The Forest Monk



Dhammavidu is the English monk who for 20 years has given the Meditation and Dhamma instruction at SuanMokkh International Dharma Hermitage, the famous meditation centre in Surat Thani, Southern Thailand. Presently he is providing the same service atDipabhāvan Meditation Center, in KohSamui, also in Southern Thailand.Website features:
• Instruction in Annapanasati Meditation
• Dhamma Instruction
• Dhammaviddu’sBuddhadasa translations
• Audio recordingsDhammavidu (Revealer of Dhamma) is an English Monk residing in the Nanachat section of SuanMokkhBalaram (local name, Wat Tarn Nam Lai).  He has for many years been the mainstay of the monthly foreigner retreats teaching both meditation and Dhamma.  He first came to SuanMokkh in 1994, sat the January retreat that year, then stayed as a layman in the Dorn Kiem section of Nanachat for nine months before taking novice ordination in Surat Thani at Wat Tridhammaram.  He took full ordination at the same temple six months later, and, apart from brief sojourns in Takiap (Wat Kaw Krailat) and Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia (Mi-Tor-Si temple on Penang Hill) has haunted the area ever since.  He and his alms bowl can be found every morning prowling the main highway just north of SuanMokkhBalaram, scrounging food.The Revealer of Dhamma takes pride in the fact that he’s never, ever spent even one night in the main monastery of SuanMokkh.Dhammavidu’s services as a teacher can be rented, the fee consisting in enough food, shelter and the cost (tickets etc.) of transporting him back and forth. Any reasonable request will be considered.  Serious enquiries can be made to

This website will remain fairly static. Updates are more likely to happen on the Tan Dhammavidu Facebook Page.  The administrator for the page, and for this website, may also be contacted there.


What is Vipassana or Insight Meditation?

Vipassana (insight meditation) is the ultimate expression of Socrates’ dictum, “know thyself.” The Buddha discovered that the cause of suffering can actually be erased when we see our true nature. This is a radical insight. It means that our happiness does not depend on manipulating the external world. We only have to see ourselves clearly— a much easier proposition (but in the ultimate sense, knowing oneself with clarity reveals there is no permanent self, as the Buddha taught).

Vipassana meditation is a rational method for purifying the mind of the mental factors that cause distress and pain. This simple technique does not invoke the help of a god, spirit or any other external power, but relies on our own efforts.

Vipassana is an insight that cuts through conventional perception to perceive mind and matter as they actually are: impermanent, unsatisfactory, and impersonal. Insight meditation gradually purifies the mind, eliminating all forms of attachment. As attachment is cut away, desire and delusion are gradually diluted. The Buddha identified these two factors— desire and ignorance— as the roots of suffering. When they are finally removed, the mind will touch something permanent beyond the changing world. That “something” is the deathless, supramundane happiness, called “Nibbana” in Pali.

Insight meditation is concerned with the present moment— with staying in the now to the most extreme degree possible. It consists of observing body (rupa) and mind (nama) with bare attention.

The word “vipassana” has two parts. “Passana” means seeing, i.e., perceiving. The prefix “vi” has several meanings, one of which is “through.” Vipassana-insight literally cuts through the curtain of delusion in the mind. “Vi” can also function as the English prefix “dis,” suggesting discernment— a kind of seeing that perceives individual components separately. The idea of separation is relevant here, for insight works like a mental scalpel, differentiating conventional truth from ultimate reality. Lastly, “vi” can function as an intensive, in which case “vipassana” means intense, deep or powerful seeing. It is an immediate insight experienced before one’s eyes, having nothing to do with reasoning or thinking.




Accommodation is divided between male and female dorm areas and buildings with bathing rooms, toilets, and clothes washing facilities conveniently nearby. New-style concrete dorms contain shared rooms for two people with a bunk-bed. Older-style wooden dorms are single rooms. Rooms, mattresses, pillows, sheets and mosquito nets are allocated to retreatants in order of arrival at the centre upon registration. Towels and personal toiletries are not provided.