Friday 27th Feb.
Weekend consisted of pool and sunbathing, then a bit more pool and some more sunbathing, very relaxing and glorious and great for my tan!
Monday kicked off temple week with a video about buddhism, followed by a lesson about buddhism and a visit to a temple. All very interesting, there seem to be a lot of logical ideas and good ways to live your life. Particularly liked the stuff about mindfullness and the idea that suffering in life is caused by desire; if you accept and experience and are happy with what you've got, you will be more at peace!
The temple was awesome, a massive huge great sitting buddha image, apparently if you turn your back and throw a coin up and it lands in it's hand, your wish will come true, so tried that for a while...
Tuesday, three monks came to visit us at the eco house to answer our questions! Only one spoke, but found out some interesting stuff about monkhood.
In the afternoon, set off for the temple stay, stopped to get food supplies on the way, because monks are only allowed to eat between 9am and 12noon, so we couldn't eat with them.
Were given white 'novice' suits to wear, kindof like baggy, mismatched white pyjama suits, we looked a state! Then set had a tour of the temple and set off to look round the local market, still in our loony-suits.. we got some very strange looks and stares, looked like day-release from a loony bin!
The evening consisted of chanting and meditation with the monks, then off to bed at 9.30pm... the building us ladies had to sleep in (separate from monks & boys), had entirely cold, marble floors, with only straw mats to lie on, and hard little pillows like breeze blocks. The celing was covered in cobwebs and spiders, cats were everywhere (rabies?!Fleas?!) and we found a COCKROACH on the floor in our room, just as we were about to lie down to sleep... sweltering sticky hot and bug-fear did NOT make for a good nights sleep!
Next morning, up at 5.30am to go out with the monks to collect alms... monks are not allowed to buy food but go out nearly everymorning (except holy monks days) to collect offerings from the local people, so many of them give food, the monks had loads! They were not allowed to heat it up though, so always have to eat cold food. Seems weird. Then helped clean the temple a bit, lunch, and back to lemon house... our cold showers and dorm-style bunk-bed rooms seem like luxury after the temple!
Lazy afternoon, then got ready to leave to go to Chiang Mai...