requested information during any stage of MLP Application Process, as duly outlined, MLP reserves the right to reject the said applicant.
By completing the payment outlined in the MLP Application Process, MLP regards such applicants as official applicants, and therefore subject to the following policies of the programme:
- Policy on Payment Withdrawal
- Policy on Early Departure from MLP programme
- Policy on Personal Possessions
- Reserved Rights of MLP