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Living Well
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Living Well
PHOTOS BY: Alvin Toh
Living Well 03. April 2017, Photos by Alvin Toh
The Thai word for wellness is sukkapap dee, which also means good health. Hpaper discovers a lesser-known side to Pattaya that may come as even a surprise to its most frequent visitors.

Pattaya. Brash, bold, and boisterous. Its Walking Street, perhaps as infamous as it is famous, draws tourists from all over the world. Seafood restaurants, live music bars, and nightclubs line both sides of the street, under the glare ofbright, colourful neon lights. But Pattaya is not just a party town. Thai hospitality and spirituality permeate its culture, food, and daily life. Whether it’s the art of meditation, yoga, or Muay Thai, wellness is a key aspect of Thai living. To the locals, wellness is good health.

As we learn from visits to a natural remedy therapy course at a local temple, wellness is a state of mind. More precisely, being able to focus and still the mind, to enable it to affect other aspects of being. The mind is a seed, a tool, a beast—seeking to be nurtured, moulded, and tamed.

Dr. Suttiwat Kampa, a guru who leads the natural remedy therapy course, believes that meditation helps to focus the mind on the present.
Health assessments and natural remedies help bring the body and mind back to wellness.
Health assessments and natural remedies help bring the body and mind back to wellness
Health assessments and natural remedies help bring the body and mind back to wellness.

Dr. Suttiwat Kampa, a guru who leads the natural remedy therapy course at the temple, explains, “There are four aspectsto wellness. Karma, mood and emotions, the flow of energy, and diet. To achieve wellness, we have to watch for all of the four aspects. Good living is about consciousness, using the mind to think the right way. That’s where the usefulness of meditation comes in. In meditating, we focus the mind by concentrating on the present.” Through meditation, we understand the nature of the mind, maintain peace, and perhaps discover the secret to spiritual wellness and happiness.

Natural Remedy Therapy Course

About 30 kilometres from Hard Rock Hotel Pattaya lies Wat Khao Phuttakodom, a Buddhist temple known for its natural remedy therapy course. The surrounds are tranquil and lush, and its gentle undulating grounds make for a great afternoon to simply wander around.

The atmospheric temple conducts free courses that teaches attendees the fundamentals of meditation and living well. The courses range from three to 10 days, during which attendees reside within the temple complex, and are popular with locals from all around Thailand.

Pakakrong, who has been a nun for 15 years, says that the retreats help bring awareness and concentration to her mind.
Attendees getting an introduction to the course.
Residing within the temple complex, attendees pray, meditate, and attend lectures on natural remedy throughout the day.

Attendees wake up at 4am every day, and start the morning with walking meditation. The course of the day then runs with prayer, chanting, a vegetarian breakfast, lectures on natural remedy, and lunch, which is the last meal for the day. Later in the afternoon, the guru heading the course would give a health assessment and recommend various natural remedies to bring the body and mind back to wellness. The day finally ends at 9pm, when attendees retire to bed.

The attendees come from various backgrounds, from everyday people to monks. And as one soon notices, everyone comes here for a reason. Pakakrong, who has been a nun for 15 years, is a picture of serenity and calmness. She appreciates these retreats for the awareness and concentration they bring to her mind.“We should always try to be conscious of our thoughts, to focus the mind on the present. For example, when you’re sitting, observe how you are seated. Focus on your body, your breath, or simply chant. With a strong mind, we are better able to control our thoughts,” she says.

Looking at the faces of those who were there, there was indeed a certain lightness. Many have come for answers, and many will no doubt leave with a semblance of one.

Enquires about the natural remedy therapy course can be made at
+66 3877 2944,+66 3877 2132 and +66 3831 2608.

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