Anthony Markwell is a Dhamma teacher and meditation instructor who shares his knowledge and practice of meditation by leading vipassana and metta retreats, evening talks, and weekend workshops. He was the resident teacher at Kow Tahm Insight Meditation Centre in Koh Phangan, Thailand between 2013-2016, where he guided over a thousand meditators through silent seven-day vipassana retreats each month.
10 Years as a Buddhist monk
Anthony ordained as a Buddhist monk aged 24 at Wat Khao Chong Lom in 1995 with his first teacher Ven. Phra Acharn Leua Pannavaro. He was instructed in satipatthana vipassana at Vivek Asom Meditation Centre by Ven. Ajhan Charee Jaruvanno and Ven. Ajahn Somsak Sorado, and practiced intensely at Wat Don Put under the late Ven. Luang Por Bhavanakitti, a rare monk of noble wisdom. He moved to Myanmar to continue his training in the Mahasi method in 1996, receiving strict personal supervision during a seven-month retreat with the late Ven. Sayadaw U Pandita at Panditarama, Yangon. Those two years revelled the method and mode of insight practice.
The lure of the forest monk lifestyle and deep concentration led Anthony to seek out the Ven. Sayadaw U Acinna in 1997 at the Pa Auk Forest Monastery, where he received instruction for a year in anapanasati (mindfulness with breathing) and four elements meditation. Anthony retreated to the hills of the Shan State for a further year of meditation in an isolated monastery. After four years in robes and constant practice, Anthony studied Buddhist texts and Pali language at the International Buddhist University in Yangon consolidating his meditation experiences with scriptural studies. His interest in Pali was furthered through self-study whilst living at the Shwedagon Pagoda in 2000.
A two-year pilgrimage gave the opportunity to wander and dwell in the forest meditation monasteries of Sri Lanka. He attended the Kalachakra Initiation with His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Bodgaya, and did a Goenka Vipassana retreat in India. During a visit to monasteries in Nepal and Tibet he developed an interest in Dzogchen methods. Anthony returned to Thailand in 2003 and spent three rains retreats practicing satipatthana vipassana at Wat Pitsoparam with the late Ven. Luang Por Visarnkemakoon. Anthony returned home to Australia, disrobing from the monkhood after 11 vassa in 2006. He experienced life in Melbourne working in the wholesale diamond and gemstone industry for five years.
Anthony is inspired by the teachings of Ven. Ashin Tejaniya; the practice of Ven. Sayadaw U Jotika; and the missionary work of Ven. Ajahn Poh. He currently lives in Finland with his partner, Johanna, where they are awaiting the birth of their baby daughter. He holds a Yoga Alliance RYT 500 certificate from Shri Kali Ashram. A short film about his life won the “Best Short Documentary” at the Inside Film (IF) Awards in 2010. His mission is to give the Gift of Dhamma “to those with little dust in their eyes”.