The trip begins in Chiang Mai on the evening of Sunday, January 22th. The trip ends in Bangkok on Sunday evening, February 12th. The last night of lodging that the trip covers is Saturday night, February 11th / Sunday morning February 12th. If you want to leave directly after the trip, we recommend you leave on Monday the 13th, though as always, we recommend further study or travel if you can make it happen, even if it’s only for a few extra days or a week.
Weeks One & Two – January 22 to February 3
On Monday, students will go to the Chiang Mai Gate Market, the largest food market in northern Thailand to pick up offerings for our first week with Pichest. We will eat breakfast at the market and get incense, candles, flowers, and fruit for the offerings. Then we will get on a yellow Songtao (pick up truck converted into a bus), and head to Pichest’s house. Paul Fowler began studying with Pichest in 1999 and has gone many times to learn more and more. Pichest is a teacher who will give you a lot to think about. That is why Paul keeps going back.
If you are open to being challenged in your practice and in your ego, then Pichest is for you! However, we don’t want to give the wrong impression. He is a truly loving and compassionate man who is one of the few who, from our perspective, honestly lives the dharma. He is a true teacher’s teacher. Almost all Thai massage teachers practicing today have either studied with him or with people who have studied with him. He has been the teacher to so many, including Asokananda, one of the first non-Thai person to share the practice with the world, and Chongkol Setthakorn, founder of ITM, one of the largest Thai massage schools in Thailand.
We will all be staying together at a guest house in the “old city” of Chiang Mai. Within walking distance from the guest house are amazing markets, temples, restaurants, and an endless array of bodywork and healing opportunities.
In the mornings, evenings and weekends, we will have many wonderful and unique experiences together. For more details click on over to the Itinerary page or the 2015 Thailand Adventure Blog to learn more.
Week Three – February 5-12
The second portion of our three week stay in Thailand will give students an experience of Northern Thailand and its culture unlike any other program. Our intention in the organization of this trip is to look beyond the surface level of one and two week Thai Massage study to the roots that have formed and continue to feed this multi-faceted practice.
- We will meet a number of Traditional Thai Healers working in the Lanna tradition and talk with them about their education and receive their work
- We will take a class in hot herbal compress
- We will take a class in sen (Thai meridian) lines
- We will take a trip to the mysterious Chiang Dao, a large mountain home outside of Chiang Mai. While there, we will visit a temple inside a cave, an herbal village and a sacred temple high on a hill overlooking the mountainous region
- We will do a two-day one night exploration of Buddhism and meditation at a temple outside of Chiang Mai
- We will take time to explore Chiang Mai individually, as well as to receive treatments from healers we meet as well as other masters working in Chiang Mai
- You will have the support of Paul Fowler, Director of Blue Lotus, who has been to Chiang Mai 9 times since 1999
- We will take a night train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok on Friday night, arriving in Bangkok early Saturday morning where we will see the Royal Palace, Wat Po (and get massages there), an amulet market, and Wat Arun.
- We will have our farewell dinner in Bangkok on Sunday evening on February 12.
Students will have the benefit of engagement with many Thai teachers as well as with us, embarking on a conversation that begins in the USA, deepens in Thailand, and then continues back home. Our hope is to open the door to a lifetime of questioning, experimenting, experiencing and learning that bridges two distinct, rich and complex cultures.