Seeking hidden doorways to realities that urge us to awaken from the trance of the mundane world and discover the truth of our Inner Self.
Wow, so I’ve just finished a 9 day meditation at Wat Phra That Doi Suthep.
The temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is a famous temple in Chiang Mai. It is also the most sacred temple in northern Thailand. The locals call it Doi Suthep after the 1,676-meter high mountan it resides on.
The temple is stunning with a large, gold coloured chedi in the middle and an umbrella which symbolizes the city’s independence from Myanmar and its association with Thailand.
There are altars with Buddha statues inside the temple. The walls are decorated with beautiful paintings that tell the story of Buddha. Quite spectacular to see.The temple is open to visitors every day and they come from all over Thailand and worldwide to offer lotus flowers, incense and candles. It’s quite busy with guests.
Coming up the mountain I was being entertained by my very passionate grab driver. The roads are windy with lush green tropical trees and vegetation. It’s very beautiful.When arriving at the temple I was shocked to see many clothing and souvenir outdoor stalls, atms and food stalls. As well as many, many tourists. Even a stall that sells fried insects! I was quite surprised and a bit disappointed that the food stalls sold meat.
After the stalls you travel up the stairs of 300+ steps to the temple. Here’s the view downwards. Imagine walking these carrying a backpack!
Then, to go to meditation center you follow the signs to the right.
I went straight to the meditation center and checked in so I could explore the temple surrounds without a backpack.
The meditation center is not as fancy as the temple. It’s simple. There are different rooms for different activities. One space for meditation – mats long enough for walking meditation.
This room has regular pop in tourist visitors from the temple above, which can be quite a distraction. Some of them are quite boisterous even though the door says noble silence.
One space for the morning Dhamma Talk and evening chanting.
Here’s another small area for meditation. I preferred this one because not many people come here. No tourists.
And a space for breakfast and lunch.
The meals are simple vegetarian Thai dishes, always with rice. Mostly with soy (I avoid soy so this meant sometimes I could only eat rice for a meal), sometimes chilli… Not sattvic, much to my disappointment. I notified the young monk of my need for no soy, but it did not happen. On my 7th day I could not eat the breakfast because it was a bowl of soy drenched noodles. That’s when another staff handed me a food requirement form. Urgh! Just be warned to insist and ask all staff to get your food requirements met.
At Doi Suthep the routine is:
There’s no dinner.
For me this casual atmosphere was probably perfect for now. I needed to unwind after a hectic, toxic year in China and kick start my diet and meditation routine. Being at this meditation center was very deeply relaxing, with excellent Dhamma talks that nourished the mind and soul.
I would not recommend this place for serious meditators who are ready to go deep. It’s too distracting.
Definitely recommend to anyone else, which is the rest of the population!
Donations for tourists to bring:
If you go to visit Doi Suthep as a day trip tourist please make sure you wander down to the meditation center on the track following the signs, or ask someone how to go there…. And bring them some needed things!
I feel they would benefit greatly from having a few cleaning supplies such as:
If just 12 people visiting Doi Suthep for the day brought one of these items they’d manage much better!
Tell them Carmyn sent you! Although they’d have no idea who that is. Names are just not a thing there.