Volunteer Experience | Community Development

Thailand: Buddhism Immersion

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Description

LocationChiang Mai, Thailand

Duration: Minimum 1 week commitment

Cost: £500 GBP per week – see Costs tab for more information

Includes: 3 meals a day, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities

Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations

Keywords:

  • Create cultural exchange opportunities through our efforts with the locals
  • Give you some practical experience in light construction and renovation work
  • Support the local Thai community by improving their living standards with our construction and renovation efforts
Costs Explained

Introduction

In this program, you will have the remarkable chance to engage in the ancient ritual of offering alms to the Monks, which takes place in the morning. This practice holds great significance in Thai culture and Buddhism, symbolizing generosity, respect, and support for the Monastic community. By participating in this ritual, you will not only observe but actively contribute to a time-honored tradition that has been passed down for centuries.

Additionally, in the evening, you will have the opportunity to partake in uplifting meditation and chanting sessions. Meditation is a fundamental practice in Buddhism, offering a pathway to inner peace, mindfulness, and self-discovery. Guided by revered spiritual leaders, you will learn techniques to calm the mind, cultivate awareness, and deepen your connection to the present moment.

Chanting, another integral aspect of Thai Buddhism, involves reciting sacred verses and prayers in unison. This communal practice creates a harmonious atmosphere and serves as a means of focusing the mind, cultivating concentration, and expressing devotion.

By immersing yourself in these rituals, you will gain a deeper understanding of Thai culture, spirituality, and the principles that underpin Buddhism. You will have the opportunity to learn from revered spiritual leaders who can share their wisdom, insights, and guidance, providing a profound spiritual experience.

Participating in this program allows you to embrace the tranquility and serenity that meditation and chanting offer. It provides a unique opportunity to escape the busyness of daily life, connect with your inner self, and experience a sense of peace and stillness.

Furthermore, engaging in these customs and rituals offers a transformative experience, allowing you to reflect on your own spiritual journey, foster personal growth, and gain a greater appreciation for the values of compassion, mindfulness, and selflessness.

Whether you are new to meditation and Buddhism or have prior experience, this program welcomes individuals from all backgrounds who have a genuine interest in Thai culture, spirituality, and personal development. It is a chance to immerse yourself in the rich traditions of Thai Buddhism and create lasting memories as you actively participate in rituals that have shaped the spiritual landscape of Thailand for centuries.

Culture Week

The picturesque mountains surrounding Chiang Mai beckon with their natural splendour, offering a wealth of captivating attractions. Renowned as a hub for Thai handicrafts and adorned with two tribal villages, this city serves as the perfect backdrop for immersing yourself in Thai culture. Our program is a gateway to an authentic Thai experience, where you’ll partake in cultural activities, explore breathtaking mountain landscapes, and discover the heart of Chiang Mai.

Please note that this week is an optional add-on to your Volunteer trip, typically scheduled at the beginning of your journey.

Our program is thoughtfully designed to unveil the essence of Thailand through a spectrum of cultural encounters that will ignite your senses. You’ll have the rare opportunity to actively engage in Thai traditions, from customs and language to the art of crafting local Thai dishes. As you navigate the captivating sights of Chiang Mai, you’ll also delve into the intricacies of Thai culture.

A program highlight is the exploration of Buddhism through visits to revered Buddhist temples, known as ‘Wats,’ where the profound teachings of Thai Buddhism come to life. Scheduled visits to bustling local markets will immerse you in the vibrant Thai way of life, exposing you to an array of delectable culinary delights and unique products.

Join us on this remarkable journey to deepen your appreciation of Thai culture, forge lasting memories, and savor the rich tapestry of experiences that Chiang Mai eagerly awaits to share with you.

Schedule

Monday

  • Breakfast
  • Program Introduction, registration and general info. Introduction to Thai Culture, Do’s and Dont’s
  • Thai cooking class and Lunch
  • Dinner

Tuesday

  • Breakfast
  • Thai Culture Lesson: Thai history, religion, and customs
  • Lunch
  • Thai Language Lesson
  • Dinner

Wednesday

  • Breakfast
  • Umbrella Village & Umbrella Painting
  • Lunch
  • Hot spring Water (Hot spring Pool)
  • Dinner

Thursday

  • Breakfast
  • Wat Phra That Doi Suthep Ratchaworawihan
  • Lunch
  • Wat Pha lad
  • Welcome and Goodbye Dinner

Friday

  • Breakfast
  • Lanna folklife museum, Warorrot Market
  • Lunch
  • Wat Chedi Luang & Night Market
  • Dinner

This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.

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Daily Life

In the Thai Buddhism program, you will embark on a cultural immersion journey that delves into the rich traditions and religious practices of Thailand. By actively engaging in various activities, you will gain a profound understanding of Buddhism, have the chance to assist monks in their daily routines, and deepen your own spiritual journey through meditation practices.

During your time in the program, you will visit a temple where knowledgeable monks will share their wisdom and teachings in English. Your assigned coordinator will be available to help overcome any language barriers and provide support throughout your experience.

The program caters to individuals of all levels of experience, whether you are new to Buddhism or have prior knowledge. The daily routine at the temple begins early in the morning with chanting and a meditation session. Following this, you will witness the tradition of alms-giving, where the monks receive offerings from the local community. Afterward, a communal breakfast will be enjoyed at the temple.

Participants will receive an introduction to Buddhism and Thai meditation techniques, followed by guided meditation sessions. You will learn various methods to cultivate mindfulness, such as breath-focused meditation, and explore different postures including sitting, walking, and lying down. This exploration will help you find the posture that best suits your practice.

Lunch is served at around 11:00, as Buddhist monks typically have their main meal during this time and refrain from eating after midday. Participants can choose whether or not to have dinner. In the afternoon, there will be additional meditation practice for 1-2 hours, followed by free time to continue personal meditation or assist with temple chores.

In the evening, there will be chanting and meditation sessions with the monks, creating a serene and contemplative atmosphere. After the practice, you will have the opportunity to engage in discussions and ask questions directly to the monks, deepening your understanding of Buddhism.

Accommodations at the temple will be simple, with basic amenities provided such as a mattress, pillow, and blanket.

By immersing yourself in the teachings of Buddhism, participating in the monks’ daily routines, and embracing the simplicity of temple life, you will have a unique opportunity to experience the tranquility and wisdom that Thai Buddhism offers. This program invites you to cultivate mindfulness, deepen your understanding of meditation, and embark on a spiritual journey that can leave a lasting impact on your life.

Fundraising Help

Travel & Accommodation

You will be met at Chiang Mai airport by a project representative and brought to the project HQ upon arrival.

During your stay in Chiang Mai, you will be provided with comfortable accommodation that offers standard facilities to ensure a pleasant stay. The accommodation includes amenities such as WiFi, allowing you to stay connected, hot showers for your comfort, and fans to keep you cool in the tropical climate of Chiang Mai.

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Requirements

  • Minimum age 18
  • Be keen and enthusiastic to learn about Buddhism
  • Minimum 1 week commitment
  • Police check (or equivalent) showing that you have no previous criminal convictions
  • Conversational English
  • Necessary vaccinations
  • Necessary flight & visas

Costs

£500 GBP per week

Minimum booking 2 weeks

* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit

What’s Included:

Project Fee includes

  • 3 meals per day (2 meals on weekends)
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pickup
  • Orientation
  • In-country support and project activities.

Private rooms are available for an additional £200 per week.

What’s not included:
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas (if applicable)
  • Vaccinations.

Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.

Premium Support Upgrade

We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.

We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.

Note: Map coordinates are approximate


Past Participants Say

Kailing He
China
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More possibilities in Thai Buddhism         During August 13th to 20th, I took part in Thai Buddhism Impression project in Chiang Mai and tried to help local community improve Buddhism communication, which benefits me a lot in knowledge about Thai Buddhism.         Challenges August is very hot in Chiang Mai and it always rains for a...
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