From Thai authenticity to Thailand's hippie central of doubtful genuinity
23.11.2015 32 °C
Happy Healing Home came to a happy ending. Although we were not too pleased to go, our time spent there was simply epic. All teachings were 'Lanna style', which pretty much means 'hardcore', no nonsense. Morning yoga consisted of carrying ridiculously heavy logs down the mountain, and meditation is only acceptable in full lotus position. Pinan Jim believes that if you manage to master activities the hard way, anything simpler will be a piece of cake.
We didn't bother going to our third project in the end (which by the way was just down the road from HHH, even though we did not know that while choosing our volunteer projects). There were many more people there, it didn't seem as authentic and there was plenty more to learn at HHH.
We picked green tea, harvested sticky rice, helped out in the garden of the local school, went for two jungle trips, went fishing and ate the fish on bamboo sticks over a bbq, learned about forest survival and medicinal plants, went 'shopping around' in the trees and bushes while cooking (so cool to just pick out the lemons, chilis, papayas, ginger... whatever you need from the garden!) the most amazing Lanna style meals, meditated together in many of the local temples, cut wood...
This experience once again pulled me out of my comfort zone a little further, but once I gave in to it, realising the deep respect, selflessness and wisdom in Pinan Jim and Pinan Tea, my resistance made room for deep gratitude.
After Happy Healing Home, we made our way to Pai, further North in the mountains, a beautiful valley, known as Thailands's hippie central. Although filled with cosy smoothie and coffee bars, handmade jewelry and the like shops, it's also very touristic.
We found ourselves a cheap bamboo hut and hired a scooter in order to discover the surroundings. We were pleasantly surprised by beautiful rivers and waterfalls, forest walks, a fantastic view over the canyon at sunset, scenic mountainous drives, and of course impeccable food at the little restaurants we found neatly hidden away from the main stream of tourists.
For the last bit of our Thailand trip, before heading on to New Zealand, we plan to go to the Wat Tam Wua Forest Monastery near Mae Hong Son. The goal is to learn to focus the mind a bit more, and to just be with what is after the frequent changes of surroundings and impulses. On top of that, this monastery seems beautiful and where better to practice Vipassana meditation than at a buddhist temple itself?
So, sending you loads of love from Thailand once again; we're so pleased that you are interested in our adventures, and don't hesitate to send us a message if you feel so inclined
Many hugs from Scott & Tanya