Good day to everyone in this forum.
First and foremost, I am a Singaporean who got my higher ordination in Thailand 3 months ago, and am currently residing in Songkhla.
Due to a huge gap in communication, I am slower than the rest of the monks in every aspect except for meditation. My teacher has been very patient and helpful in finding English books and Chanting Text for me.
So far, he had brought me to Indonesia to look at how the monastic life there differs to that of Thailand, it was a very good experience. I just returned from Singapore a week ago to settle some personal stuff and of course to obtain English Books from the monasteries, bookstores and, etc.
As we all know, the Vassa(rains retreat) is around the corner and I will be delighted if any kind Bhantes will recommend me a proper retreat or monastery for that 3 months. To be honest, most of the monks ordained because of the typical Thai tradition, not because they are interested in learning the Dhamma. There are tons of books (in thai) here yet they spend most of their time gossiping and sleeping. What they do is only memorise the chants so as to prove who is better, yet they don't bother to find out what they're chanting about.
Sad to say, the monk living next to me will bother me even when I'm meditating. To me, the rains retreat is an important occassion and I really wish to spend those 3 months in a proper environment, with people who can speak my language, companions that are there to really learn the Dhamma and improve on their meditation, and not those who get ordained just because of the tradition.
I do have a feeling that one of the Monasteries in Indonesia atop the mountains will be a good place, as I have spent a night there. Laymen/women go for retreats there and are expected to observe the 8 precepts, and maintain silence. One of the Thai monks(who can speak mandarin/english) that I went with to Indonesia will be spending his vassa there this year. But it would be good if any bhantes here can recommend me an environment conducive for studying and meditation in Thailand as Indonesia will be a little expensive for me to travel to again (yes I do have some savings, I need them to buy english-books and travel).
Another question is that my teacher is a very good teacher and has taught me a lot, through him, I have picked up a bit of Thai and taught him English, we do not have problem communicating. I do not know how to request for his permission to spend my Vassa somewhere else, and I am afraid of telling him my reasons as I have confided in him before about other thai monks. He had talked to them nicely but those monks started gossiping and picking on me even more.
I hope my questions will be answered.
"When an evil-man, seeing you practise goodness, comes and maticiously insults you, you should patiently endure it and not feel angry with him, for the evil-man is insulting himself by trying to insult you" - The Buddha