Attend a CHEAP Meditation Retreat in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Here at The Things My Eyes Have Seen, I like to encourage people to seek out unique experiences when traveling. Try networking with people around you; asking locals what they would want to do if they had the day free. Don’t be afraid to create your own interesting ways to immerse yourself in the location and to meet the people who live there. For me, participating in a two-day, SILENT meditation retreat in Chiang Mai with my mother was one of the most unique parts of my trip to Northern Thailand. It was even on my Thailand Travel Bucket List. The best part? The price makes it accessible to nearly any traveler’s budget; you only had to pay for the white clothing (if you don’t have your own) and make a donation towards their monastery! 

Attend a Silent Meditation Retreat in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. It is a great affordable and cheap retreat. Read more about this Silent Meditation Retreat. The Things My Eyes Have Seen

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Location of Retreat: Chiang Mai, Thailand   

What do I mean when I say silent meditation retreat?

I mean that the only time you will be speaking is when you chant before meals …or at the end of the retreat when you get to chat and reflect with the monk and other participants.

My mother and I chose to do the retreat as a way to connect with the Buddhist culture and religion in Thailand and to learn more about meditation. She claims that I was desperate for some silence after traveling together for some time [she IS a chatty lady...]  But really though, we both enjoy yoga and meditation so it was the perfect thing to do for a few days. We spoke with the receptionist of our hotel, they suggested that we look in to the Monkchat meditation retreat.

monkchat meditation retreat

Upon arriving at the meeting location in Chiang Mai; we purchased the completely white clothing to wear during our time at the retreat and an introduction to Buddhism and meditation. Then they drove us to the remote monastery where, from the moment we arrived,  we would be dedicated to meditation and silence.


-Meditation-

We spent the entire day in meditation. The time spent at the retreat was divided up by different positions of meditation and small breaks. We practiced sitting, lying, standing, and walking meditation. They taught us how to connect with our breath, silence our mind, and numb ourselves to distracting body sensations.

meditation retreat

I enjoyed the comparison of meditation to a shower; that you must cleanse your mind through meditation as you cleanse your body. We learned the three main teachings of Buddhism are;

1-Do Good.             

2- Don’t do bad.     

3- Clear your mind.

There is an overwhelming feeling of peace found in meditation and the Buddhist lifestyle.  They provided the perfect atmosphere to teach anyone who is interested in learning, on any budget. 


-The Monk Lifestyle-

Here you are able to learn about the pure and simple lives of the monks; eating only what we needed for sustenance and in a non-gluttonous manner. You will practice chanting, chanting for reflection and intention before all meals. Eating simple, vegetarian meals in an appreciative and non-gluttonous way. 

Most of the food that the monks eat is offered to them daily by the community. You will also practice the proper way to offer monks food. 

monk food offering

 

Embarrassing Story:   THAT ONE TIME I was Over-Ambitious with Hot Sauce…

One morning during breakfast, we were having a simple noodle soup. There was hot sauce available to add flavor to the soup.  I added a generous scoop to my soup then took a seat. We chanted about eating not for taste or enjoyment, but for sustaining our bodies. I then took a bite… of the spiciest food I have ever put in my mouth. Now I love spicy food, but this was another level. I began to panic, being in an obligatory position to eat the sickeningly spicy food.  I tried [non-verbally] to get my mother’s attention and signal for help. She graciously helped me by splitting our soups together and mixing it like some sort of mad scientist in a lab after she realized why I was suffering. Nobody around us knew what was going on as they silently ate their soup. Meanwhile, we were trying to contain our laughter and desperation.


-Do It Yourself-

The retreat was one of the most serene places My Eyes Have Seen

These two days were enlightening and provided a more authentic look into the lives of the monks.  Spending time in absolute silence gives you a new perspective on life and all of the ‘meaningless’ chatter. I left the retreat with a desire to have more authentic connections with people and to the places I go. If you find yourself in Chiang Mai, I encourage you to consider attending for yourself

To Book: Send them an Email at: thaimonkchat@yahoo.com  |  Facebook | TwitterTrip Advisor Review

Attend a cheap meditation retreat with monk chat in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.

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Planning a trip to Chiang Mai? Read about my time Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park, or; read my blogging friend, Mrs. Bosman’s, Travel Guide to Chiang Mai.


Leave me a comment below,

Do you think you could handle a couple days of silence?

16 comments
  1. This retreat looks absolutely amazing! I sure wouldn’t mind spending a few days here and get away from everything. I will definitely consider this in the future. Thank you for this amazing suggestion

    1. Thank you for reading Daniel! If you find yourself in Chiang Mai, check it out!

  2. This is a great post. I have never done a silent retreat but would love to do one some day. And this place looks great. On top of that it is so budget friendly. Thanks for sharing your experience.

    1. Thank you so much for reading Soumya, I would encourage you to try a silent retreat if it interests you. Cheers!

  3. Lol, I love the spicy noodle soup story! I’ve a complete wimp at spice, so would have broken the chanting for sure! I think it was great that you and your mother shared this experience together. It’s definitely something different from the norm in Thailand!

    1. It is one of my favorite bonding experiences with my mother. Especially her sacrificing herself to endure the spicy with me, ha ha. Thank you for reading Lisa!

  4. Wow! This meditation retreat with monks sounds like a great Thailand experience. Your mom is such a great traveling companion. And I could totally see myself making the same hot sauce mistake and I’m glad your mom helped you. But what a fantastic way of learning more about the culture and monks from the inside!

    1. My mom is one of my favorite traveling companions! Thank you for reading Annick, it really was a great experience that I will never forget!

  5. wow what a great and differet view of Thailand I must say. There are not many people who post these unique ways to seeing a country and you have captured Thailand in a way I have never seen it . The retreat is so peaceful and one which I would love to experience myself. I think you have hit the nail on the head by saying asking locals what they would want to do if they had the day free is the best way to explore a new place and see off beat things as well.

    1. Hi Amar, thank you for your kind words. I find myself constantly inspired by the people I meet while traveling around the world. Locals always send me in unique directions. Glad to inspire you, Happy travels!

  6. My friend did a silent retreat a couple years back and she really enjoyed it. I’m actually headed to Thailand early next year and this would be interesting to try! Also, I’m totally overambitious with my hot sauces too. I’ll have to remember to go easy too hahahaa.

    1. He he be careful with the hot sauces, or at least use with caution! Thanks for reading Jas, it was an interesting experience. Enjoy Thailand! xox

  7. As this retreat is not expensive and affordable by all budget travelers, then it is very nice to spend some days here. Meditating and living like monks would really rejuvenate our soul, body, and mind. Simple eating, wearing white clothes and doing good to others are basic principles of Buddhist monks. On my Thailand visit, I would surely go for this retreat.

    1. Hi Yukti, I am glad you to hear you would be willing to try something like this. A great way to immerse yourself and a cultural experience. Happy travels!

  8. I’m not going to lie, the word “meditation” kind of scares me. I’ve never officially meditated before, and when I’ve tried doing it at home, I’ve found it really hard to sit still and clear my mind. I feel like there is ALWAYS something popping up in my head. But I am always up for a challenge, and there is no better place to do a silent meditation retreat than Chiang Mai, so I think I’d give this a try!

    1. Hi Diana, Thanks for reading! I definitely found myself initially drawn to yoga and then later found my way to meditation. It used to intimidate me too, honestly. But it is a practice (: happy travels!

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