Wat Suan Mok is a forest temple in Suranthani, Thailand located in the midst of a wooded forest. It’s full name ” Wat Suan Mokkhabalarama ” means “The Grove of the Powers of Liberation,” and points to the heart of spiritual inquiry and practice: liberation from ignorance, selfishness, and misery. It is a famous temple that is frequented by Thai’s and foreigners alike. Many go for a 10 day meditation retreat, become monks for a few monks during the rain season, or just visit and enjoy the quietude of the grounds.
Suan Mok was founded in 1932 by the monk Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, after he spent a few years as a monk in Bangkok and sought to establish a more pure place to practice dharma. Although Buddhadasa died in 1993 his teachings are still very influential in Thailand. Throughout his life he strove to promote “pristine Buddhism,” or the following of Buddha before Buddhism was affected by politics, ritualism, and modernity. He studied different religions and sought to unify all as one to promote a better world in the face of growing materialism. Much of his philosophy influenced Thai social activisits in the 1960s and 70s.
Buddhadasa’s influence and teachings can be seen throughout the complex of Wat Suan Mok. The “Spritual Theater” contains paintings from Thai artists that promote his ideas. Below are some of the paintings:
Visit the temple’s website for information on meditation and dharma: http://www.suanmokkh-idh.org/idh-readings.html