Back to Where We Came From

4 03 2009

Vang Vieng & Vientiane, Laos

It’s strange to go back to a city where you’ve already been. After traveling for almost a year, familiarity is a strange and exhilarating feeling. Being able to walk around town without a map is like being let off the leash. “Where do you want to go for dinner?” engenders no research, no planning. So while leaving Luang Prabang and going back for a few nights in Vang Vieng and Vientiane was nothing new in location. It did provide all new feelings. Unconsciously we started to see things that we never noticed before. When you go out into a new city a try to find things, you are always looking for something and because of that, you never look at anything. For instance, Laos is a very religious country. Buddhism is in everything they do. Because of this, saffron wrapped men are everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »

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Meditation Bootcamp

14 11 2008

The Story of Two Meditation Dropouts

About a year and half ago I came across a website for the Northern Insight Meditation Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Having dabbled in martial arts and meditation courses in the past, I was intrigued by the opportunity to take my practice even further and get the benefits I had seen in more dedicated meditators. While other wats like Suan Dok advertised three day courses, the Wat Rampoeng offered a 26 day beginner course. For extremists like myself, this seemed like the best (if not only) option. The course looked difficult; rising at 4am, breakfast at 6am, lunch at 10:30am, no food after noon, no talking except during your report to the teacher once per day, and then to bed at 10pm. In between those times, you meditate on your own. I was intrigued, Gage was wary, and a year and a half later, we were walking through the front gates with packed bags, big smiles, a lot of optimism, and no idea of what we were getting ourselves into. This is how it all went down.

The Great Stupa and Temple of Wat Rampoeng

The Great Stupa and Temple of Wat Rampoeng

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