Meditation and mindfulness: Chiang Mai’s Wat Suan Dok, Thailand

Peta is naturally convergent with Buddhism.  From her vegetarian preferences to animal rights activism, yoga practice and interest in books from renowned Buddhist teachers, Peta definitely resonates with many Buddhist teachings.
We want to take advantage of our journey in Asia in order to become more acquainted with Buddhist philosophy and practices. The next step in our discovery process: Meditation, at an introductory retreat offered by Monk Chat of the Buddhist University Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya of Wat Suan Dok in Chiang Mai.
The retreat focuses on Concentration Meditation and Vipassana Meditation.
Meditation about to begin.
5 a.m. wake up by gong for 1st meditation ~ outside,  with birds singing, to open up the day.
Monk “Pra KK” is our teacher and guide for this intro to meditation.  Kind, approachable and with a great sense of humor, Pra KK was very informative ~ we learned a lot from him.
This young woman, Zhang,  is traveling solo from China – a pretty rare case as most Chinese tourists we have met choose the security of tour groups instead of traveling on their own.  She is a photographer and shows us photos she took of Lhasa, Tibet.
A photographer from China,  a journalist from Chile, a painter from South Africa, and an English teacher from Chicago working in Jogjakarta, Indonesia all interested in Buddhist meditation.
“Monk Chat” refers to a program to open up temples for discussions between monks and international visitors. It affords the monks an opportunity to practice their English and for visitors some insight into the lives of Buddhist monks in Thailand. We have some very interesting Q &A as a group ~ from symbolism to history, to the proper way to wear monk’s robes, to a day in the life of a monk.
We learn that Buddhists do not PRAY to buddha.  They do not worship either a man (Buddha) or a god.  The kneeling, hands joined, bowing to the statues of Buddha are a sign of RESPECT. Three bows for 1) Buddha the teacher, 2) Dharma, i.e. the teaching, 3) Buddha’s disciples/community.
The curly knobs of hair  and long ear lobes depicted on statues are symbols of  Buddhas’ wisdom.
Notice Ben’s curly knob hair and long ear lobes ~ My very own Buddha to take home.
We practice  sitting, standing, lying, walking and bead meditation.
Final group photo of participants with our Buddhist teacher, Monk Pra K K of Wat Suan Dok. With gratitude!

5 thoughts on “Meditation and mindfulness: Chiang Mai’s Wat Suan Dok, Thailand

  1. Pingback: Buddhism in our neighborhood ~ Dalawella, Sri Lanka. – Empty Nesters on a Green Global Trek

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *