So I'm writing this first part of this blog whilst in bed after a days silent meditation and Buddhist teachings. Honestly the most relaxing but weirdest day of my trip so far. The silence thing is really difficult, some people are more 'hard core' than the rest of us! The monks who are running it are fine with us whispering as long as we don't disturb other people's peace.
Another day of it tomorrow with the morning wake up gong at 5am, so bed time for me!
So we have finished the meditation course now. And what a challenge! I never really realised we talked so much! The first day Bryn was the dedicated pupil with his silence and lack of giggles at inappropriate times. The second day there was a role reversal. I must have found my inner peace and Bryn must have had it bullied out of him while he was there.
Chanting was an important part of the retreat. Before each meal we chanted, before meditating we chanted, before bed we chanted, and on walking up we chanted. Some of the chanting had lovely Buddhist meaning, some of it, for us, was pretty weird. Dinner chants included:
-I eat not for self enjoyment
-I will not be gluttonous
-I eat to stop the hunger for a while
-I eat to replenish this body
-I will only eat for self preservation
-I will not keep eating until I am overfilled
Dad says we're 'foodies' therefore I feel it is OK to eat for enjoyment, especially when you love cooking too and it definitely entitles us to overeat.... Well within reason!
So on the second day Bryn was hankering to chat and stamp on a few ants! The retreat ended at 4pm and we headed back to the city for an afternoon cooking course!
The cooking course was great and added quite a few recipes to the travel cook book. Khoa Soi was a favourite which is a north Thai curried noodley soup. After the cooking course we went browsing the night bazaar with the Australian and 2 Germans that we did the course with.
Quick breakfast the next morning and we headed off to Chiang Rai which is slightly further north, towards the golden triangle which is where Burma, Laos and Thailand meet and where fields and fields of opium used to grown and provided a large amount of money for the regions ethnic minorities. Most of the opium production has now been eradicated but in some areas it has moved onto growing methamphetamine and heroin. Anyway enough history for now, I'm sure Nikki could go into more detail if needed.
Love Jo x x x