Went off to explore my cute village area I was staying in, which included many temples and farms. I met Besit and Nop at a temple and they offered me some lunch. When Thai people offer you food or any culture offers you food, you are suppose to just smile and eat it. It had some sort of meat in it and I really did not want to eat it. Thai food is amaaazing, but I still care for animals and want to stick close to vegetarian/chicken/seafood with the exception of this bomb crispy pork I ate a couple times-wow.As they watched me start to eat it, I smiled big as I realized it was a mushroom-not meat! Some thai vegetables can be deceiving and look like meat. They went back to work and I did some brief meditating inside the temple.
Near the temples were a few monks and their dogs. The dogs were barking and got very close to me. I asked if they bite and they smiled and said “Yes.” I smiled, jumped on my bike, and got out of there. Ha!
Continuing on my temple journey, I could not figure out where I was located from my host’s house, which means I lost direction to where I was going. I ask people where the main road is and they just smile as many do not speak English. Thai people selling kebabs, fresh fruit, and Thai specialties while kids play on the streets and yard are filled with roosters, cow, and horses.
No fear when God is by your side. I started riding and looked up to see “Wat Ram Poeng Insight Mediation Center.” While I lack a sense of direction, I end up truly exploring cultures and cities. Is my sense of direction connected to intuition with my higher power? I say “Yes.” He leads me to places for reasons whether of enlightment, learning, adventure, or humor.
I enter into a beautiful trees, paths, streams, temples, and monks at work or praying. The monk in the information center gives me an info. Booklet on insight meditation and it is a 25 day package at the monastery-just like something I want to do, but I would rather wait to do it in my home turf-India. The information monk tells me I can go meditate under the big tree or try out a session in the center.
I decide to go into the meditation center and do some of my own meditation for about a half an hour. I am wearing khaki pants and a white top covering half my arms and my chest-exactly what the students where except they have a scarf covering them a bit more.
During meditation, I feel at peace, calm, and relaxed. Sometimes it is difficult because my thoughts are distracting, but my distraction level was low this session. My feelings of anxiety, worry, anger, or disappointment are floating up in the air above my head (just like the lanterns last night in the sky). I was able to stay mindful of my breath and do some chanting in my head.
When the class started , a beautiful, peaceful monk came to the front and rang the bell. His presence was so pure that it made me feel so at peace. The meditation continued with chants and prayers in Thai. I listened to the words and repeated them, eventually picking up parts and phrases. I was doing figure eights inside my head to keep myself centered and engaged. The whole session was 3 hours, but I decided to leave after 1 as I was my thoughts were writing without my note pad and I needed to write.
As a student at the meditation center, one has guidelines to follow and these guidelines remind me of my own quest to self improvement. No physical contact, no electronics, no alcohol, and self disciplined behavior. By no means am I living like a monk, but I am trying to be a better person for my higher power and focus on simple things that matter rather than materialism. It is a nice shift I must say. When you have insight into your behaviors, you have the power to change/improve them. As human beings, we are constantly learning about ourselves if we are admitting to our human flaws. We are all imperfect and had impulsions, addictions, challenges, and may engage in maladaptive behavior whether something big or small.
How can you improve your being?