The Four of Clubs

Number 4 – Learn to meditate (Four of Clubs) – Friday 27th-Sunday 29th January 2017

Religion has always confused me. To be honest it has never made much sense, and although the underlying sentiment is a positive one, a quick look in the news or even in your local area will show you that the current way of religion is not working. It is not for me to dispute someone’s beliefs; I do think it is admirable for a person to have some sort of faith, it just isn’t for me. I have always had a scientific mind, and my parents and my upbringing always supported this healthy scepticism. Buddhism however is the only religion I have ever been able to associate with. It doesn’t try to force anything onto its students, it doesn’t claim any supernatural forces, and it has at its core a way of living that actually makes sense. It is built on 3 precepts – Do good things, don’t do bad things, and calm your mind. Essentially, that’s it. They don’t believe that the Buddha was some other-worldly being, he was just a normal person who, through meditation was able to reach enlightenment. One monk recently explained to me that they believe there are three states in life: happiness, suffering and calm. Happiness and suffering can’t be controlled, they are out of our control. The only thing that you can control is how you deal with what happens, through remaining calm etc. This is where meditation comes in.Read More »

The Two of Clubs – Part 3

Number 2 – Visit Thailand (Two of Clubs) – Monday 29th January

Part 3 – Pai

I understand now why Pai is recognised as the backpacker’s paradise. From the moment we stepped off the minibus, you could just feel the atmosphere: friendly, relaxed, and so laid back. Even the 1.7km walk to our accommodation was enjoyable. We had arrived pretty late from Chiang Mai, and our accommodation was outside of the centre, but the walk there was just beautiful, along country lanes with the most amazing stars shining down on us.Read More »

The Two of Clubs

Number 2 – Visit Thailand (Two of Clubs) – Friday 20th January 2017

Part 1 – Bangkok

This is going to end up being at least two parts long, as there is just so much to write about!

I’m currently sat on the night bus on my way to Chiang Mai, after a crazy few days in Bangkok. I have very mixed feelings about Thailand’s capital city; on the one hand there are some amazing sights, and some incredible temples that can incite spiritual moments, but on the other hand I was extremely surprised by how westernised and touristy it was. I guess that was be expected, being the capital city and the beginning of so many trips, owing to the large airport here, but I think with this being my first time to Asia, I was expecting something slightly different. Not necessarily a bad thing, but something to bear in mind. I also didn’t do everything in the three days here, but I did do most of the things on my list.Read More »