Today I visited yet another temple. What can I say, they are relaxing and beautiful. This temple is across the street from the main Chiang Mai University campus, so I thought it would be a nice stop after my trip to the art museum. But, the weather was perfect, the lighting excellent, and the clouds magnificent, so I turned around and made this my first stop.
Chiang Mai University is a first rate school. They have a large number of programs ranging from Enginering to Social Sciences to Medicine and History. There are more than 36,000 students there this semester. It dominates the northwest section of the city and injects youth and vitality to an old town.
Inside CMU there is a college called Mahachulalongkornrajavidayalaya or MCU Buddhist University (10 points if you can pronounce the first name). And there, they have a little known program called Monk Chat. I found out about it through a roommate I had one of my first nights in Chiang Mai. He’s a high school teacher from Brooklyn, New York studying Buddhism on a federal grant so that he can take back his knowledge to the school system and develop a religious studies curriculum. Nice gig.
Monk Chat is held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on campus. It’s a bit difficult to find, but worth the effort. Simply stated, it’s an opportunity to sit down with a monk and talk about anything you want.
Do I want to sit down and talk to a monk?? Hell yes, I do, giddyup.
I want to walk the city and see as much as I can by chance and from the perspective of the pavement and under my own power. But first, I have to go to the train station and see about a ticket to Chiang Mai for tonight or tomorrow. Continue reading
I’ve arrived at Thailand at 10:30am local time on what turns out to be Buddha Day. As far as I am concerned, that is a good omen, or Dharma, or whatever….more to learn there, I suppose.
Immigration was a breeze (thankfully, since I didn’t have a return or on-going ticket – a requirement in Thailand, like many countries; and as I’ve previously spent time under armed guard overnight in a Costa Rica airport for my lack of said ticket, I was pleased). Continue reading