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Meditation

Plum Village Monastery: Day 2-3 Feb 27-28, 2016

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Day 2-3: Getting Settled

Location: Thai Plum Village
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong (district), Nakhon Ratchasima (province), Thailand

Starting the Day Right
Into my second day, I woke up at 4am just like the rest of the monks. I meditated at 4:45am according to schedule, by myself not knowing where it's done. But I was able to join them for the subsequent walking meditation. Lunch and dinner were a healthy vegetarian offering.

Peoplescape
Everybody is friendly. I would have liked to talk at great length to the monks but they were either busy or simply didn't know enough English. There were a few foreigners, Julie being one of them. I also met Andy from the United Kingdom. He gave me a few tips on Plum Village convention which I found useful. We shared a bit while pulling-out garden weeds. Through the people I met, I slowly became accustomed to my surroundings within the confines of the monastery.

Mindfulness in High Gear
I've had my fair share of being mindful given my yoga and meditation practice. But in this center, mindfulness is leveled-up a few notches. Not surprising since the lessons of Thich Nhat Hanh is all about mindfulness. Eating is done is a mindful way, chewing the food is done mindfully, walking is mindful, even synchronized with the breath, etc. All actions are made deliberate, taking focus in the here-and-now, staying ever present.

Yoga
Andy, one of the lay Caucasian Buddhists who was spending some time at the center expressed his flexibility issues. I offered to conduct a yoga class with him. Some monks were watching us and I motioned for them to join us. It didn't take long until there were 4 of them. After the asana, I conducted pranayama and meditation. Although challenging for Andy and the monks, they liked it. I offered it as a daily workout routine, starting 4pm.

Plum Village Monastery

Rites and Rituals
I learned a few practical rituals after a conversation with Julie, a psycho therapist who has been at the center 3 months. We also shared a bit of ourselves on why we came to the center. Every quarter hour, a bell sounds and everybody would briefly stop whatever they were doing. I thought it was a "freeze" moment, something akin to the flash-mob at the Grand Central Station in New York - I didn't know why. Julie advised it's to remind everyone to be mindful of the moment, to take refuge in the breath and observe the body sensation - just like Vipassana! Done every 15 minutes throughout the day, I could imagine this will become a habit during my 3-month stay. This is hardcore mindfulness!

Mornings are for seated meditation followed by a walking meditation. Dinner is also followed shortly by a guided meditation sit. I was free to participate with them on just about everything. Outsiders are actually welcome to stay for a mindfulness immersion. Some find solace in the center and invariably take an extended hiatus.

Going with the Flow
I am usually offered tea, or enjoined to participate in a dhamma talk or to even help out pull out the weeds on the garden. I say Yes to everything, not wanting to miss out on my immersion. I try to internalize the moments, staying mindful of my steps, my breath and my passing thoughts. I only have 3 months to learn as much as I can. I feel a sense of urgency. Every moment is golden.

Internet
On the third day, I was finally allowed to use the internet. It was a shot in the arm, although in fairness, I relished the unavailability while it lasted. It allowed me intelligent use of my hard-drive time before taking them online. Additionally, Facebook would have sucked me in again. At least, it's regulated here.

Thought for the Day
I am slowly acclimatizing to my new environment, meeting more people, involved in a number of increasing activities, loving the vegetarian cuisine and just enjoying the moment...every bit of it.

--- TheLoneRider

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

with direction coming from Bangkok

GPS waypoint: 14°33'25.4"N 101°31'45.0"E
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand

the monastics have their outdoor morning gathering in a wide expanse of land with Andy, helping pull the weeds out of a garden Vietnamese monastics with their traditional Non La hats lining up for lunch
fresh cooked noodles, organic vegetables and other vegetarian offerings lunch! taking turns to wash our dishes busy in the kitchen
they make their own bread in the center the chef makes great food for all of us it is usually noble silence when eating I conduct 4pm yoga for anyone interested to join
Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Location: 174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Tel: +66(0)2-885-5980
Email:visitus@thaiplumvillage.org

Blogs on Thai Plum Village

  1. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  2. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  3. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  4. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  5. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  6. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  7. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  8. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  9. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  10. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  11. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  12. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

How to Get to Plum Village from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

You are encouraged to arrive at the Center Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm
  1. Suvarnabhumi Airport to BTS Train Line by TRAIN
    there is already a direct train from the airport that goes all the way to Bangkok with a final stop at Phaya Thai. Upon airport arrival, go down to Basement and take the Airport Link train to Phaya Thai Station. Get off and walk (.8km) to the Phaya Thai BTS Station | 35 mins | Baht 45
  2. Phaya Thai Station (N2) - Victory Monument Station (N3) by TRAIN
    board the BTS train heading to Mo Chit. This takes you north but get off at Victory Monument Station (N3) which is just one stop away
  3. Victory Monument Station - Plum Village by VAN
    upon arriving at Victory Monument, take Exit 4 and go down to the basement and walk 100 meters towards the Suzuki Showroom. Across is a pool of vans. Line up at ticket counter No.18, "Jamnong tour" for the trip all the way to Plum Village, Pak Chong. (Baht 500), 3.5 to 4 hours. Take the 11am or 12 noon van to ensure you arrive at the center before 4pm.

How to Get to Pak Chong (Proper) from Bangkok by train

ignore this if you plan to go to Plum Village. Take the direction above instead
  • If you are arriving Bangkok and would like to proceed directly to Pak Chong without spending a night in Bangkok, best to take a plane that will land in Don Mueang Airport in time for the #71 Train (Bangkok to Si Sa Ket) to stop at the MRT Train Station, Bang Sue, which is only a short walk from the airport. Train schedule at Bang Sue Station: Fri 10:27am, arriving Pak Chong 1:30pm. Express aircon car (Baht 289), non aircon (Baht 198). Duration is 3 hours, stopping right in the heart of Pak Chong. From Pak Chong.

    You can also take the train from the main terminal near the center of Bangkok at the MRT Station, Hua Lampong Railway Station. Departure, Friday 10:00am.

Plum Village Cost Index

(US$1 = Thailand Baht 35.77 = Php 47.52 as of Feb 28, 2016)
  • Baht 500 van from Victory Monument to Plum Village
  • Baht 289 Express train from Bang Sue MRT Station (Bangkok) to Pak Chong Train Station, aircon (non aircon, Baht 189)
  • Baht 500 taxi from Pak Chong to Plum Village (call this taxi number, Mr. Khun Paisan: 085 772.4519 for the trip to Plum Village)

Things to bring if staying overnight

  1. mosquito repellent
  2. hat/umbrella
  3. flashlight
  4. not a requirement, but it helps if you bring clothing in the dark brown color in order to blend-in
    Bangkok
  1. 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  2. Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  3. Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
  4. Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
  5. Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
  6. Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
  7. Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
  8. Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
  9. Adventure Hostel Review Feb 22-26, 2016
  10. Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct. 20, 2014
  11. The Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
  12. Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
  13. Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
  14. Bangkok Dec 31, 2005


  15. Chiang Khong
  16. Ten Days in Chiang Khong, Thailand Apr 30 - May 9, 2016


  17. Chiang Mai
  18. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  19. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  20. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  21. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  22. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  23. Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai July 31, 2018
  24. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  25. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  26. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  27. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  28. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  29. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Chiangmai (Thailand) April 9-10, 2016


  30. Chiang Rai
  31. Exploring Chiang Rai, Thailand May 11-16, 2016
  32. Visiting the White Temple of Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun) May 15, 2016


  33. Chiang Saen
  34. Exploring Chiang Saen, Thailand Apr 28-30, 2016


  35. Mae Sai
  36. 4 Days in Mae Sai, Thailand Apr 25-28, 2016
  37. Border Crossing - Mae Sai (Thailand) to Tachileik (Myanmar) Apr 23, 2016


  38. Pai
  39. Exploring Pai, Thailand May 19-24, 2016
  40. Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand May 23, 2016
  41. Trekking the Ridges of Pai Canyon May 23, 2016
  42. Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) May 21, 2016


  43. Pak Chong
  44. Pak Chong (Thailand) En Route to Siem Reap (Cambodia) Mar 20-21, 2016
  45. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  46. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  47. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  48. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  49. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  50. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  51. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  52. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  53. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  54. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  55. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  56. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016


  57. Phan District, Chiang Rai Province
  58. Yoga with Amm Prajna Pitchaya and the Sivananda yoga community of Phan May 16-18, 2016
  59. Visiting the Nam Lot and the Pha Khong Caves of Phan District May 18, 2016



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Feb 27-28, 2016

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