Monk for a Month is a Buddhist spiritual experience program offered by Blood Foundation with the assistance of temples in the Fang Valley region of Thailand. The purpose of this experiential learning program is to promote cultural exchange, deep understanding of the Buddhist teachings and of the monastic life in Thailand and also exposure to the socio-economic conditions of the people on the Thai-Burmese border which leads to many participants returning as volunteers and becoming goodwill ambassadors to the causes of the regional people.
The program is open for both women and men. Teaching and accommodation are provided without charge by the temples in keeping with Thai traditions and Buddhist principles however donations to the program, to the foundation and to the temple are invited. As part of the program, the participants live at the temple, study with the monks, practise meditation and Pali chanting and formally receive the time honoured precepts. One can choose from a 2, 3 or 4 week stay, with options to volunteer, home stays and tour of the region for a holistic experience.
Inspired by the success of Monk for a Month, Blood Foundation has recently launched Muslim for a Month to promote cultural sensitivity and understanding of Islam. The inaugural 9 day program, beginning Feb 13 will be held in the historic city of Istanbul in Turkey, offering insight into Islamic faith with a focus on the Sufi teachings of Rumi. Participants of this program will study Islam with well-credentialed scholars, they will experience the warmth of Turkish hospitality and get an insiders view of Istanbul.
Blood Foundation the operator of the two programs is a nonprofit organization based on the Thai-Burmese border near Northern Thailand. Besides the Monk and Muslim for a Month program, Blood Foundation runs number of other education and income-generation projects directly benefiting Burmese refugees, hill tribes and Thai people.