Enjoying a tropical island and the transition to a buddhist volunteer project
The people of Thailand have truly touched and inspired us with their kindness, respect towards each other and the Divine, their care for family and their unconditional giving nature.
On the island Koh Lanta where we stayed for 4 days, Buddhists and Muslims live happily and peacefully together. In general, the island was amazing: tropical, with beautiful white beaches and jungles which are so alive. We had an adventurous caving experience there: our group of 4 each received a head lamp and headed through the jungle, poring down with sweat, towards the top of the hill where the entrance was. Inside we came across a clear water pool, crossed many doubtful hand-made bamboo 'bridges' and wooden ladders, and climbed over a wealth of slippery rocks. Near the end was a cove with hundreds of bats, twitching their little ears fierce-fully as we spoke.
By chance we also met June, a lady with the title of 'princess', as she's the grand-daughter of I-can't-remember-which-king, but who decided to live an alternative life in nature after having studied, worked for 8 years and paying off all her mothers debts, and traveling for 12 years while collecting precious gems.
Now she lives with her little family of 3 in a self-made hut/house (which they can easily take apart and build again elsewhere), enjoying nature and life through her animal rescue project (stray cats and dogs are omnipresent in Thailand) and making her own jewelry out of gold and silver thread and the gems she collected during her travels.
Our mouths remained wide open during pretty much the whole day we were there (we totally forgot about the tour around the island we had planned on doing that day), listening to all her stories. One about her enlightened teacher (and reading his teachings, which were just profound, indescribable) which she met after praying for just that -the monk arrived a week later on foot and went straight to meditate in the hut on the hill where she had prayed, one concerning her vision of the tsunami and their subsequent move to another part of the island, and many about how she found the different gems, such as a pink ruby as big as a fist and two crystals adapted by people over a span of 800 years, now containing all 7 colours of the colour spectrum, with technology our civilisation do not master yet.
Another interesting story was about how her teacher got a message during his meditation to go to a specific cave keep-safing man-made rocks containing gems which an ancient civilisation hid there 4000 years ago when their society was on the brink of collapse. They have the chemical structure of quartz crystals, but come in many different colours, are as clear as glass, and have a density of around 7.5, which makes them way heavier than any normal crystal. This type of gem is not natural and she presumes that they made it either with some technology we have no knowledge of, or with pure mind power.
Having brought our own jem collection to hand out as gifts during our travels, we were inspired by June to make our own silver-threaded jewelry. So on our way north to Khon Kaen, we stopped over in Bangkok to get our luggage and go on a silver-thread quest. It took us deep into Chinatown into a silver handling factory where we could watch the process from melted silver all the way into a 0.5mm thread we received.
Anyway, now we are in the rural area of Isaan in the North East, near Khon Kaen, at The Mindfulness Community. We share the space with about 25 other wonderful people, waking up at 6:15 for yoga and meditation, after which we do some work consisting of earth building, mosaik making, gardening, or helping out at the monastery.
In the afternoon we have free time and in the evening we have a sharing circle and some Buddhist teaching before going to bed well on time.
It's wonderful here to share time with a bunch of like-minded, beautiful people, learning about Buddhism and other physical skills, showering with a bucket, eating the most delicious fresh, organic food, and sharing smiles, knowledge about art and conversations about stuff that matters to us.
More on that soon!
Loads of love!