A Visit to Tu Hieu Temple

We are in Vietnam, in the beautiful and historic city of Hue. Today we visited the root temple of Thich Naht Hanh, the world renown Buddhist monk and mindfulness teacher.

This is the temple where Thay, as he is affectionately known by his students, received his monk and where he wishes to end his days.

We understand that Thay is currently in Bangkok for medical care but I felt his influence and presence at this peaceful spot.

We enjoyed our time here, walking mindfully throughout the beautiful grounds.

Portions of the temple closed to visitors and are reserved for the monks only. We understand there are tours and meditation teas available.

For today we felt very happy and blessed to just stroll around. We do hope to find and return for a meditation retreat soon.


Chiang Mai Magic!

There’s just something about Chiang Mai! Kathy and I came here over 3 years ago and stayed over a year that time. Yes, we visited other cities and countries but we always came back to Chiang Mai. This time we came and have stayed a solid year. Except for a brief visit to Bangkok we have stayed in Chiang Mai for the whole time.

It’s hard to describe the magic that happens in Chiang Mai and I’m not sure if you can feel it during a brief visit.

Chiang Mai Magic occurs in the over 300 temples, places of such sacred beauty that I never get tired of visiting them.

Chiang Mai Magic is at the San Kamphaeng Hot Springs, one of my favorite places to practice self care.

Chiang Mai Magic is in all the wonderful festivals that occur throughout the year, especially Yi Peng, the Flower Festival and Songkran.

Chiang Mai Magic is overwhelmingly at Inthakin Green Village. There is so much magic and healing here that I have written several blogs about it.

Chiang Mai Magic happens for Kathy on the motorbike. She experiences magic on her many rides in and around the city. If you want to experience Chiang Mai in this way, I highly recommend the Honda Safety Riding School.

Most of all I think Chiang Mai Magic is the people, the beautiful Thai people, the fabulous members of the African American community here and beloved friends and family who have visited. The magic is in planned events and random meet ups. The magic happens just walking down the street where I always see and greet someone I know.

We leave Chiang Mai and it’s magic tomorrow. I’m sad to leave all this magic behind. However, part of the magic of Chiang Mai is that I know we can’t stay away for long. BOLT loves you Chiang Mai and we’ll be back soon.

Wat Ban Den

There are over 300 temples in the Chiang Mai area. Rarely does a day go by when I don’t see one. You’d think I might tire of temples, but no, not yet. I love temples! I love visiting new (to me) temples. I love strolling by the familiar temples in our neighborhood. I doubt I will ever tire of temples, just another reason why Chiang Mai is a great place for me to be.

I was super excited to visit Wat (temple) Ban Den. I’d heard about this large, beautiful temple complex in the Mae Teang area of Chiang Mai province. I was not dissapointed.

The age of this temple is unknown but it got a big renovation when a new abbot took over in 1988. The new abbot named Kru Ba Tuang has managed to raise huge sums of money, donated by local people and Buddhists from across the country. Abbot Kru Ba Tuang has completely renovated the Wat Ban Den and added a number of impressive structures.

Wat Ban Den is one of the largest temple complexes in Chiang Mai province. The complex contains a large number of structures including an ordination hall, a viharn, a meditation hall, the monk’s living quarters, a drum hall and several other buildings. Although the structures of the Wat are relatively new, they are built in traditional architectural style.

I especially loved all the nagas. Many of the Wat’s structures are guarded by these large mythical Naga serpents on each side of the stairs. Some seem to be hybrid naga-elephants, which is super cool!

One meditation hall had these really life-like wax statues of enlightened Thai monks.

We spent a lovely few hours walking around Wat Ban Den, I found it serene, uncrowded and not very touristy. I highly recommend a visit if you are a temple lover like me.