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My first Insight - Wisdom.....

Picture a female laughing Buddha!

sunny 30 °C
View Retreat and ESL Teaching on ManicGypsy's travel map.

I don’t really know where to start. I feel a bit like the life I lived prior to today was light years ago. So different than the reality I find myself in now. Imagine, living in a mansion, atop of a mountain, where the view from every position is one of water, moving landscapes and blue sky. The sun shines most days., with a warm breeze blowing constantly. There are rolling hills covered with lush greenery. I am rarely aware of any signs of human habitat. I hear sounds daily that are new to my ears and unrecognizable....The fear of the geiko is gone...At night the stars are so plentiful and shine brighter than what I used to know.
For the past 4 years or so, since leaving my job with the government I was used to waking up at noon and feeling aimless. For the past two weeks I now wake up to sunshine, warm breezes, starting my day with a one hour Yoga practice. My yoga instructor, Ikiss is a young man of 30, native of Greece who gently pushes me each morning to stretch my body....teaching me to get in touch with each muscle and the power I have to control my movements. I actually stood on my head today. I can see the progress and appreciate the body I have been given. After Yoga, I work on focusing and concentrating by practicing Walking meditation....Slowly rising, moving forward and lowering each step with intention. My mind slows to such an extent that I am aware of the skeletal mechanics my frame makes with each movement....always hearing sounds of nature in the distance...
I then sip tea and inhale smoke from a cigarette which to me now seems quite contrary to what I want...yet I continue.... It’s one thing that is familiar to me...It seems to provide some sort of comfort for me. I hope that changes...
Myself, with one and sometimes two other residents join together for an education session on the Buddhist way of life, which is led by two practicing Buddhists. One of the facilitators is named Nick, who is actually an ordained Buddhist monk. The other, David, a long term addictions counsellor who says he is a practicing Buddhist.... This is interesting to me. Both are recovering addicts (primarily heroin and other drugs). Both have been abstinent for several years.....David at least 30 years, and Nick about 28 with the exception of a nine month relapse..... They both have seen a lot in their lives and have considerable insight.
Today, a Buddhist monk, dressed in robe came by to bless the grounds and center. I was given the opportunity to be blessed by him as well. The monk was wearing an orange robe, seated on a chair. I crawled on hands and knees to a place in front of his feet. I was told by Nick, that I was not to touch the monk. Sitting on my knees, hands held in prayer, I bowed three times touching my nose to the floor. With my head down, eyes closed the monk proceeded to inscribe some writing with an instrument on top of my skull. I was then guided with the help of Jacke to open the palm of my hand, still kneeling, to which the monk inscribed something on my palm. Nothing was said. I bowed and moved backwards away from his feet.... There wasn’t any lightning or thunder. There wasn’t any flashes of insight or joy, but surprisingly there was a faint acknowledgment that I had just experienced quite a gift. I momentarily felt quite childlike and cleansed....strange.....

The food is served by a staff of Thai servers, all of whom are graciously kind, gentle and courteous. The food not so much.....lol......Many would love it, but you know me, I don’t usually like to engage in taste adventures....much preferring what my body knows.
After lunch we are free to write, contemplate, psycho analyze (if so inclined, which I find I am not)...It’s funny I came here thinking I just needed a drastic change to get me out of the routine that I had been living for the past 4 or so years.... and take some time to figure out what is next...
Something inside me tells me not to make any future plans....to just live as I am until I am not...until it is time to move on to the next indicated thing, whatever that may be. I don’t and won’t know until it is time.....There is a knawing, although slight, feeling that I should be using my brain and calculating what to do with the rest of my life....like I do with a daily to do list, yet a much larger part of me resists this....
A large part of me thinks that I am feeling safe where I am and that as long as I feels safe with the people around me I am happy and content to remain. But when I imagine how I would be if I were to be on my own, living outside of this center, with no network or people to connect and do things with that I would resort to feeling the same way I did in Meota, and later Edmonton. .....lonely, alone and isolated...with no inner sense of self apart from others in my life. Yet, at the same time I do feel confident to create the reality I want......
Anyway, I’m babbling......
Late afternoons are spent either in a spa or with a fitness trainer.....Can you imagine? The spa is undescribeable ......Arm....is the masseuse and is unbelievable... Each session is 1.5 hours and consists of a different form of spa treatment....Hot stone massage, reflexology (foot massage), Thai massage, Aroma Therapy massage, facial and body cleansing, .......I forget the others....all I know is that each session has taken me to a point that I leave my body and experience what I am sure seasoned meditators experience......I don’t fall asleep, rather I go into a space, oblivious to anything external to me....and just....total relaxation.....being....no connection to my body or mind.....yet conscious of where I am......It’s hard to describe but I suspect it is the state the people go into when they are hypnotized? I don’t know, but it’s great!!!!!
The fitness I am doing is mostly swimming....there is an outdoor infinity pool that is 25 meters in length and is pure heaven....the temperature is perfect all the time..... I enjoy learning about the Buddhist way of life. It’s a lifestyle that I know little about or rather have long since forgotten.....
In the evenings I spend my time with two staff members in particular....Karin and her husband Victor. They are a young, adorable Phillapino couple.....I love them both....they are truly a pleasure to spend time with.. Karin is a RN and he an electrician/handy man....but he is also extremely talented...playing guitar, drawing and enjoys scrabble....Yeah, he beat me and doesn’t even speak English!!!! I can’t describe these two....they are just so innocent and seem so in love with each other, comfortable and sweet.....just sooooo childlike, pure and innocent...and happy..... I guess they remind me of my ex Dave and his spirit,.....egoless..... natural care givers who seem genuinely happy to serve.......
Bedtime is never later than 10:00 pm....I am having great sleeps not having to listen to Jasper Avenue traffic....the heat though or rather the humidity is difficult to get used to.....but they have air conditioning which makes it comfortable....
Part of me knows that I would be content to roam the planet just experiencing different people, environments and cultures..... If I had the money that is exactly what I would do...... roam the planet, doing whatever was indicated......I still may.....

Oh yeah...as the title of this entry suggests....my first Insight-Wisdom creation..

Struggling to find truth is a worthwhile endeavour when hope ceases to be....

Posted by ManicGypsy 05:01 Archived in Thailand

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Comments

Joni, it does sound heavenly and it is doing wonders...I can feel your relaxed state of being from your writing. This time spent there will forever add a different perspective to future choices you make in life and how they will affect you. It's all positive. thank you for such an interesting blog ......a reminder to me how life can be. Love you....

by Lyla

Joni, I was so happy to find the link to this post in my email this morning. I was thinking just yesterday that if no word came from you soon, I would email you myself...and here you are! Words escape me to tell you what I felt as I read this. All I can say is tears sprung to my eyes as I read. Odd, I thought, because I felt no sadness, only delight as I read of your days and of the people there. It just touched something in me.

Thank you for keeping in touch this way. I look forward to your next post.

by Brenda

Hi Joni, As with Lyla, I found myself tearing up, so happy for you dear friend. Love, Hugs and Namaste!!!

by Kathy

Thanks for commenting ladies...yes I miss you..

by ManicGypsy

Hi sis!!!' very interesting blog!!! Didn't know you could write so well! Sounds very , if not, too peaceful there!! Though , I'm living in " small town Japan " , you might think it a noisy metropolis compared to there!! Looking forward to seeing you soon!!

by Laurie

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