Nat starts her journey of Buddhism
Amphoe Mueang Chiang Mai, Thailand
Yesterday was another fairly early morning (8am) as Nat woke us up for some free yoga in the park - sadly Chris decided to give this one a miss and watch with his podcast in the park instead.
This was followed by a leisurely breakfast and a laze around the pool.
After having walked past it lots of times, we decided to test out the ‘sea salt icecream’ place and then joined our English couple we met yesterday on a hike up The temple Wat Phra Lat - arriving at the top for sunset (although unfortunately this happened to be on the other side). Nevertheless, it was a lovely 30 minute hike through jungle, located alongside a waterfall and lovely views from the top. We met another interesting hippy couple on our tuktuk home who own a hostel in Croatia and do lots of hitchhiking. They have budgeted 1500 euros to spend until February!
We got dropped off at the Sunday Market which we were very impressed by - lots of stalls all selling different stuff and bits to nibble on. Opted for a massage for our tired feet before bed after all that walking which was an excellent decision!
Today was a very inspirational day. We booked onto a free one day retreat (3km from our hostel) to learn about Buddhism, how to meditate and the life of a monk - not knowing what to expect! The monk teaching us was a fantastic leader, very inspiring & encouraging us all to practice Buddhism in our everyday lives & share what we learnt with our family & friends.
This is some of what we learnt.. The Buddha teaches us to examine constantly whether or not what we think, do, and say causes harm to ourselves and others.
Buddhism is not a religion, it’s a way of life, a philosophy. It’s about doing good things and avoiding the bad. Looking at the present and forgetting the past. Knowing yourself. Forgiving others. Being kind. Finding the balance in life. Accepting the truth and not dwelling on things. Letting things go. Not giving up and finally believing that what goes around comes around, so if you practice a good life, you will live a good life.
We were taught the techniques and benefits of meditation and practiced sitting, lying and walking meditation and it’s surprising how quickly 30 minutes passes! We both felt very relaxed and calm after.
At the end, we had an hours discussion asking the monk lots of questions which was also very interesting!
After today, Nat is planning to try and practice meditating twice daily as advised by the monk to help clear her mind for the day and sleep at night. Chris is already too relaxed... We think you should give it a go too and will be encouraging you when we’re home!
Off to Pai tomorrow - sad to leave Chiang Mai