This wat is a large, historic facility located in a rural, scenic setting about 90 minutes outside of Phnom Penh where you will go after spending the first few days of the first week of your program in orientation. This placement offers VPs opportunities for both meditation practice and service while immersing themselves in the various activities at a traditional Khmer wat. VPs teach English in the evenings and spend the day participating in guided, walking and working meditation and discussing the practice of Buddhism. VPs are hosted by a resident monk and nun.
The VP’s service role is to share their knowledge and expertise as a native English speaker while being immersed in wat life and while practicing guided, walking and working meditation. Prior teaching experience is not required. Your ability to provide cultural context and assist with Western pronunciation will prove helpful for young monk students developing their use of the English language. The teaching English role requires flexibility, creativity, and adaptability. VPs are provided with a GSC Teaching English Manual with suggested lesson plans and participatory activities. VPs will teach English classes in the early evenings to young monks at the wat. You will be encouraged to be creative utilizing the GSC curriculum by sharing your own background and experiences. The greatest need of these students is to practice English with a native English speaker, so this should be the emphasis of the classroom activities.
There will be opportunity to meet with monks to discuss and learn about Buddhism and to participate in the daily activities of the wat.
This placement has a two-week minimum commitment.
Housing and Meals
A stay at the wat will include a private or double room in the wat’s guesthouse. Meals will be prepared at the Wat and usually consist of simple, primarily vegetarian Khmer cuisine. Only two meals are served daily for the monks and nuns as they do not take food after noon. Transportation to dinner at a local restaurant is available for VPs who wish to have an evening meal. Alternatively VPs may enjoy having in their room a stash of dried foods such as energy bars for an evening snack. The internet can be accessed through your smart phone with a Cambodian SIM card. Laundry can be done by hand or a washer can be hired.
While day-to-day activities are subject to change, a typical day at the wat might look like the following:
5:00 am Wake-up and getting ready for meditation
5:20 am – 6:00 am Guided meditation
6:00 am – 7:00 am Breakfast and help cleaning
7:30 am – 08:30 am Walking meditation (will be instructed and guided)
8:30 am – 10:00 am Rest and reading (if interested individual practice is allowed)
10:00 am –11:30 am Lunch and help cleaning
11:30 am –12:00 pm Walking Meditation
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Rest
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Individual practice (in your room, library, meditation hall or shrine room)
3:00 pm– 4:00 pm Discussion on practice and Buddhism
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm Working Meditation (cleaning your room or wash your clothes)
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm Rest (you can go out for dinner if it is needed)
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm Teaching English for monks and nuns
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm Rest, reading and individual practice (as you wish)