Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day 1

When I arrived, Mr Boon and I waited at the local market where we were met by Phra Nat, who is in charge of people coming from other countries as he is one of the few monks who speak both English and Thai.  I was told it was the King's birthday on Monday, December 5 so they were paying respect to the King by having a ceremony.  I put my stuff in my living area and met Philip who I would be staying with for the next couple of weeks.  He is from Amsterdam and is writing a book on Dhammakaya Meditation in Dutch.  He gave me a quick overview of everything in the room and then I had to meet Phra Nata to go to a ceremony at “Phra Maha Cetiya Somdej”, a building still under construction, where I believe there was more than 500 monks and lay people.  After the ceremony, I was shown around a bit and then headed for my first mediation session with Phra Nat and Nina (A woman here from Finland).   I guess I should say that I ended up arriving during a mediation retreat that happens 3 times a year and there are a lot of people here staying on tents.  That evening, Philip and I went to the Evening Chanting which was really cool as there was at least 200 people all saying the same thing in Pali and Thai.  After that we headed back to bed as I was exhausted as I had only had a few hours of sleep in the last couple of days.

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