Thailand New Year's Vipassana Retreat with Mindful Movement

Peaceful paddling on the lake in Thailand

December 29, 2018 – January 8, 2019


Thailand 10-day Jungle Meditation Retreat (December 29, 2018 – January 8, 2019)

Abiding in the Wild: Nurturing Love, Awareness, and the Heart's Deep Release


The LakeWe will begin each day sitting together in the stillness of this remote jungle lake, as dawn slowly brings on the indescribable jungle chorus of cicadas and gibbons. Together, we will learn to cultivate seamless awareness in all sense fields, nourished by dedicated cultivation of the 'divine abidings': unconditional friendliness, wise compassion, empathetic joy, and equanimity. In each moment of returning gently to the present, we develop the ability to abide with clarity and kindness in the midst of both subtle and strong emotions.

You will be supported by the team called 'the surgeon and the poet': the enthusiastic and incisive clarity of Jake Davis, and the experience of senior teacher Steven Smith artfully weaving Dhamma teachings and vibrant stories; and by the natural nurturing support of the magical jungle environment. Julie Seibt will invite the teachings to be expressed in gentle movement to deepen the practice and find more ease in the body.

The retreat will be held in the traditional Vipassana style: in silence with periods of sitting, standing, and walking meditation, dharma talks, and group and/or individual meetings with the teachers. In addition, there will be mindful movement classes twice a day and because of the outstanding location, opportunity for mindful swimming and kayaking in the afternoons.

The Sitting Room

We will enter noble silence on the first evening. Speaking will only occur during question and answer periods, instruction from the teachers and during personal interviews. We will mindfully break the silence for periods of time on the day before departure to ease the transition into our outside worlds.


Meditation teacher Steven Smith, assisted by Jake Davis, leads a unique Vipassana meditation, silent retreat at the remote Khlong Long Lake in Southern Thailand. Julie Seibt helps students further integrate the wisdom teachings and techniques into the body with gentle, mindful movement sessions each day. Participants enjoy a floating bungalow at this rustic and spectacular venue offered by Jungle Yoga. ( Khlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary is a remote, beautiful lake in the interior of Southern Thailand.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith

Steven V. Smith co-founded Vipassana Hawai'i in 1984 and in 1995 founded the MettaDana Project for educational and medical projects in Burma. Also in 1995 Steven helped establish the Kyaswa Valley Retreat Center in Burma, headed by Sayadaw U Lakkhana, Abbot of Kyaswa Monastery. This partnership helped usher in   the beginnings of Vipassana Hawai'i's Fusion Dhamma approach combining traditional and contemporary teaching styles in the same retreat. Anchored in the Theravadan Buddhist Burmese lineage of Mahasi Sayadaw since 1974, he was trained and sanctioned as a teacher by revered monk and meditation master Sayadaw U Pandita. Steven divides his time teaching Vipassana and the Divine Abodes (loving-kindness, compassion, joy, equanimity) meditation retreats around the world, and assisting Burmese refugee communities along the Thai-Burma border. His long term vision for preserving the Dhamma is culminating in the beginnings of the Hawai'i Insight Meditation Center (HIMC) on the Big Island of Hawai’i’s remote North Kohala coast.




Jake Davis
Jake Davis

Jake Davis began practicing at age 14, with Steven Smith  and Michele McDonald, and went on to spend nearly a decade practicing, studying, working as an interpreter, and training as a monk under the eminent meditation masters Sayadaw U Pandita and Sayadaw U Lakkhana of Burma. He brings together a deep experiential understanding of Buddhist practice with an intellectual training including study of the Pāli texts, a PhD in Philosophy and Cognitive Science, and ongoing research on meditation at Brown University.









Julie Seibt

Julie Seibt has a rich background of certifications and experience: Anahata Yoga Teacher Certification (Anne Douglas, 2006), IRI Certfied iRest Teacher® ( (link is external)), Certified Yoga Therapist (2013, Functional Synergy) and teacher's training in Yin Yoga with Sarah Powers and Restorative Yoga with Andrea Peloso.  She studies mindfulness under Steven Smith and Michele McDonald, teaching movement classes to support a meditation practice at their Vipassana Retreats in Thailand and Hawaii since 2010. As an Asian Bio-Energetic Therapist, Master Reiki Teacher, and Thai Massage Therapist, Julie brings a holistic, compassionate and mindful approach to well being.







Steven, Julie, and Jake
The Teachers, Steven, Julie, and Jake



The setting for the retreatKhlong Saeng Wildlife Sanctuary is a remote, beautiful lake in the interior of Southern Thailand. Located on the edge of Khao Sok National Park, the lake is hidden among towering limestone karst formations. The prehistoric jungle is part of a wildlife sanctuary that is home to gibbon apes, langur monkeys, giant hornbills, serpent eagles and many other rare birds and animals. There are however, almost no mosquitoes and no black flies.


Housing at the retreat

Accommodation is in private or shared, comfortable floating bamboo jungalows/kutis, with one or two double beds.  Linens, blankets and towels are provided.

Shared rooms are spacious with two 5' wide beds and a balcony. Bungalow priority is based on registraiton dates.

The food is delicious and nutritious with wonderful fresh fruits and vegetables from the jungle and local markets, and fresh fish from the lake. Meals will be mainly vegetarian with fish and occasionally, chicken.

Fresh drinking water is readily available. Lighting in the evening is provided by the moon and the stars. There is a small generator, usually on from 6:30pm - 10pm for lighting and outlets available for charging a few necessary electrical items.

This is a rare opportunity to be unplugged with no Internet or telephone service available except for emergency use only.


Bedroom example


Sitting together

A $1300 USD registration fee will secure your place at the retreat, cover the costs of  three meals per day, accommodation for 10 nights, transport to and from Surat
Thani airport, as well as the travel costs of the teachers and to support our scholarship program for future retreats.
Dana: In keeping with the Buddhist practice of Dana <> (generosity), teachers are not paid through the registration funds. The teachings will be offered freely and donations to the teachers (in cash or online <>) are
accepted and deeply appreciated by the teachers.

Click here to reserve your space (You will be guided through payment,)  All registrations are handled through Vipassana Hawaii.

If you are not ready to register but would like detailed information on the retreat, travel, and ANY questions you may have, please email our registrar:

Other costs National Park entrance fee: Please pay 300 Thai baht (appx $10) at the booth near the pier, sign the entrance book for the park and keep your ticket stub.  
Other considerations for expenses are massage for 600 Baht (appx $18) per hour, a small shop offers comfortable clothing, and fresh coconuts and soft drinks will be
available for purchase.

3. Enquiry page:

All registrations are handled through Vipassana Hawaii.

Click here to inquire or register



Travel to the retreat


From Bangkok to Surat Thani is 1 hour. From the airport, there will be a group transfer vehicle waiting for you to take you to the Wildlife Sanctuary Headquarters. *There are also flights from Bangkok to Krabi and Phuket. Special arrangements would have to be made for pick up from these airports. We suggest you arrive and depart with the group if you can.


Surat Thani is a 1 hour drive from the Headquarters. Krabi is a 2 hour drive from Headquarters and Phuket is a 2-1/2 hour drive from Headquarters.


From Headquarters there is a 30 minute boat ride across a phenomenal lake to reach Praiwan Raft House.
Details of transfers and suggested flights will be provided upon registration.






Yoga, life and meditation on the lake in Thailand

A shared transfer is provided from Surat Thani airport to the retreat venue and return. This includes a 1-hour taxi ride from the airport to the pier, and appx 40 minute boat ride.

If you require transfers different than the group transfers, you will be responsible for the arrangements and costs.

Additional information including suggested flights to coordinate with the group transfer will be provided upon registration.

Enquiry Form

All registrations are handled through Vipassana Hawaii.

Click here to inquire or register.