International Forest Monastery Chiang Mai


Driven by a profound belief in the teachings of Buddhism and a heartfelt desire to share the wisdom of Lord Buddha with people worldwide, Venerable Praputt Buddhibalo, his mother Khun Phornsan Kamlang-ek, Venerable Dr.Narongchai Thanajayo and the General Arthit – Phornsan Kamlang-ek Foundation envisioned a program dedicated to ordaining and training International Monks. Their goal is to cultivate genuine monks capable of spreading Buddhism far and wide, ensuring its longevity for generations to come.

To elevate the standard of International Monk training and maximize its effectiveness and quality, in addition to having a great team and educational course, a conducive training environment is essential. Thus, the idea of iMonastery was born—an idyllic retreat nestled in serene natural surroundings, providing a tranquil and cool haven ideal for nurturing the mind and spirit. iMonastery is a purpose-built international gateway that welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds who seek immersion in Buddhist philosophy and meditation.  offers comprehensive training programs for International monks, catering to both short-term and long-term participants, with the capacity to accommodate up to 50 monks.

The facilities at iMonastery are thoughtfully designed to support the holistic development of monks. With 40 huts for trainee monks, 20 huts for the training team, and essential amenities like a meditation hall, bathrooms, dining hall, kitchen, library, and offices, every aspect of monk training is meticulously catered to. Under the guidance of experienced senior teaching monks and mentors, participants engage in a transformative journey that encompasses ordination, the study of Dhamma, meditation practice, and the cultivation of virtuous habits. 

At iMonastery, established in 2021 and operational from March 2022, we pride ourselves on offering purpose-built programs designed to nurture personal growth and spiritual development. Our international gateway welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds who seek immersion in Buddhist philosophy and meditation. What sets us apart is our commitment to providing specifically tailored programs that cater to the unique needs and aspirations of each participant. 

Whether you’re embarking on the Monk Life Project for a transformative 30-day experience, committing to the Monk for Life program for a comprehensive 2-year journey, or joining our exclusive Monk Forever initiative, you’ll find a path that aligns with your goals. Through these initiatives, we aim to empower individuals to embark on a profound journey of self-discovery and enlightenment, fostering a global community united in the pursuit of inner peace and spiritual fulfillment. Join us at iMonastery and embark on a profound spiritual journey to deepen your understanding of Buddhism and contribute to its global dissemination.


The International Forest Monastery is committed to achieving several vital missions:

  1. Organizing ordination and training programs for international individuals interested in monkhood and learning about Buddhism and the life of Theravada monks.
  2. Providing comprehensive training in living according to the teachings of the Lord Buddha, both short and long-term.
  3. Offering a conducive environment for practicing meditation and enhancing one’s life to attain true happiness.
  4. Producing high-quality monks capable of teaching meditation and promoting a peaceful lifestyle to people worldwide.
  5. Serving as a hub for the study of peace and sustainable human development through Buddhist principles.

The life of a monk is one of simplicity and profound value, serving as a beacon of peace and tranquility. Ordained individuals delve into the study of the Dhamma, engage in meditation practice, and embrace a simple, contented lifestyle guided by Dhamma and monastic discipline. Graduates of our training programs carry the knowledge of righteous living and meditation techniques, spreading inner happiness to their families, communities, and nations. Through the practice of meditation and fostering goodwill and loving-kindness towards one another, we envision a world united in peace and harmony.


iMONASTERY, established by the General Arthit – Phornsan Kamlang-ek Foundation, serves as a purpose-built site for the training and Dhamma learning of international monks from across the globe. It also functions as a sanctuary for the people of Papae, Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai, particularly during significant Buddhist holy days when merit-making activities, including offerings, precept-keeping, and meditation sessions, are organized.

The construction of iMONASTERY unfolds in three distinct stages:

The first stage is dedicated to the Monk Life Project, offering a 30-day training program for newly ordained monks. Led by experienced teaching monks fluent in English, this program provides tailored facilities designed to accommodate foreigners.

The second stage encompasses the zone for laypeople’s meditation retreats, known as “iRetreat Papae.” This project welcomes individuals, groups, and families seeking to learn the correct methods of meditation from seasoned teaching monks proficient in English. The facilities include staff hostels, a meditation hall, a dining hall, huts for accommodation, restrooms, yoga and wellness centers, organic farms producing vegetables and herbs, and a riverside building for seminars.

The third stage is designated for resident monks and those undergoing long-term training, providing a conducive environment for their spiritual development and growth.

History & Timeline

Timeline of the development of iMONASTERY:

1. August 12th, 2021:  Ms. Phornson Kamlang-ek and Venerable Praputt Buddhibalo together with the team surveyed the site and area.

2. December 5th, 2021: The 1st Ceremony to purify the land.

3. December 10th, 2021:  Start to build the shelter and bathrooms.

4. December 31st, 2021: The Sangha chanted to purify the land and stayed to develop the site.

5. March 18th, 2022: The ceremony to open the signage of iMONASTERY and the 2nd land purifying.

6. July 12th, 2022: The community of 6 monks made the vow to stay for the 1st rain retreat.

7. November 1st, 2022: The 1st Kathina Ceremony to establish the Phramongkolthepmuni International Meditation Hall.

8. March 1st, 2566: Venerable Dr. Norongchai received the official appointment from Phratheppariyat, the Provincial Abbot of Chiang Mai, to be the head of iMONASTERY.

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