I am on the streets outside the Chiang Mai airport waving down a tuk tuk ..within 5 mins one has stopped. In goes the back pack, feet up on the rail..we barter the price with a bit of light hearted humour and i am off …this small but significant ritual marking the start of the years Asian adventure.
Later that night i am feasting at Blue Diamond on what i declare the best organic vegetarian cafe in South east Asia…delicious.
The following day Arno, looking light and fresh, meets me at the airport in high spirits.. The 40 min trip to the Thai circus land is full of news …nearly all good…very good. The 42 students from 20 different countries around the world all totally enthused… young, vibrant and spirited…in love with the land , the waterfall, the practice and each other…. When i arrive they are all in dance mode …full moon energy, music and lots of sweetness between all.
The land has really established itself over the past two and half years ..The.originally challenging toilet/ shower setup, the saunas, the trees and kitchen… all revamped, despite a mass of rain that happenned midyear (like many places in the world) that wiped out a few structures and apparently caused a lot of damage. Time and experience has many benefits re. more organisation and hygiene, hence the years of many experienceing Asian dysentry for one month, rushing to the squat dunny between sessions, is slowly disappearing..yay.
The local Lao still remain virtually absent for the course due to the English language being so alien to them. The two English words i have interchanged since being here was a big “HELLO” to a young 10 year old as we high fived on my morning run. The other was from an older villager who daily waters the vege garden full of lettuce and tomatoes we are all feasting on. He looks at his phone, checking the date, then looks at me as says ” Valentine”…
” You little beauty” I exclaim, ” You KNOW!”
I point to a flower on the tree trying to inform him to bring a flower home to his wife. He checks out the flower , whether it is eatable or not…then dismisses the matter. These guys honestly eat everything.!! The huge rats are given to each other as gifts to feast on, the cockroaches, bugs, and insects risk their lifes if they show their heads, knowing if detected, their legs will be ripped off and they are thrown into the boiling soup pot. The local circus dog that was with us last year, we discover was part of a feast in the challenging wet season.
Today we venture across the river to a nearby rice field. In a circle, we practice breathing and exercise as the sun rises over a wonderful landscape of mountain and greenery , all encompassing a magnificent open and expansive clear blue sky. I look around at the sea of faces falling in love with this amazing spectrum of the human rainbow, so unique yet so connected in the true centre. The cloaks we have worn in the past vary from mechanics, builders, waiters, laboratory scientists,yoga teachers, shamanic dancers to jet pilots, physiotherapists, trainee doctors and professional musicans. Here today,in the Jungle of Laos we simply learn and practice Thai massage, Therapies and Yoga and encouraged to remember that presence and loving kindness are the human gifts that we all need to continually enrich and share. At the end of the morning circle an unassuming American student, who rarely speaks, steps into the middle of 50 students and erupts into song…completely unbridled.. he shares with totality from his deepest core ..we all follow..and within minute the entire circle are following him joyfully, with his heartful words and tunes…not wishing to stop.
Human BEINGNESS…..i love it..
blessings to all