Golden Silence

Golden Buddha Chiang Mai, Thailand

Under the watchfulness of Buddha the mind finds rest…

I leave my Chiang Mai guesthouse early morning and walk up the road towards a temple compound. On the way there, I spy a pigeon enjoying the rice offerings placed before a shrine at a hotel courtyard.

Pigeon Enjoying Offerings

The road ends at Wat Phra Singh, a temple dating back to 1345, when King Phayu 5 had a chedi built (a conical-shaped Buddhist monument) to house his father’s ashes.

White Stupa

Chiang Mai vicinity has over 300 temples – but each time I visit, I return to this temple on Singarat Road, attracted by its tranquil atmosphere. I arrive to hear monks chanting from within one of the ornately decorated buildings. Their droning sound is a magnet that stills the mind.  As I walk around the temple compound I see an elderly monk sitting on a verandah. His presence is saturated in silence.

Young Monk in the Morning Light

People come and go from inside a temple building where I later sit on the floor leaning against a gold and red-painted pillar. Cameras click, visitors chat, a tour-guide speaks in Chinese. One of his group purchases offerings and returns to the temple alone, bowing before the three golden Buddha statues that dominate the large hall.

There is a gentleness in the Thai people likely cultivated over generations from their enduring Buddhist culture. Their temples are open for everyone, and the peace that resonates from within many of their compound walls is a reminder that peace is …

… what we are …

Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace


You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of  your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection

– Buddha –


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1 Response to Golden Silence

  1. Jayashri Fairclough says:


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