The fact of the matter is that I wanted to meet a monk. So I put my college degree-worthy research skills to use and started googling. Where do monks hang out? The temple. What do monks do? Meditate. Do monks talk to women? Rarely. Would a monk talk to me if I meditated? Maybe.Thus, I vowed to enter the world of meditation in hopes of meeting a somewhat westernized monk who might be willing to tell me a little bit about monk life and Buddhism.
Return to google: meditation retreat in Thailand with monks. Hmmm, all that seemed to pop up were ten day silent meditation retreats. Eight to ten hours a day of sitting on a hard floor, no eating past noon, no talking, daily chores, no eye contact, no running water, ten days. *gasp*
Returning to my habit of brainless decision making, I thought, "I could do that. Even though I've never meditated a day in my life and really believe its only for yogis, psychics and earth muffins (and I don't consider myself any of the above), it will be a good personal challenge and educational experience."
I had myself half convinced and was contemplating whether I should email the temple to register. I soon realized that there was a logistical issue with the dates of the retreat and the length of my Thai visa, so I wouldn't be able to attend. After a few more clicks on google, I found a fellow travel blog commenting on a four day meditation retreat she had attended in the north of Thailand. Perfect! I was headed north, the dates fit well with my visa and it seemed a little more realistic than ten days of silence.
Little did I know at the time, I would look back on the experience eternally grateful for my visa stars and ten day retreat stars not aligning. I was about to begin the longest four days of my life...the quest to tame what my monk instructor would later call the monkey mind.