Early wake up call! It’s time for zip lining! And finally- AN AIR CONDITIONED VEHICLE! About an hour ride out of Chiang Mai and up a mountain, we got the equipment on and headed out to the first platform! I’ve been zip lining before so I was super excited to try it somewhere new. There were 33 platforms that included three times to repel down.
It was definitely a full morning in the sun with tons of laughs and breath taking views! They even fed us lunch and gave us free t-shirts, so winning. The car ride home consisted of Julia sleeping pretty much on top of me the whole time, but she wasn’t feeling well so I let it happen..
I was so exhausted after we got back, but some of us made plans to meet up at The Salad Concept so I headed back out about a block away. Okay. It was totally worth it. It tasted like home, it was air conditioned in the restaurant and there was wifi! You basically make your own wrap or salad and check off what you want in it on a little sheet. It was massive, but I pretty much ate it all and am still full.
I wanted to squeeze in a little nap before we got a chance to go speak with Monks, but it turns out you literally can’t nap in 37 degree heat. Awh. So I got on my temple clothes and headed down to meet with our leaders.
There ended up only being a handful of us that went to the Monk University to do what they call “Monk Chat.” I was feeling super exhausted and sick on the way there and debated not going, but oh. my. goodness. Three of us sat in a circle with three monk university students and just talked. For two hours, we could ask them whatever we wanted and they asked us questions too! Buddhism is an incredibly beautiful way of life which to some extent I already knew, but listening to these students who are wise beyond their years talk about the “religion” (which it isn’t, it’s a way of life, but it’s just easier to refer to that way) and why they chose to study it is profound. I felt bad that other group members didn’t get an opportunity to hear what they had to say, but it’s just one of the experiences that you have to WANT to go through. In the cheesiest, most cliche way it completely opened my mind. I almost started crying multiple times, and for those who don’t know me- that’s not something I would normally do.
One of the questions asked was “I know this is a silly question, but what’s your favourite animal” and the answer blew my mind up.
“We don’t say favourite or have favourites in Buddhism because everything is alive and equal.”
A few other noteworthy quotes:
“Don’t believe anyone, not your religious leader or what anyone else is doing, but trust in your own experiences.”
“Cultivate good. I don’t want to die, why would anyone else? I don’t want bad things to happen to me, why would I do bad to others?”
Don’t worry, I took notes to remember this for a lifetime. And also this very awkward picture because obv they can’t cozy up to ya.
We spent the better part of our night talking with the Monks so we didn’t have too long before it was time to get going to the Muay Thai fights.
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and it’s extremely traditional- the fighters go around the ring before the fight to pray and pay respect to their trainers. I really hate seeing people physically fighting, because, ew. But the energy in the outdoor facility was unreal and it’s just the heart and soul of the country you can’t help, but get into it.