Meditation Retreat

Right outside Chiang mai on an Eco-farm we met Matt. Matt was a retired wall street stock brocker whom found buddhism, moved to Thailand, and was here to teach us about meditation and yoga. We had a rigorous meditation schedule starting at 7am with meditation a break/morning yoga and breakfest, meditation and buddhism lectures, then a lunch break, back to meditation until dinner and then a night yoga session. After the night yoga we do more meditation! Our enviornment was very beautiful. The Eco-farm had different types of houses, both bamboo and clay huts that we were living in and practicing mediation and yoga in. The huts were surrounded by lush plants and little ponds with huge fish. These fish were the garbage disposal medthod utalized by the family. Any extra food we had on our plates we would feed to the fish, and believe me they would jump for it! There was a cat, Meow Meow, that would meditate with us and dine with us as well. Matt was an excellent teacher of Buddhism. He had a wonderful take on impermenance and change. He explained the four knowable truths and the 8th fold path. He also talked about how the culture of Thailand has really changed Buddhism. Many monks are not joining the monastry for the religion but for an education. They do not practice buddhism nor do they teach others, not to say this is all monks. He also discusses the belief that the lineage of female monks was broken, according to thai traditon, so female monks can not be ordained here. This, however is changing and there many monks that believe in equanimity. Matt has a very idealistic take on Buddhism and stresses that you should not ever become Buddhist but pick and choose the ideals you do agree with. He encouraged us to challange whatev er we were told and be open to everything he was teaching. The retreat went well, asside from the one day we had a silent retreat. We were not suppose to look at each other, talk to each other, or use any form of silent communication. It weas brutal for us girls, the leaders did well with this! All in all the retreat went well and we learned tons about Buddhism, Yoga and Mediation.