TheLoneRider
a seeker in search of Easter Eggs
Chiang Mai, Thailand

The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019

The 9 Jhanas of Buddha

Location: Chiang Mai, Thailand

What is Jhana?
The story goes that in Buddha's quest for enlightenment, he reached up to the 8th Jhana but still came short of liberation. This word Jhana kept coming up in my readings. What the heck is Jhana? Curious, I devoted quality reading-time to learn more about this esoteric word.

In a nutshell, Jhana is an altered state of consciousness while in meditative absorption. It is one of the 8 paths in the Eightfold Path way to enlightenment - Right Concentration. It comes in 9 states although it's not very clear where one state ends and the next begins. While there is not even an official label for these altered states, some conventions have been established. Some say only 8 Jhanas exist. The higher Jhanas are far more subtle, it's even hard to explain into words. Others contend that they simply have to be experienced to be understood. It may take years of devoted practice before the 1st state of Jhana is realized. You cannot summon Jhana. Just do the proper meditation with no expectation, nor having Jhana as a goal. Jhana may or may not happen.

The 9 Jhanas of Buddha

Jhana vs. Vipassana
My meditation background is Vipassana (as taught by SN Goenka), and there was no mention of Jhana, even though Vipassana and the Jhanas stem from Buddha. Both are powerful meditation methods but distinct from the other. Jhana is geared toward single-pointed concentration - samatha...like concentrating on an object, the breath, picture of a guru, etc. until everything else disappears or becomes imperceptible, except for that object. Vipassana, on the other hand, scans the entire body for any sensation with a calm and equanimous mind. While the first 3 days of a Vipassana course focuses on the breath, it is not yet Vipassana but Anapana Breathing Meditation. So we can say that a 10-day Vipassana meditation course includes the practice of samatha for the first 3 days.

Same Experience but Different Labels
Further scrutiny reveals that even though the approach is different, the meditative states achieved are the same. Vipassana simply doesn't put labels on the Jhanic states or uses a different name. Example, Vipassana calls the state where the physical body is no longer present and what's left is a mass of vibrations, Bhanga-ñana. This is simply called the 5th Jhana: Infinity of Space - a state of consciousness where there is no perception of a form or body.

Disclosure: I'm discussing Bhanga and Infinity of Space as I understand them from my readings. I have not experienced them...yet.

Superpowers
It is said that as a meditator goes through the Jhanic phases, superpowers inevitably develop. Yes, it is involuntary. I've met serious meditators who developed these powers in the course of practising meditation. The powers vary from person to person. You simply cannot know what powers develop - they just happen. But because there is great risk of inflating the ego and losing focus on the path when you openly exhibit or talk about these powers, it is considered taboo to even talk about them, let alone show it off.

What exactly are these powers? To the newbie, it could be seeing elementals, ghosts or spirits - much to their chagrin. To the seasoned meditators, it could be traveling to other unearthly places or leaving the physical body. To the very advanced ones, they could see their past lives or will to terminate their existence.

It is interesting to note that in Hindu Yoga, superpowers are developed when prana (life energy) goes through the central nadi (energy channel), the Sushumna, and travels up, touching-up the rest of the chakras (energy centers) all the way up to the highest chakra, the Sahasrara on the top of the head.

9 Jhanas

1st Jhana: Pleasant Sensations
With a single-pointed concentration of the mind on a subject (there are 40 established subjects for the choosing, one of which could be the breath), you could start feeling a pleasant physical sensation which could explode into a state of ecstasy (piti) - this is not a calm and peaceful state. The sensation could start from a specific body part like the hands or heart center. While observing the pleasant sensation without clinging to them and keeping the stillness of the mind, the physical rapture morphs into an emotional joy (sukha). I have met meditators who cling to this pleasant sensation and meditate for the purpose of arriving at this joy - like a junkie in search of his 'fix'. He has lost the balance of his mind. Thus it is important to observe this joy without attachment. At this point, it is important to shift the observation from the breath to the pleasant sensation - observing the meditation subject has already served its purpose by bringing about the rapture. While piti and sukha are in high gear, there is still thinking and analysis lurking in the background.

2nd Jhana: Stilling the Analytical Mind
While immersed in rapture, the meditator stills his analytical mind. Thinking and evaluation cease. There is now pure awareness, free of conceptualization.

3rd Jhana: Contentment
As you let go of the peaceful joy, you transition into a quiet, placid state of contentment with an alert and vigilant mind.

4th Jhana: Peacefulness
As the mind remains equanimous without feeling anything positive or negative in the body or mind, a deep sense of peace prevails. The joyful sensations are no longer present.

5th Jhana: Infinity of Space
From hereon, the altered states of Jhana are said to be "absorption without form". The perception of the body disappears. There is a transformation into the heavenly realms where form is abstract. From feeling peaceful, you shift your attention to your physical boundaries which seem to be getting bigger and bigger until you feel everywhere.

6th Jhana: Infinity of Consciousness
When you realize that the expansive space you occupy includes your consciousness, you enter the 6th Jhana. As consciousness fills into infinity, you feel one with the universe. The one-pointedness of the mind remains. This is not yet enlightenment, even though it feels like it.

7th Jhana: No-thingness
With infinite consciousness, you realize there is nothing within this infinity that is permanent. Everything in it complies with the natural law of impermanence and is in a constant state of flux.

8th Jhana: Neither perception nor non-perception
This realm is very hard to grasp as it is so fine and subtle. It is at the highest pinnacle of concentration that the only way to describe it is to experience it. You let go of the nothingness of the 7th Jhana and into a natural and calm place where you have little recognition of what's happening even though you still have the awareness in you. You thread the world of perception and non-perception. Again, despite the permeating peace and calm, this is not enlightenment.

9th Jhana: Vipassana
According to SN Goenka, the Buddha found the 9th Jhana, and that is Vipassana - the development of insight that will take the meditator to the ultimate goal beyond the misery of sensory experience.

I find it interesting that other meditation teachers claim that Vipassana is a stepping stone in getting established in the practice of meditation. Stepping stone? When Buddha reached the 8th Jhana from the most learned teachers during his time, he was still short of enlightenment. There was no teacher alive who could liberate him. Thus he went deep within the physical structure of his body and gained wisdom which helped him develop Vipassana which opened up the gateway to enlightenment. So I have to strongly disagree that Vipassana is a beginner stepping stone.

This "stepping stone" claim was also uttered by a self-proclaimed "Vipassana teacher" in one of his sessions. When I asked him to clarify exactly what he meant by it, he recanted. I sat through his 1-hour "Vipassana class" and it was anything but Vipassana. Think about it. Authentic Vipassana in the Goenka tradition, in its most condensed form, takes 10 days. How could anyone claim to teach Vipassana in one hour?

Another Tibetan Yantra Yoga teacher I met in Dharamsala claimed the same thing - that Vipassana is a good start in meditation but that there are far more advanced forms of meditation. I'm not sure if he has ever done Vipassana (in the Goenka tradition) as he is steeped in his Tibetan Buddhism tradition. I'm familiar with Tibetan yoga retreats conducted in a cave or remote mountain highlands which lasts 3 years, 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days. Yes, I will agree it's more intense, longer and more consuming. But I disagree that Vipassana is just a good start for the more advanced meditation modalities.

I will say that you can start a meditation practice with Vipassana, but you can go deeper and deeper into Vipassana until you reach liberation. I don't think anyone can max-out Vipassana to prompt him to "move on" to other types of meditation. My analogy is Photoshop. This program is so user-friendly that a 5 year old can play with it. But Photoshop has so much complexity to it that even a 30-year veteran power-user cannot claim that he has exhausted Photoshop.

I'm not saying that Vipassana is the be-all and end-all of meditation. There are many out there. If Vipassana doesn't work for you, try something else until you find one that works. Simple as that. Just don't make a claim or imply that Vipassana is a beginner stepping stone in a meditation practice - that is simply wrong and misleading.

I digressed, but there are other interpretations of the 9th Jhana. Some posit it as:

Cessation
At this point, even consciousness stops. The heartbeat slows down to a faint beating and breathing is almost nil. It's like a deep state of sleep. This is as close as it gets to liberation.

Caution
Jhanic states are not something to pursue. The more it is pursued, the more it becomes elusive. It is best to stay focused on the goal and not be distracted by the sensations that happen along the journey. Talking about reaching Jhanic states is discouraged and frowned upon, but honestly, if that happens to me, I cannot resist the temptation of writing about it.

Ending Thoughts
There was a time in my early meditation days that my focus was experiencing bhanga-nana. It was a high I wanted to have. Of course, nothing happened. Now, it doesn't even appeal to me. If I can just find time to meditate and still my mind for a few moments, I'm already happy. To this date, I can easily still my mind in meditation, but I can't seem to go deeper as in dissolving my solidity and becoming a spec of consciousness. But again, I no longer aim for it. While meditating, being at peace with myself and the planet I live in is reward enough.

This pursuit of Jhanic states is simply intellectual adventurism for me...or a 'nice to have' at best. Perhaps it is best seen that way so it becomes part of a journey but not the destination. Jhana can best be viewed as a blueprint to enlightenment. Buddha confirms this when he said, "Jhana is the path to enlightenment". Experience of Jhana is a validation that you're on the right path - but you're not there yet.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider



Reader Comments:

Grant LawlessGrant Australia
(Aug 22, 2019) I think your right Gigit. It's not to be thought of just experienced if that's what happens. But as we know being at peace with yourself enables you to be at peace with things that perhaps you would not otherwise. I've taken the position that it's just so personal but that the important thing is to continue to try and be as understanding and empathetic as one can manage and then to keep trying to improve on this.

Marina ForsterMarina Puerto Rico
Brazen Travel Thoughts
(Aug 22, 2019) Gigit yes!! Thank you for this explanation!! Very interesting.

Leave a comment?

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Google Map

Chiang Mai, Thailand

important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
ITM – International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200



USEFUL INFORMATION

Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
  • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
  • hot season begins March and lasts until June
  • wet season begins July and lasts until September
  • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
  • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
  • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
  • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
  • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
  • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
  • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
  • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
  1. North Gate Pub - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays by the 11pm band
  2. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
  3. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
Chiang Mai Cost Index
  • B60 Chiang beer
  • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
  • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
  • B50 noodle soup with meat
  • B50 coffee
  • B40 pad thai
  • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
  • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
  • B100-150 dorm bed/night
  • B250 fan room/night
  • B30 internet cafe/hour
  • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
  • B130-150 Movies weekdays
  • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
  • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
  • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
  • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
  • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

  • Transportation
  • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
  • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
  • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
  • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
  • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
  • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
  • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
  • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
  • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
  • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

  • Tours
  • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
  • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
  • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
Chiang Mai Trains by Train36.com
  1. Chiang Mai trains for Bangkok - 2 day trains, 3 night trains, daily schedule
  2. Train 14 to Bangkok - departs 5pm daily, arrives BKK 6:15am, 1st class and 2nd class sleeping accomodation, Special Express
  3. Chiang Mai trains to other destinations -
Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

(I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

  1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
  2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
  3. daily train schedule:
    • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
    • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
    • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
    • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
    • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Loei to Chiang Mai by Bus
  1. From Loei town center, take a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station, B30. There is only one bus station.
  2. As of June 28, 2020 (still on Covid schedule), there are only 3 night trips: 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 12 midnight. 9 hours, B470.
  3. The bus makes the following stops at the following times from a 9pm Loei departure: Phu Ruea (9:50pm), Phitsanulok (12:40am), Uttradit (2:20am), Lampang (4:35am)
  4. Final bus stop is at the Red Bus Arcade, Chiang Mai, 9 hour-trip, arriving 6am (from 9pm Loei departure).
  5. Take a red songthaew to Old City, B50. They'll try to charge you B100, but they'll take B50 (just assure the driver you won't tell the other passengers).
Chiangmai Blogs by TheLoneRider
  1. Pizza Nite with Nut, Simona and Malee Sep 23, 2021
  2. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) Sep 23, 2021
  3. Making Cornbread Sep 15, 2021
  4. Kombucha: 2nd Batch Sep 11, 2021
  5. Making German Stollen Bread Sep 9, 2021
  6. Pizza Nite with Jackson, Goi and Paapu Sep 6, 2021
  7. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug 31, 2021
  8. Making Homemade Kombucha Aug 30, 2021
  9. Wrong Question to Ask This Crowd Aug 29, 2021
  10. Pizza Nite with Tom, Chunyah and Goi Aug 20, 2021
  11. Pizza Nite with Moms and Kids Aug 15, 2021
  12. Bahya Kumbhaka (breath-hold on the exhale) Aug 14, 2021
  13. Everybody's Only Friend Aug 13, 2021
  14. Vanillekipferl (German Vanilla Crescent Cookies) Aug 11, 2021
  15. Fighting Infection through Yoga Aug 3, 2021
  16. Too Close for Friendship Aug 2, 2021
  17. Manifesting: Epicurus' Pursuit Jul 31, 2021
  18. Homemade Rum Raisin Ice Cream Jul 30, 2021
  19. Ice Bath at Nawa Saraan Healing Space Jul 25, 2021
  20. Pizza Nite + Slack Line + Hammock Jul 23, 2021
  21. Yin-Yoga & Hypnosis with Christine Thiel Jul 20, 2021
  22. Pizza Nite with James and Nat Jul 19, 2021
  23. Antara Kumbhaka on Nadi Shodan Pranayama: Yogic Breath-Hold on the Inhale Jul 17, 2021
  24. Moving and Cashing-Out Bitcoin Jun 2 - Jul 11, 2021
  25. Hatha Yoga: Controlling the Switch Jul 7, 2021
  26. Yoga Classes with Calum Mar 27 - Jul 4, 2021
  27. Hike to Wat Pa Thammachat Waterfall Jul 2, 2021
  28. Pizza Brunch with the Yogis July 1, 2021
  29. Continuing Friendships in Chiang Mai Jun 30, 2021
  30. On the Brink of Hunger, the ENABLERS Come to Light Jun 21, 2021
  31. Hatha Vinyasa Yoga with Katharine Day Jun 17, 2021
  32. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
  33. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
  34. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
  35. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
  36. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
  37. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
  38. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
  39. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
  40. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
  41. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
  42. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
  43. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
  44. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
  45. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
  46. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
  47. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
  48. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
  49. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
  50. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
  51. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
  52. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
  53. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
  54. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
  55. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
  56. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
  57. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
  58. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
  59. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
  60. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
  61. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
  62. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
  63. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
  64. Are You Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
  65. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
  66. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
  67. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
  68. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
  69. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
  70. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
  71. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
  72. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
  73. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
  74. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
  75. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
  76. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
  77. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
  78. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
  79. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
  80. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
  81. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
  82. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
  83. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
  84. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
  85. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
  86. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
  87. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
  88. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
  89. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
  90. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
  91. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
  92. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
  93. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
  94. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
  95. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
  96. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
  97. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
  98. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
  99. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
  100. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
  101. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
  102. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
  103. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
  104. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
  105. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
  106. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
  107. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
  108. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
  109. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
  110. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
  111. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
  112. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
  113. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
  114. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
  115. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
  116. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
  117. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
  118. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
  119. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
  120. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
  121. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
  122. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
  123. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
  124. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
  125. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
  126. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
  127. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
  128. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
  129. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
  130. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
  131. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
  132. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
  133. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
  134. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
  135. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
  136. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
  137. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
  138. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
  139. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
  140. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
  141. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
  142. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
  143. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
  144. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
  145. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
  146. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
  147. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
  148. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
  149. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
  150. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
  151. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
  152. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
  153. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
  154. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
  155. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
  156. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
  157. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
  158. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
  159. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
  160. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
  161. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
  162. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
  163. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
  164. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
  165. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
  166. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
  167. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
  168. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
  169. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
  170. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
  171. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
  172. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
  173. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
  174. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
  175. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
  176. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
  177. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
  178. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
  179. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
  180. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
  181. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
  182. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
  183. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
  184. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
  185. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
  186. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
  187. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
  188. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
  189. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
  190. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
  191. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
  192. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  193. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  194. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  195. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  196. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  197. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
  198. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  199. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  200. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  201. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
  202. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  203. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  204. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016

Travel Tips for Thailand

How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

    60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

    NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

  1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
    a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
    b) flight booking to Thailand
    c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
    d) filled-in tourist visa form
    e) 2 passport pictures
    f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
    g) passport with at least 6 months validity
  2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
  3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

    30-Day Extension

    NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

  1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
    a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
    b) Baht 1900
    c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
    d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
    e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
  2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
  3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
  4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
  5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes

Book Train Tickets in Thailand Online by Train36.com

General Travel Tips
  1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
  2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the journey...you just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
  3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
  4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!

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