24 November, 2013

The Funny Thing About Love

My partner took a long afternoon nap, and I know the pressure from work and the idea that his life will change dramatically because on Friday we spent a long filling out forms for his interview for a Visa. I worked around it, even joining him for an hour of it. I took off to do errands, and he offered to drive me, and I said. “I don't mind taking public transportation, you just nap.”
It took me a long time to learn this, but when I finally my partner be himself and do what he wants and when, the love blossoms naturally and freely. Of course one might say that we have matured in our relationship, but I surely had to let go of my desires, and just trust him fully. I have said in the past that if he or for the matter me, did anything wrong it would have never been done purposely to hurt the other. In reviewing my past actions, I could easily say that in times of personal insecurity, I would pressure him to fill my vacuum. No one likes to be forced into action that is not naturally in his or her way of expression. My wisdom in this came out of meditation exploring feelings as they appear in my body. Some people might read into this a kind of subjugation of one to another, but this is a maturation of a relationship that works dynamically and naturally. It also helps that he is responsible and honest to others not only me.

Yesterday, I needed to go acupuncture, and he was resisting letting me go, as we doing errands, even though we could easily meet later. I did not push it, knowing I am not dying by not going. It settled in his mind, and he could see I was in a bit of pain and so he naturally went with me with no complaints. Things have their own momentum. I offered to pay for him to try it for pain he had from running instead of insisting coming from the need to for him to learn about it. Surprise to me he followed in to the table beside me, where in the past he would say it would say it something crazy I do. The funny thing about love, you have to get the “me” out of the way. Boy, the payoff is great, I keep getting more and more displays of his love naturally. Even verbal appreciation for things I did in the past flow naturally from him. I continue to tell him how lucky I am and his reply, “We are both lucky.” 

20 November, 2013

A Thank You and Temple Retreat Site

It had been riding around in the back of my head for some time, to go back and pay respects to the Bhikkhu/abbott(Phra Apisit)who ordained me in 2009. Posts starting here. I heard a few years ago he had a serious blood condition and spent a lot of time in the hospital, and now he is OK, and now seemed like a good time to visit him. The reason was more about the fact that this was the first person I had met who had wisdom. At the time I had no idea what he had at that time, but I wanted to model my goals to get close. Now, after several years in became evident that what the abbott had and still has is equanimity. I have since met other monks similar with equanimity. 

I booked a flight and made arrangements in Fang with his staff, to come to see him, bringing two wonderful hard cover Dhamma books I got from a friend here in Bangkok. They are probably the best English translated versions of the main kinds of Thai meditation taught here laid out clearly in one volume and a book of teachings in the other. It would be a perfect gift, since now,  in addition to foreigner ordination(see link)(http://www.templeretreatthailand.com), they have a different site nearby for retreat style meditation because temple life is busy with a school on the property full of novices. This location is much quieter being away from the major road, so you don’t hear motorcycles on the main road like the temple grounds. I would recommend it to people who want to get to know how a temple works, and perhaps ordain, or practice Vipassana.
Kuti's are new, and some donated by other foreigners. Dana based. Mosquitos are minimal, since the fish eat them! And if your practice needs a real push then you can walk a short bit and meditate at the cremation grounds!

Kuti interior
Kuti Bathroom

18 November, 2013

Shrine On

Walking through Bangkok's Chinatown one morning, I came upon a trash pile, and in it was an old Spirit house from some shophouses being remodeled nearby. Usually they take to the country near a tree to dispose of. Obviously whoever put it in the trash was not related to the family who last owned it. I photographed it, and started to walk away, and came back thinking to myself this is an old one and has some charm. Perhaps, I can sell it.  Walking to a nearby store to quickly buy a bamboo brush to clean it up, came back and pulled it aside for the trash heap so I could brush it down. Just in time because the trash truck drove up, and the two men saw me cleaning it off and gave me thumbs up, and one even said it is about 100 years old. I was beginning to feel lucky, the closer I looked at it. Surely at home this would sell for a lot, but here no one would buy it. When done with cleaning it up, I walked it down a street to get a taxi home. The driver even said it is good find. I got it home, took into the shower area and wiped it down fully. I brought it into the room and set it in a corner. 

Later my partner came home, and upon seeing it, he bugged out, and said it can't stay here in the room. His upbringing dictated that the old spirits of the family would come here into our room. And ghosts are about the only thing he is scared of, that and angry people. Of course, my first internal reaction was don't push me into believing what you believe. It is a nice piece and I want to sell it. But he was throwing a fit like I have never seen. I told him to go run, and I will figure something out. It was becoming a new test for me. I asked the manager of our apartment to allow me to store in their storage place, and when he came home from his run it was gone. My partner never asked about it, but he was relieved. I put in online to sell, and see what came out of it, but I was beginning to think of it as a test. What is more important how I see the world or adapting totally? I was putting on the line over this by being as stubborn as he was about it.

What if the spirits came and affected our relationship? What would be the worse outcome? Was I putting things over people, and if so, it would inevitably come back to bite me hard. My partner is not about money, and has made this clear numerous times. If I am putting money ahead of his feelings, I am really screwing up.  I left it to sit in storage a bit longer. 

It never sold, and today was the day to free the spirits out of their temporary room to outside near a tree. Where they move about with ease, and perhaps climb the tree. I carried it out on this beautiful sunny day and found a nice spot for it. Where it can rest undisturbed. Then walking to buy joss stick, candles, and flower garlands for it. I found the two elephants buried nearby and pulled them out to guard it. I lighted the incense and said my apologies to the spirits. I am very lucky to have someone care enough to let the whole thing go, even though it was so disrupting to the way he was taught. It scared the crap out of him, and I did not make fun at the time, give me some credit. How silly can I be to think that I know better, when I could have asked him what do with it, when he first saw it? Still learning that the things we think we feel lucky to find, are often not the obvious thing we already have in our hand. Yep, thinking happiness lies outside of us bit me, again.

Up North

Fang Valley

Fang City Flowers

Fang Strret Food

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai – Loi Kratong Festival

Chiang Mai Street Food...mushroom curry

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