travelling in Thailand

how to recline with ease

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buddhaLearning to let go and just Be sounds easy. As a westerner I gravitate to the idea of sitting quietly to contemplate great Truths. I see myself practising Dharma, back against an ancient tree, toes buried in the soft soil, my mind freeing itself from ignorance, attachment and anger.

But I share the Western scourge, a nagging culturally-programmed little voice that has the propensity to demand action rather than rest. To Do rather than Be.

It was on a busy tour of Thailand that I was profoundly impacted with the beneficial implications of mastering the latter.

Wat Pho, or Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is home to a 46 metre long, gold-leaf plated Buddha that oozes beauty, peace and serenity… even though the Buddha is surrounded by hoards of tourists and locals, chattering non-stop and infringing on her space. This may be a sculpture, but the artists have captured an essence that permeates the atmosphere as if the Buddha was truely alive.

In her presence I was reminded that inner serenity is possible, even in the midst of chaos. That the cliche “beauty emanates from within” is based on truth. That how I walk and position my body, particularly when others are around, says much about what’s happening on the inside.

I felt her lesson is to master the art of reclining with ease, amid whatever circumstance I may find myself. To hold love in my heart, and by a natural sequence, emanate love to those around me. To practice purity of thought, to rest and project my mind outwards in search of deep Truths. And ultimately to recline, into a state of blissful Being.

Khao Sok National Park

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Intrepid Trip Jan - Feb 2010 004I have been cruising through some of my old travel photos and the flower one caught my eye. It was taken on the grounds of one of the best places I have ever stayed, the Morning Mist Resort near Khao Sok National Park in Thailand. Don’t think western style resort with multi-story buildings and contrived landscaping, this was an immense flower garden with bungalows for guests dotted throughout the grounds. It was amazing to meander back to our digs through such a sensual overload and to wake up amoungst it.

There are drinks buried under there.
There are drinks buried under there.

The place had a great restaurant with incredible views of jagged mist covered mountains, delicious local cuisine and the most divine fruit cocktails, decorated appropriately with masses of flowers. The resort was walking distance from an entrance to Khao Sok National Park, Thailand.

One of the highlights.

Khao Sok is one of the oldest virgin rainforests in the world, even older than the Amazon, and the area is well worth a visit.  One of my favourite outings was visiting a monkey colony and being allowed to cuddle a baby monkey, it was even sucking its thumb like one of my daughters used to do. It is memories like these that keep my passion about travel alive. I hope Morning Mist is still there, the people were so lovely. I did this trip in 2010 and the garden must now be a midsummer dream.