After 3 months of intensive study in Chiang Mai, Thailand, I have just arrived back in Tokyo to cold and rainy weather.
My time in Thailand was very valuable and full of life-changing experiences. The first course I undertook was my Reiki Master degree followed by my Reiki Teacher qualification. I studied with Cory Croymans at the Asian Healing Arts Centre in ChiangMai. I studied there for almost 3 weeks and the classes were interspersed with voluntary Reiki sessions at some of the hospitals and institutions around Chiang Mai. It was a great experience and the energy was very strong. I was able to practice giving attunements to various Reiki practitioners living in and around ChiangMai.
Following the Reiki course I headed down south to Wat Suan Mokkh, near Surat Thani, to take part in their monthly 10 day silent meditation retreat which started on January 1st 2010. It was my second retreat at Wat Suan Mokkh, the first being in July 2008. It was probably the first time I have ever spent a New Year’s Eve in bed and asleep by 10pm. With a full moon party happening on nearby Koh Phangan I was very tempted to be dancing the night away on the beach under the stars however spending a New Year in silent meditation was much more rewarding. The retreat was amazing but the meditation was difficult at times. I realised that it pays to have a consistent daily meditation practice, even if only 10 minutes a day.
Following the retreat at Suan Mokkh I headed straight back to Chiang Mai to check-in at the Tao Garden. Set-up by Master Mantak Chia around 15 years ago, the Tao Garden is a complete health resort spa in a beautiful natural surrounding. I was registered for the Universal Healing Tao Winter Retreat and had been looking forward to it for about 6 months. The 4 week retreat began with the Instructor training course, followed by the basic retreat and then 2 weeks of more advanced training. I also stayed for one week of the Darkness Retreat which involved 6 days in complete darkness. I received my Universal Healing Tao Instructor certification and will soon be offering workshops in and around Tokyo. I am now certified to instruct: Inner Smile meditation, Healing Sounds, Microcosmic Orbit, Iron Shirt Chi Gong and Tao Yin Yoga.
Finally, after leaving the Tao Garden, I spent my last 2 weeks back in Chiang Mai upgrading my massage skills. I started studying with a healer in Chiang Mai, Sharam, who has an amazing gift of healing through massage. Based on traditional Thai massage his style goes deeper and is individualised for each client based on analysis of the client’s physical condition and energy balance. 2 weeks was not enough time to study and practice all of the techniques but I will be implementing what I learnt into my therapy and plan on returning to Chiang Mai for more study sometime this year.
Following are a few of the photos I took in Thailand, mostly at the Tao Garden. More images can also be seen at my photography web-site.