I have just finished my solo vacation in a far-away island in the south of Thailand. It was amazing and I was so happy. I caught an overnight bus to get back to Bangkok just in time to change my bags and run for a road trip to the Northeast. (Don’t ask about taking a shower; I didn’t have the chance. Just time to take a quick dump by the mercy of Taxi driver, who was kind enough to wait for me to do my natural duty; I was blessed enough.)
Counting the time after I left on a speedboat at Koh Payam until I arrived at the forest where Wat Pah Sirisomboon (name of the temple) is located, I completed a 29-hour journey by boat, vans, and bus. (I called it a “commitment” — even many people said, I was rather crazy.)
Let me say again, I was very happy and fully charged from spending time alone swimming in mangrove forests, riding on motorcycles with the locals, and watching stars and crabs at night. But I was a happy person with a few big things on my mind like many other people who go through life.
My first 2 days on this spiritual retreat at the temple was a real struggle due to the lack of sleep since I departed the island. I left behind the comfort at a luxury resort to embrace a real basic living: sleeping on a hard floor with the villagers, a dog, bugs, ants, and dirt; eating a better version of dog food once a day; taking cold showers; resting 4-6 hours a day including day and night; and cleaning for everyone as much as I could. I worked on meditation, praying, breathing, walking, giving, sharing, accepting things the way they were, and focusing on my mind. In the process of being with myself and letting things in my muddy mind sit for a while, there were 20 things I learned. I wrote them down in the order they came to mind.
At the beginning of the retreat, I was dreading on the 3rd day to realize that I still had more than half way to go. But when day six arrived, I felt that I could stay a few days more (as long as I did not need to do the laundry). After I completed the 7-day course of living a basic life and being with myself mindfully and consciously, I walked out of the temple as a person who was simply content and a few questions I had had in my mind were resolved.
I came home and could perceive things deeper and richer. I could laugh at so many ridiculous things that used to bother me. The overwhelming feeling and weird fears I used to have gone away. I am still the same person, live the same life, do the same things, and face the same difficulties; but simply happier.
When you are at the point of life where you fall into one or more of these categories: you are wondering about who you are, whether you will ever succeed, if you achieve anything; your thinking begins to loop and you see no answers – you feel you have learned very little; you barely know what you want for your life; and you cannot confidently say to yourself that you are truly happy; it is time to push a reset button and return to your being at peace with yourself.
I have given myself a complete system reboot. I am now ready for a powerful start.
PS: Thank you Al Da Silva for touching up the English in this blog post.