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Country > Thailand > Chiang Mai
Date > 2021 > October
Section > Meditation

Meditation in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Meditation Series

Mantra Primer Oct 20, 2021

Mantra Primer

Location Google Map: Nawa Saraan Healing Space, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Rediscovering Mantra
While I was researching on pranayama, I stumbled upon Sadhguru making a few statements about mantra that got my attention. Even though I've been chanting mantras with my meditation practice, I haven't really done much research on it. But now it excites me. Time to do more research and see how I can go deeper in my meditation through mantra.

Mantra Primer
chanting a mantra shuts-out the outside world and focuses within

What is Mantra?
Mantra is a sacred sound. It is also a pure sound - meaning it is not defined by words to describe it. Definitive words only confine mantra into a small box. The mantra's vibrational frequency is its own meaning.

Mantra can be used to create an atmosphere within and around you. They are evocative sounds and through their power of vibration have subtle, yet powerful and penetrating effects on the mind and body. Mantras create a vibration that moves the energy. Mantras may or may not have specific meanings but the vibrations which they create should reach every fiber of one's being.

When mantras are repeated loudly, clearly and with devotion, these mantras give the greatest possible benefits to those who utter them, either hastening the curing of an ailment, acquiring stability of mind and self-control, or dissolving tensions caused by modern living.

Awareness and Relaxation in Mantra
Awareness is an essential element of chanting mantras. Without awareness, beneficial results are reduced. Relaxation is necessary when chanting mantras. After a practice, the best method is savasana (corpse pose).

OM for the Dying
According to Sadhguru, he has witnessed terminal-case patients who brought themselves back to functionality by repeatedly chanting the mantra, OM (he did not say for how long and how frequent).

There are innumerable mantras. The sound patterns of a mantra will stimulate a certain effect on the mental and psychic nature of the individual. An excellent method of overcoming an impossible situation is to chant a mantra over and over again. A good mantra is OM / AUM, which should be chanted loudly and for as long as possible. If you do this with intensity, it has an almost incredible calming influence on the mind. It is so simple yet very effective.

Thinking vs. Feeling
A mantra turns the key that opens up a door to creation. What lies beyond that door? Honestly, I don't know. I have a vague sense of it, but to articulate in its defense? I cannot. Not yet. I speculate that opening that door through chanting mantra, lifts the veil that intellect drapes on reality. We use intelligence to create words that convey meaning to define and describe. What if you transcend this human construct and simply appreciate sound, not for the meaning we attach to it, but simply for the harmonious resonance it instills?

Worded Mantra
Mantras using actual words to describe their meaning belong to another category. Examples would be Gayatri Mantra or Sarva Mangala (video below). I believe it's the sound, meaning and intention that give power to such mantras. I simply cannot see how the sound of the individual syllables of these mantras, put together (without the meaning of their words) are the be-all and end-all of themselves.

Mantra meditation (aka Japa meditation) by the Ancient Yogis
Mantra meditation is the meditation of sound. A mantra is a combination of syllables, sounds or phrases, realized by ancient sages, which have been widely known in India for thousands of years. Most people are sadly oblivious to the power of sound, yet the ancient sages through personal experience realized that sound has incredible power to influence the mind and body as well as produce changes in the material world. The ancient yogis experimented with different combinations of sound and found that they could induce extraordinary changes within the mind - different sounds producing different effects. They called these special sounds mantras and they were handed down from generation to generation.

Mantra meditation utilizes the power of sound as a method of inducing introspection and subtle mental changes, and to evoke mental and psychic manifestations. A particular mantra is usually repeated over and over again either verbally or mentally, producing mental tranquillity, concentration and awareness of the inner processes of the mind. It is a powerful method of allowing meditational states to flower.

Mantra in Manifesting Form
Mantra is the vehicle of consciousness to manifest form (the things we see with our eyes). The mantra is the direct link with the beyond. The world we know is materialized and shaped through mantras, through sound at all levels and degrees of subtlety, generally way beyond one's usual perception of sound. (In String Theory, it is expressed that the building blocks of reality at the micro-quantum level, is a vibrating band of energy called strings. How they manifest as objects of reality is how they vibrate. This points to sound as a means of creating form. Following this logic, if we create powerful sounds through mantra, we create powerful vibrations that determine how these strings manifest as objective reality. If we put intention and gratitude into our mantra, we begin to manifest this intention. In this process, we architecture reality. We hold the power of creation through mantra.)

Receiving Mantra
Ideally, the mantra should be received directly from a guru or a person with elevated awareness, for as it says in the Kularnava Tantra,"Only the mantra which is received from the guru will release its power." If you have received a mantra through initiation in this manner, then you should use it in japa. (it is unlikely that we meet a guru anytime soon who'll be giving us a mantra, so best to rely on what's available and established out there...there are too many anyway - Aum, Kreem, Hreem, Shreem, Aim, Dum, Hum, Aum Namah Shivaya, Rama, Krishna, Durga, Aum Mani Padme Hum, etc.).

On other occasions, in a heightened state of awareness, a mantra can just flash into your mind. You don't conjure this with desire or imagination. It just happens and you'll know beyond a shadow of a doubt. Use this mantra henceforth.

In the absence of a mantra, use OM / AUM.

Types of Mantra

  1. Baikhari Japa (aka: vachika) - this is an audible mantra chanted loudly usually by a group in ashrams. Beginners, people with disturbed minds and people who are depressed, angry or agitated benefit from this. Chanting in baikhari is a good start even for an experienced devotee. This transitions the mind into a calmer state before more subtle chanting follows. An example of this mantra is the maha mantra, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama Hare Hare, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
  2. Upanshu Japa - this mantra is usually chanted with lips moving but only audible to self. Practitioners of upanshu are usually those who chant for long periods of time - 10-12 hours/day for a number of days. This is more advanced than baikhari. (this is the mantra chanting I do - soft enough not to disturb anyone, but enough to create the physical vibration I could resonate with.)
  3. Manasik Japa - this silent mantra is chanted inside the head when the mind is calm. This type of chanting is the most subtle and suitable for exploring the deeper realms of the mind. When the mind wanders too much, it's a good idea to shift into baikhari until the mind calms down, then shift back to manasik. (I've done this before, but I don't experience the physical vibration of the sound and focus drifts away. It felt incomplete to me.)

To fortify a mantra practice, some yogis subscribe to anushthana - a vow to finish the mantra within a time frame or within a specified number of repetitions. This could be chanting a mantra 11 hours/day for one month, or perhaps repeating a mantra 108 times daily. This vow commits you in continuing the practice - important, because the enthusiasm wavers over time. This also helps in hardening the resolve of the mind.

Guidelines (Dos and Donts)

  1. when chanting, sit facing north or east
  2. pronounce the words right. A story goes that an American woman recited Gayatri Mantra with wrong pronunciation. She lost her voice and took 10 years to gain it back. In mantra, the sound is important - not your definition or meaning to that sound.
  3. when the mind wanders, don't fight it. Just remain a witness, observing that thought without being engaged by it. The thought will eventually lose traction and go away, in full compliance to the law of impermanence.
  4. when the mind wanders, shift the chant into baikhari...verbal and audible. Then shift to upanshu and then to manasik...becoming more subtle.
  5. if you have a private mantra, never disclose this to anyone
  6. chant your mantra whenever there is free time...while waiting for a webpage to download, waiting for a bus, etc. This also develops awareness and being present.

A Mantra is Personal
Every person has to experience the power and meaning of the mantra for himself - it cannot be communicated or taught to him by anyone else. A person's experience of a mantra is always unique as the individual himself. For this to happen, the person has to reverberate with the vibrational frequency of the mantra itself until the mantra and the person can no longer be discerned - the mantra is fused within the person, they both become one.

Mantra and the Divine
Mantra is shakti (power). It is a direct link to the divine. Therefore, when chanting mantra, feel the personal connection to your divine essence. Fill your heart with love and let it welling-up of feeling expand. At some point, the heart will spontaneously chant the mantra. You don't need to chant the mantra - the mantra chants itself.

Chanting OM
OM is a pure sound...a mantra. Its meaning and definition is already present in its vibrational frequency as you chant it. It's one of the most powerful sounds that ever existed. It is the only sound you can utter without using your tongue. Terminally ill patients who have already been refused by hospitals have regained their full functionality and lived a full life by taking refuge in OM.

OM is chanted into 3 but linked sounds - A-U-M.

A is chanted from the Manipuraka Chakra (navel). Feel it reverberate there and expand throughout the body. As you chant the A, slowly round your mouth and you begin to chant the U. Feel the U in your Anahata Chakra (heart) and resonate with it. Lift your focus up to your Vishudhi Chakra (throat) as you slowly close your mouth, chanting the M. Feel the vibration of the M spread inside your head.

The 60-Minute Class

  1. introduction -
  2. warm-up - surya namaskars + squat variations
  3. OM chanting

    1. "A" with slightly parted lips, seven times while feeling the reverberation throughout the body emanating from the navel
    2. "U" with rounded lips, seven times while feeling the reverberation throughout the body emanating from the heart
    3. "M" with lips together, seven times while feeling the reverberation throughout the body emanating from the head
  4. Mantra and Chakra - The 7 major chakras have their own mantras. While doing pranayama, focus on these chakras. On the inhale, visualize the energy being funneled to the chakra. Hold for 1 count. On the exhale, chant the mantra and feel the reverberation of the chakra. Meditating on the chakras activates their energy and restores the body to optimum functionality.

    1. LAM - for the Muladhara Chakra
    2. VAM - Svadhisthana Chakra
    3. RAM - for the Manipuraka Chakra
    4. YAM - for the Anahata Chakra
    5. HAM - for the Visuddhi Chakra
    6. OM - for the Ajna Chakra and the Sahasrara Chakra

Ending Thoughts
Mantra is pure sound and sound is powerful. You can talk to a tree or bird, and they won't understand you. But chant a mantra, sing a melodic song, give it intention, and tests have proven that animate beings respond to it. Sound is not to be discounted - it has influence on everything. With mantra, you bridge the chasm between the fictitious reality we make, and the construent essence of reality.

By reverberating with the sound, the body is relaxed, the mind is stilled, and the emotion is soothed. Through repeated practice, this dissolves the physical solidity of the body until subtle vibrations are felt, until unseen lights are visible and silent sounds are heard.

Abstract? Of course, it is. This is not reality as we perceive it. But then again, reality has many layers to it. A good example would be the electromagnetic spectrum (the entire range of light that exists). Our visual perception only allows us to see the visible white light (which is a collective of all the colors we see, as diffracted through a prism). We think that is the sum total of our reality. But within the electromagnetic spectrum, white light is a mere section. Before that are low-frequency waves - radio waves, microwaves and infra-red. Higher frequencies beyond the white light are ultraviolet rays, x-rays and gamma rays. We just don't see them so we normally think they never existed until we found ways to detect and measure them.

With this realization of how powerful sounds are, I can no longer unhear and be moved by nature's own mantra - the rustling of the leaves, the deafening roar of a thunderclap, the shattering sound of lightning, the sound of a waterfall hitting a plunge pool, etc. Glorious sound is everywhere, serenading us...if only we stop for a moment and listen.

--- Gigit (TheLoneRider)
YOGA by Gigit Yoga by Gigit | Learn English Learn English | Travel like a Nomad Nomad Travel Buddy | Donation Bank Donation Bank for TheLoneRider


  1. Yoga Makaranda 1 by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
  2. Yoga Makaranda II by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya
  3. Yoga and Kriya: A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
  4. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Leave a comment?

Reader Comments:

(Oct 27, 2021) It's necessary in mantras to feel the vibration to get the benefits?

(Oct 27, 2021) No, it's not a must. The yoga books don't say so. It's my own hack on mantra chanting based on my Vipassana Meditation practice. In Vipassana, you come to a point where the gross solidity of your body is not longer felt. You only feel a mass of vibrations arising and passing away. By reverberating with the vibrational frequency of the mantra, I'm deconstructing my physical solidity - not unlike the biblical walls of Jericho crumbling down with the power of sound.

Blogs about Mantra

  • Mantra Primer Oct 29, 2021
  • Nada Meditation (perceiving the Inner Sound) Jan 17, 2021

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    Chiang Mai INFORMATION

    Chiang Mai Map
    Google Map

    Chiang Mai, Thailand

    important places in Chiang Mai IMPORTANT PLACES
    Chiang Mai Bus Station Bus Station
    Chiang Mai Train Station Train Station
    Chiang Mai airport Chiang Mai International Airport
    Nong Buak Hard Park Nong Buak Hard Park - free yoga classes daily

    hotels in Chiang Mai HOTEL
    Chiang Mai Arun Dara Villa Arun Dara Villa - 7 exclusive rooms, 1 swimming pool for every room, grand opening
    Chiang Mai Nawa Sheeva Hotel Nawa Sheeva Hotel - big rooms, high ceiling, salt-water pool, restaurant, cafe
    Chiang Mai Nawa Saraan Hotel Nawa Saraan Hotel - low density (4 spacious rooms), stone garden setting, Koi fish pond, Old City location
    Arun Suite, Chiang Mai Arun Suite - 3 bedrooms in a 3-storie guesthouse within Old City, ideal for families

    birds nest restaurants in Chiang Mai RESTAURANT
    La Pizza Chiang Mai La Pizza Chiang Mai - Italian pizza, pasta, wine, dessert, coffee
    Chiang Mai birds nest restaurant Natural Bird Nest by Burapa - authentic bird's nest soup

    Thai massage in Chiang Mai WELLNESS
    ITM – International Training Massage School ITM - International Training Massage School - Chiang Mai's most prestigious massage school
    Float Chiang Mai Float Chiang Mai - sensory deprivation float pod
    Chiang Mai, Royal Thai Lanna Massage Zira Spa - upscale authentic Thai massage and spa treatment

    motorcycle rental in Chiang Mai MOTORBIKE RENTAL
    Chiang Mai birds nest motorcycle Tawan Bike - motorcycle rental | +66 91 635 2863 | Si Phum, Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai 50200

    Chiang Mai FYI / Tips
    • crop-burning season in Chiang Mai is between late Feb to early April. But laws change everytime. This year, 2019, there is a 61-day ban on burning so the farmers started burning early. When my plane was approaching Chiang Mai on Jan 24, 2019, there was already a thick blanket of smog covering the entire city (and beyond). But within the city itself, you won't feel it (but that doesn't mean the air is healthy). To monitor air conditions in real time, refer to site: Chiang Mai Air Pollution: Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI)
    • hot season begins March and lasts until June
    • wet season begins July and lasts until September
    • best time to visit Chiang Mai is mid-September to mid-February - after the monsoon and before the burning
    • you have to try Khao Soi, this is north Thailand's culinary staple
    • the tourist area where most of the hotels, restaurants, ticket offices, tour operators are, is located in the Old City
    • to exchange your dollars to Thai Baht, the Super Rich Money Exchange give the best rates. There are many branches scattered around Chiang Mai
    • get a red cab (songthao) outside the train station for Baht 50 (instead of paying B100 if inside the train station) to Old City - if you haggle nicely enough...I did!
    • shared red taxi (songthao) - B30 standard fare plying all over Old City
    • for only B50/day, best to rent a bike to go around the Old City - it's a 2.5km2 with lots to discover
    • FREE daily yoga classes from 9:00am to 10:15am at Nong Buak Hard Park (southwest corner of Old City). Resident and passing-through teachers take turns conducting yoga classes.
    Blues/Jazz Bars in Chiang Mai
    1. North Gate Jazz Coop - at Chang Phueg Gate, great Tuesday jam session, Blues on Sundays at 11pm by the Chiang Mai Blues band
    2. Boy Blues Bar - at the Night Bazaar. Mondays at 9:30pm is open mic
    3. My Secret Cafe - near Wat Phra Singh. Tuesdays at 7:30pm for the changing front-act and 9:00pm for the Panic Band
    4. Taphae East - 88 Thapae Rd. (just north of Night Bazaar). Fridays at 9:30pm by Chiang Mai Blues Band
    Chiang Mai Cost Index
    • B60 Chiang beer
    • B250 1 hour drop-in yoga session
    • B200 one hour Thai body massage at WAYA Massage (highly recommended)
    • B50 noodle soup with meat
    • B50 coffee
    • B40 pad thai
    • B30/kilo wash-only laundry
    • B50/kilo wash+iron laundry
    • B100-150 dorm bed/night
    • B250 fan room/night
    • B30 internet cafe/hour
    • B170-190 Movies Sat-Sun and public holidays
    • B130-150 Movies weekdays
    • B100 Movies Wednesdays (movie discount day)
    • B750 1/2 day Thai cooking lessons
    • B900-1000 1 full day Thai cooking lessons
    • B400 Muay Thai boxing ticket
    • B2500 starting room rate at the luxury hotel, Nawa Sheeva (highly recommended)

    • Transportation
    • B450 bus, Chiang Mai to Bangkok
    • B160-180 bus, Chiang Mai to Pai
    • B1250 bus, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
    • B1650 slow boat, Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang
    • B210 bus, Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai, 3-4 hours
    • B360 Green VIP bus, Chiang Mai to Mae Sai (Thai border town for visa run to Tachileik, Myanmar)
    • B50 bicycle rental, 24 hours
    • B200 motorbike rental, 24 hours
    • B273 #51 sleeping train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
    • B638 #7 a/c train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai
    • B50 red taxi fare from point to point
    • B100 red taxi fare from train terminal to city

    • Tours
    • B2000 full day elephant sanctuary
    • B750 Chiang Rai one-day tour
    • B1500 mountain biking scenic ride
    Chiang Mai Trains by
    1. Chiang Mai trains for Bangkok - 2 day trains, 3 night trains, daily schedule
    2. Train 14 to Bangkok - departs 5pm daily, arrives BKK 6:15am, 1st class and 2nd class sleeping accomodation, Special Express
    3. Chiang Mai trains to other destinations -
    Chiang Mai to Bangkok Trains source:
    1. Check Train Schedule & Fares
    2. Book Online - direct booking with State Railway of Thailand. Best to register first. If going to BKK from CNX, click "Northern Line".

      note -- big difference between booking direct with the State Railway and booking with an online 3rd party agent. 12GO was charging B1330 for the same trip that only cost me B941 with the State Railway.

      note -- Oct 2022, I took the #10 Train from CNX to BKK, upper berth, 2nd class, a/c, sleeper, B941. The train was clean, fast, comfortable and modern. If you have heavy luggage that will cost more money in flight checkin, I would suggest this train. Otherwise, the flight now is so much cheaper it doesn't even make sense to take the bus or train.
    Bangkok to Chiang Mai by Train from Bang Sue Train Station

    For more train info: Bangkok to Chiang Mai trains - departing from Hua Lamphong - MRT (Bangkok)

    (I'm using Bang Sue as a starting point because I was closer to it, but you may be closer to the Hua Lamphong station)

    1. take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #1 Exit to the north provincial trains
    2. Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
    3. daily train schedule:
      • 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
      • 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
      • 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
      • 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
      • 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
    Loei to Chiang Mai by Bus
    1. From Loei town center, take a tuk-tuk ride to the bus station, B30. There is only one bus station.
    2. As of June 28, 2020 (still on Covid schedule), there are only 3 night trips: 8:30pm, 9:30pm and 12 midnight. 9 hours, B470.
    3. The bus makes the following stops at the following times from a 9pm Loei departure: Phu Ruea (9:50pm), Phitsanulok (12:40am), Uttradit (2:20am), Lampang (4:35am)
    4. Final bus stop is at the Red Bus Arcade, Chiang Mai, 9 hour-trip, arriving 6am (from 9pm Loei departure).
    5. Take a red songthaew to Old City, B50. They'll try to charge you B100, but they'll take B50 (just assure the driver you won't tell the other passengers).
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    115. Pranayama Basics II Jun 16, 2021
    116. 36-Hour Love Life Jun 11, 2021
    117. Pranayama Basics I Jun 9, 2021
    118. Biohackers Meetup in Chiang Mai Jun 6, 2021
    119. Learning How to Breathe Jun 2, 2021
    120. Not the Usual Day-to-Day Life May 31, 2021
    121. Morphing Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 31, 2021
    122. Breathwork & Ice Bath with Jason Ryer of Zen Strength May 23, 2021
    123. It's Raining Bell Peppers May 7, 2021
    124. Yoga Classes with Nana Apr 20, 2021
    125. You Want to be Wonder Woman? Apr 8, 2021
    126. Kunjal Kriya / Vamana Dhauti (induced vomiting) Apr 1, 2021
    127. Coffeemates, Breadmates and Yogamates in Chiang Mai Jan-Mar 2021
    128. Varisara Dhauti (cleansing of the entire digestive tract) Mar 26, 2021
    129. Spiritual Backpacker Interview by Napasorn 'Cherry' Suvarnapradip Mar 23, 2021
    130. Private One-on-One Yoga Classes with Doriana Feb 17 - Mar 14, 2021
    131. Transformational Life Events Mar 13, 2021
    132. Guess Who's Coming to Bread Day? Mar 1, 2021
    133. Mula Shodhana (anal cleansing) Feb 27, 2021
    134. Are You My Queen? Feb 25, 2021
    135. Breaking the 5-Minute Breath-hold Barrier Feb 25, 2021
    136. Kirtan with Chiang Mai's Khun Thai Seekers Feb 7, 2021
    137. Breaking the 4-minute Breath-hold Feb 7, 2021
    138. Pranayama Primer Feb 2, 2021
    139. Heartbreak in every Song Jan 24, 2021
    140. The Silent Killer is Baaack! Jan 12, 2021
    141. Learning the Thai Language Jan 9, 2021
    142. 2020: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2020
    143. Reversing/Slowing Down the Aging Process Dec 30, 2020
    144. Hike to Huay Keaw Waterfall Dec 20, 2020
    145. Yoga Mat Dec 19, 2020
    146. Hiking to Wat Pha Lat along the Monk's Trail Dec 19, 2020
    147. Am I Psycho? Dec 9, 2020
    148. Muffin Man Dec 8, 2020
    149. Polyamory Dec 4, 2020
    150. The Wim Hof Ice Bath Dec 3, 2020
    151. RSVP Nov 25, 2020
    152. High Intensity Interval Yoga (Yoga + HIIT) Nov 14, 2020
    153. Cleansing the Nadis (Energy Pathway) Nov 13, 2020
    154. Yoga for a 360-degree Core Nov 6, 2020
    155. Edward Witten: 'the smartest living physicist' Nov 4, 2020
    156. Srinivasa Ramanujan: Mathematician of the Divine Oct 27, 2020
    157. Bashar as Channeled by Darryl Anka Oct 26, 2020
    158. Vinyasa Krama and Ashtanga Yoga with Aida Yoga Oct 18, 2020
    159. Deepak Chopra: author, lecturer, healer Oct 12, 2020
    160. Facebook Friends Oct 1, 2020
    161. Chiang Mai Peoplescape Aug-Sep 2020 Sep 30, 2020
    162. Siddhis (yogic super powers) Sep 30, 2020
    163. Learning the Import/Export Trade Sep 4, 2020
    164. Music and Magic at Justin's Birthday Bash Sep 3, 2020
    165. Biggest Stone in his Shoe Sep 1, 2020
    166. Abandoned Aug 25, 2020
    167. Intelligent Romantic Break-up Aug 25, 2020
    168. Dad-Zoned Aug 18, 2020
    169. Public Display of Affection Aug 9, 2020
    170. Gabriella's Birthday Bash at Mothership Resort Aug 8-9, 2020
    171. Shifting Peoplescape of Chiang Mai July 31, 2020
    172. Yoga Class for Strength and Muscle Jul 30, 2020
    173. Yoga Class for Optimum Digestion July 29, 2020
    174. Yoga Class for Healthy Eyes Jul 27, 2020
    175. Hippie Night at Nawa Saraan Healing Space July 24, 2020
    176. The Podcast Series: Alan "Heart Math" Strydom Jul 17, 2020
    177. Prana Vayu Adhitthana Yoga Class July 11-12, 2020
    178. Coming Back to Chiang Mai Jun 29, 2020
    179. Goodbye Chiang Mai Jan 23, 2020
    180. Prasnopanishad: Understanding Prana Jan 17, 2020
    181. Hiking the Monk's Trail Jan 15, 2020
    182. Chaturanga Jan 10, 2020
    183. You Spooned Me Jan 3, 2020
    184. 2019: A Year in Review Dec 31, 2019
    185. Friends, Coffeemates and Breadmates (Dec 2019) Dec 31, 2019
    186. Visiting Mae Sot Dec 27-30, 2019
    187. Let's Make it About You - an Epiphany Dec 17, 2019
    188. Shut-Up! Dec 7, 2019
    189. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree Dec 3, 2019
    190. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Nov 2019) Nov 30, 2019
    191. Bhujangini Mudra Nov 25, 2019
    192. Mathangini Mudra Nov 24, 2019
    193. Kaka Mudra Nov 23, 2019
    194. Pasini Mudra Nov 20, 2019
    195. Aswini Mudra Nov 18, 2019
    196. Sambhavi Mudra Nov 16, 2019
    197. Manduka Mudra Nov 15, 2019
    198. Tataka Mudra Nov 14, 2019
    199. Sakti Calana Mudra Nov 10, 2019
    200. Vajroli Mudra Nov 9, 2019
    201. Coffeemates and Breadmates (Oct 2019) Oct to Nov 5, 2019
    202. Yoni Mudra Nov 1, 2019
    203. Viparita Karani Mudra Oct 31, 2019
    204. Khecari Mudra Oct 30, 2019
    205. Mahadeva Mudra Oct 28, 2019
    206. Sacred Cacao - Chakra Dance Journey Oct 26, 2019
    207. Partner Healing with Natascha Oct 24, 2019
    208. Maha Bandha Mudra Oct 24, 2019
    209. Point-Of-Failure Birthday Workout Oct 22, 2019
    210. Mula Bandha Mudra Oct 21, 2019
    211. Hugfest at Thapae Gate, Chiang Mai Oct 19, 2019
    212. Anushasan Mudra Oct 18, 2019
    213. Ling Mudra Oct 17, 2019
    214. Jalandhara Bandha Mudra Oct 15, 2019
    215. Learning Thai with Cee Oct 13, 2019
    216. Uddiyana Bandha Mudra Oct 10, 2019
    217. Nabho Mudra Oct 9, 2019
    218. Maha Mudra Oct 7, 2019
    219. 20 Essential Mudras by T. Krishnamacharya Oct. 6, 2019
    220. Mindfulness Gong Bath by Vee (Veerayuth Pongsiri) Oct 3, 2019
    221. Cuddle Party by Abundant Love CM Oct 1, 2019
    222. Vayu Mudra Oct 1, 2019
    223. Visa-Run to Tachileik, Myanmar Sep 28, 2019
    224. Sankalpa Mudra Sep 27, 2019
    225. Surya Pradarshini Mudra Sep 26, 2019
    226. Eye-Gazing at Heart Space Sep 20, 2019
    227. Prana Vayu (Pranic Wind) Sep 20, 2019
    228. 2-Week Yoga Challenge by Agnese Erba Sep 17, 2019
    229. The Mudra Project Sep 13, 2019
    230. Sunday Vinyasa Flow with Marina Forster Sep 8, 2019
    231. Shamanic Breathwork by Rachel Constantino Sep 4, 2019
    232. The Conscious Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Aug 31, 2019
    233. Of Winos and Yogis Aug 26, 2019
    234. The 9 Jhanas of Buddha Aug 22, 2019
    235. Wicked Game: Anger and Pain August 19, 2019
    236. Full Moon Ceremony at Heart Space Aug 15, 2019
    237. Yin Yoga - Water Element by Martina Barabas Aug 15, 2019
    238. Hatha Mix Yoga with Christin Aug 13, 2019
    239. Boy Blues Bar Rocks Chiang Mai Aug 5, 2019
    240. Back to my Beloved Chiang Mai Aug 1, 2019
    241. Kaleidoscope of Chiang Mai's Peoplescape July 27, 2019
    242. Secret Sunrise: Nelson Mandela International Day July 17, 2019
    243. Farewell Picnic with Alan and Nicola July 15, 2019
    244. Secret Sunrise: Water July 3, 2019
    245. Hotel Review: Arun Suite June 27, 2019
    246. Bruce Lipton: Epigentics to Transcend Genes June 24, 2019
    247. Optimizing Life thru Heart Math May 8, 15 and 22, 2019
    248. Connective Cacao and Sound Journey June 12, 2019
    249. Chiangmai BLUES June 6, 2019
    250. Hatha Slow Flow with Neil Jefferson June 3, 2019
    251. Meditating with One Million Meditators Movement June 1, 2019
    252. Vinyasa Happy Flow Series by Vaida May 31, 2019
    253. Muay Thai at the Chiang Mai Boxing Stadium May 30, 2019
    254. Yoga Flow Through the 7 Chakras by Sabrina Pilz May 30, 2019
    255. The Outsiders (people you need to push out of your sacred circle) May 31, 2019
    256. Fascinating Peoplescape of Chiang Mai May 22, 2019
    257. World Meditation Day at Heart Space May 21, 2019
    258. Abs Yoga by Gigit May 12, 2019
    259. Kundalini and Vinyasa Yoga with Nicola Symons May 10, 2019
    260. Secret Sunrise Interactive Dance May 9, 2019
    261. Tok Sen Massage from Ying May 8, 2019
    262. Bruschetta: Nawa Saraan Style Apr 22, 2019
    263. Thai Cooking at Pra Nang Thai Cookery School Apr 20, 2019
    264. Bonding with the Elephants in Chiang Mai Apr 11, 2019
    265. Ziplining in Chiang Mai with Eagle Track Zipline Apr 10, 2019
    266. Getting Thai Massage from Chiang Mai's Best (Lar Thanakrit Khamtanong) Mar 21, 2019
    267. Being the Soul of Nawa Saraan Hotel Mar 18, 2019
    268. Peoplescape of Chiang Mai Jan 24 - Mar 13, 2019
    269. Curing Cancer with Yoga? Feb 21, 2019
    270. International Training Massage School (ITM): Level 1 Feb 11-15, 2019
    271. Sandesch Album Launch by Christoph Joerg Feb 13, 2019
    272. Meditation in a Sensory Deprivation Tank at Float Chiang Mai Jan 29, 2019
    273. Reiki Share at the Mastermind Brain Spa Jan 26, 2019
    274. Resuming Life in Chiang Mai Jan 24, 2019
    275. 4 Days in Chiang Mai at Nawa Saraan Hotel Jan 2-6, 2019
    276. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
    277. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
    278. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
    279. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
    280. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
    281. Laughter Yoga with Saffiya Arnous July 31, 2018
    282. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
    283. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
    284. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
    285. Chiang Mai's Amazing Peoplescape Apr 9-23, 2016
    286. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
    287. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
    288. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Bangkok (Thailand) to Chiang Mai April 9-10, 2016

    Travel Tips for Thailand

    How to Get a 60-Day Thai Tourist Visa and then Extend by another 30 Days

    This process is BEFORE Covid 19. Not sure what it is now.

      60-Day Thai Tourist Visa

      NOTE: There is no need to go back to your country to get the Thai tourist visa. Any major city with a Thai Embassy will do. Apparently there is also no need to have an invitation from a Thai establishment to justify the visa.

    1. Bring the following to the Thai embassy:
      a) proof of money (bank statement will suffice)
      b) flight booking to Thailand
      c) onward flight back to your country from Thailand
      d) filled-in tourist visa form
      e) 2 passport pictures
      f) hotel booking in Thailand (they didn't ask me for this but better be safe)
      g) passport with at least 6 months validity
    2. After handing over all the documents, they will ask you to come pick your passport with the visa the following day from 4 to 5pm. That's it!
    3. NOTE: after 2 successful attempts, I was already questioned the 3rd time.

      30-Day Extension

      NOTE: When your 60-day visa is close to expiry and you want to extend your stay. No need to leave Thailand.

    1. bring the following to the Immigration Office:
      a) passport (make sure your Tourist Visa hasn't expired yet)
      b) Baht 1900
      c) photocopy of your passport + visa duration date stamp + TM6 card (white immigration card) and sign all the copies
      d) completed TM7 visa extension form (available at the Immigration Office)
      e) one 4cmx6cm passport picture
    2. submit the above to the Front Desk. They will give you a stub with your number on it. Take a seat and wait for your number to be called
    3. when your number is called, your picture will be taken. Then go back to your seat. They will call you again.
    4. when they call you again, they'll give you your passport with your extended visa. That's it!
    5. when there are no lines, the whole process can take only 10 minutes
    Book Train Tickets in Thailand

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    General Travel Tips
    1. arrive early - in case there is a snag (visa snag, documentation snag, transport ticket snag, etc.), you will have ample time to troubleshoot the problem if you arrive early (to the airport, to the bus terminal, etc.)
    2. put detailed itinerary on the Calendar apps of your smart-phone according to timelines - this is where you do all your thinking and planning. Once written down, you don't have to think anymore while you are on the just follow the steps. This frees your mind for something else that might happen while you are already en route
    3. avoiding scams - as a general rule, I ignore the touts or anyone I don't know who call out to me. The calling comes in many forms - "Hi! Where are you from?", "Excuse me! Excuse me!", "Where are you going?". I don't look them in the eye and I remain non-verbal with them. If you reply to them, you just gave them an 'in' to hound you. In order not to look rude, I smile and wave the 'not interested' hand to them, without looking at them.
    4. power bank - hand-carry your power bank. Do not check it in. You can be called in when you are already inside the plane to go all the way to the loading dock so you can personally remove the power bank...and chances are, you'll have to surrender it to them. And you might delay the plane departure!
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