At the Wat Chedi Luang temple, the monks make an effort to interact with the public by scheduling a weekly “Monk Chat” evening.
I was excited for this opportunity, since some of my most vivid memories of Thailand were the daily sightings of monks wandering the streets. James said his typical day was to get up before dawn, walk the streets to collect alms before breakfast, participate in morning prayer or meditation, spend the bulk of his day in classes or studying and then take part in an evening prayer session. Later, a group of novice monks came into the sanctuary with an instructor and took a seat on the floor. Would any of these young men, I wondered, devote their lives to monasticism and Buddhist study? This reinforced to me the incredible influence that Buddhism has over the lives of the Thai people.
This absolutely beautiful colouring book, by Art Therapist Lacy Mucklow and Artist Angela Porter has been designed specifically for busy people looking to slow down and feel calm. Organised into six therapeutically themed chapters, it gently guides you into channeling your everyday anxieties into satisfying and creative achievements.
The back of the book sums it up beautifully, Color Me Calm is the perfect, all natural way to step back from the stress of daily life, colour and relax! A-list actress and author Cameron Diaz is known for many things—her impeccable figure being one of them.

It was in Chang Mai that we had one of our more memorable travel experiences during a morning chat with a Buddhist monk. This gives visitors a chance to learn about Buddhism and the monastic life and allows novice monks to practice their English. But as we wandered the grounds of this temple one morning, a young monk strolled over to us. They are so omnipresent that public buses and boat ferries even have special seats reserved for monks.
Because of the “different feelings” that arise from touching a woman, he said, it would “distract the mind” from focusing on spiritual activities. A majority of them, of course, would re-enter what they call “common life.” Most Thai men become a monk for a period of time, but it is voluntary. Some have likened it to a Thai version of a sabbatical, giving young males the opportunity to remove themselves from their normal routine for a period of time in order to reflect on their lives before they take on the full role and responsibilities of being an adult.
Everywhere in the country are men who have spent from a few months to a few years as a Buddhist monk. In Chang Mai, due to the presence of the Buddhist university, these saffron- and orange-robed young men were especially plentiful.
After doing this every day for five years, could his mind now slip more easily into a state of emptiness?
As the teacher spoke, the young monks took notes and occasionally goofed around with each other.

They usually serve for a period of three months, although some enter a monastery for as little as a few weeks and others remain for several years. In its own way, it’s comparable to the ritual transition that Masai tribesmen undergo on their way to becoming adult warriors, or the Australian Aboriginal tradition of the walkabout. The book itself is calming to look at and every page has been carefully crafted and coloured for your benefit.
In her new book, The Longevity Book, she shares how exercise is one of the main pillars of living well. He appeared hesitant and nervous at first over the prospect of conversing in English, but his language skills were better than he realized.
They didn’t look very different from any other group of teenage boys in a classroom elsewhere in the world, save for their shaved heads and saffron robes.
I recalled a conversation with Pravat, a local guide who had spent 11 years in a Buddhist monastery, six years as a novice and an additional five years as a full-fledged monk, before leaving to get a paying job.
How different would my life be, or the life of my friends, if we’d spent our teenage and early adult years focusing on spiritual growth in a monastery?

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