Continuing our aim to bring Buddhism, dhamma, mindfulness and meditation to Bangkok in English :-
Saturday 8th June

Topic: Meditation and the Body


At Ariyasom Villa, Sukhumvit Soi 1
free of charge, no reservation required

‘Cappuccino Club’ 

Eschewing the usual Dhamma Talk format, sometimes we like to meet for a more open discussion of the principles of Buddhism and meditation as they relate to ‘real’ life – how we deal as humans with the various issues of daily life.  Topics can be anything, so feel free to suggest a topic yourself. We meet for coffee, chat and gentle philosophising on what it means to bring the lofty ideas of Buddhism into practical living. 

You don’t have to be an expert in anything except staying alive – so feel free to come along and join in. Try to do the ‘homework’ (below) first though, so we have a launch point for discussion.

Topic: Meditation and the Body

These days practically every magazine is touting articles on the miracle of mindfulness, and how meditation can cure everything – from getting fewer colds to battling cancer. Usually these are generic pieces, the regurgitated padding of self help and health magazines. A typical example here, gets quickly into toss-away comments that meditation “can improve the wellbeing of people with a range of conditions including depression, anxiety, chronic pain and cancer.” This might be true, but as usual the article cites no real science.

If physical healing is what you are after, perhaps you are better pursuing body based arts such as Tai Chi, Yoga or Chi Kong, than Buddhist meditation. The Buddha himself gave very little advice regarding the body. For him meditation was all about Ultimate Enlightenment. Medicinal practises found in the scriptures are really not very helpful – monk’s are told to make do with ‘fermented urine’ as their medicine!

is Yoga, Tai Chi or a good diet better for looking after the body health?

This is why monks are so often unhealthy specimens. They are supposed to accept whatever food is given them without being choosy, oily, fatty and sweet as it is. They also are not expected to be seen doing physical exercise, other perhaps than sweeping leaves in a forest monastery.

Does Buddhism need an overhaul? Perhaps some nods to diet, exercise and body will go a long way to improving the take up of spiritual practises in the modern world, not to mention aiding meditation.

Is there a significant link between silent sitting meditation and health other than de-stressing a little bit – and lets face it, in terms of measurable stress markers such as cortisol hormone levels, 20 minutes of gentle jogging twice a day will have the most immediate and measurable impact on your body (and mind).

On the other hand, programs such as the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) have reported real some real science, such as mindfulness speeding up the healing of skin psoriasis that has been given ultra-violet light treatment.

Giving input on her experiences using meditation as a healing art will be Chi Kong teacher Morakot Piyakesin. She got deep into Chi Kong as a healing meditation form after her own bouts with cancer. She has also volunteered as a hands-on meditation consultant and counseller for some years in the Bangkok cancer wards. We will draw on her experiences and your own as meditators, yoga practitioners and people battling various health restrictions in life to discuss this topic – how it really is on the ground, not in the self-help magazines.

Morakot - Chi Kong session

Personally I met Khun Morakot a few years ago as she taught meditation in Bangkok. I always thought a body based meditation system might be better for healing and health than boot-camp mindfulness retreats, though all have their place and goals. I liked that she has based her practise on what can really be done, according to her direct experiences.

As usual, our ‘Cappuccino Club’ format is open for all opinions, and experiences. This is not a lecture of any kind, but a friendly way to come together and share some experiences and views.


Saturday 8th June
Kindly hosted by the beautiful Ariyasom Villa Boutique Hotel 

  • 12:30 – get your cappuccinos, and if you have earned some calorie credits by walking to the venue, maybe some of Ariyasom’s awesome home made desserts!
  • 1:00-3:00 Discussion (no ordering of food/drink at this time)

(For the keen, there will be time to get to Chit Lom area afterwards if you are joining the special 4-6pm session at the Shambhala Group on meditation in family life (see Calendar))


Library of Ariaysom Villa hotel and vegetarian restaurant at the end of Sukhumvit Soi 1. It is an 8 minute walk from Phrom Phong BTS, or you can take a motorcycle from the entrance to Sukhumvit Soi 1.

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