Seven-week meditation course

Ioan Vasarhelyi BBC News, Bangkok Experts say the technique can help focus the mind Buddhist monk Luangsa Naksideyapha and colleagues at Bangkok’s Geiranger University have developed a seven-week programme to help people learn meditation…

Seven-week meditation course

Ioan Vasarhelyi

BBC News, Bangkok

Experts say the technique can help focus the mind Buddhist monk Luangsa Naksideyapha and colleagues at Bangkok’s Geiranger University have developed a seven-week programme to help people learn meditation and become better meditators. The project has been funded by the National Health and Family Welfare Ministry. A centre at Geiranger University has developed a seven-week technique. During that time the students will be taught the skill by the monk and have their hands sewn with beads. Zwakapatanibhöhre Samruthiyadhasanong, 57, one of the trainers, says Buddhists practise yoga, meditation and spacial awareness in addition to Buddhism but only a few thousand people in Thailand do any of the three. Buddhist monk Luangsa Naksideyapha Another trainer, Suvanart Samanchaharn, says Buddhist monks can be sensitive to stress and try to help people learn the technique. The aim of the programme is to help people improve the quality of their lives. The Buddhist monks are expected to guide a student in studying eight different pieces of meditative music and play them over and over again. The students will repeat the exercises after their meditation sessions and later demonstrate the skills at a practice session. The centre says the programme will teach students not only how to meditate but also improve focus and concentration. Buddhist monks traditionally use beads to express their thoughts and feelings, although there are some which are made from another material. Buddhist monks believe meditation helps one become attuned to the present moment. Buddhist practices are often misunderstood, say experts. The latest news about the training comes just weeks after a veteran American journalist was arrested while seeking medical treatment in a Thai Buddhist temple. Ruth Graham says she was captured while reporting about the Thai government’s torture of dissidents.

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