Saturday, November 13, 2010

Autumn in Holland

Hi everyone

Sorry again that I haven't written anything during these 4 months. My main excuse is I am very busy with my study. I have finished the first phase of my fieldwork and come back to Holland since September. It is not a good time for the weather because it is getting colder.

However, things go well with my study as I have made some progress, for example, I have created possible typologies from information from the fieldwork. Now it is getting more serious since I need to develop research tool such as questionnaires and questions for interview. I also have to have very systematic approach to select cases/samples. This work will come very soon.

In relation to religion, I am a bit less in most things since I have been back. I don't meditate very often like the past because I do not feel like doing it. This makes a big impact on my mindfulness as it is obviously less due to low ability of mind to be mindful. I still chant everyday, but it's not enough to calm down the mind. Overall, religious activities have little priority at the moment.

Sometime I think that it is ok because life here is very stable....just study, eat, sleep and meet people a bit. There is nothing challenging the mind, mindfulness or insight. However, it is not always like that. I feel like when I am not religiously ready for the suffering, I tend to be more suffering than it should be due to the bad thoughts and crazy emotion added in the problem. When this happens, it is very difficult to be mindful of it. It is impossible to watch it on time and let it go - cannot even see the emotion that comes and goes.

I really think I need to meditate more.....but do not know whether I will be successful with this.

Best wishes for everyone

Kai, the mindfulless girl

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Offering at Kalasin


At the moment, I am now in Kalasin, the Northeast of Thailand for the fieldwork. I have finished exploring the case since yesterday and today and I just relaxed and went to two temples. I know these temples by asking local people and a monk with thmain questions about 'good' temple and monks. Finally,I end up with forest temples (Wat Pa) with the purpose of meditating.

I have some interesting thoughts from the deed today. On the one hand, when I kept asking a monk at the firat place I went, the monk said that I can go to any temple I like because to make offering to a temple is a good thing to do. Good intention is already very nice. But he said did not make any impact on me as I went to the other temple that is regarded as 'good'. A monk at the second place also said something similar. Gradually this really makes me think about my intention to make merit. I start to think whether it is with 'Chandha' which is 'good willingness' or with 'Kilesa' or 'craving' to gain very high merit from good temples and good monks. Then I can see that it is the mixture of these two things because there is another thing I have noticed from myself.

On the other hand, after I offered, I tend to think all the time that monks who receive my stuffs will keep it for themselves or make it a public use because my intention of 'Sangkhadana' is for the public use. I dont want monks to keep it on his own. This kind of 'narrow minded thought' worried me for several times when offering because I kept thinking about it, worried and felt unhappy with the thought that monks must keep it for himself. Then I realize that this is silly because I intend to make a merit, but m mind is just full of craving and worrying. What is this for?

The master said that wholesome and unwholesome mind are very impermanent, nonself and suffering as other matters in the world. For me, wholesome mind can even result in unwholesome mind if you are not aware of the craving which is always in your mind and ready to work anytime.

I wanna share this with everyone.

Best wishes

Sunday, June 13, 2010

One and half month in Thailand


Until now, I have been in Thailand for one and half month for the field work. Everything goes well with my study as I have gradually collected information of each case. I have learned quite a lot from this study especially how to deal with different kind of people. Actually I always think that I am able to manage people quite well, but there is, of course, some difficulty that needs to be passed through.

For the fieldwork, I think I am quite lucky that I have met some good and kind people who are willing to help me and have helped me a lot....I still don't know why they did that, but it just happened like that. I try not to think about it in the Karma perspective because I cannot prove it. More practically, I will try to be good like them as it is important to always be a helpful person. It can benefit a lot to other people.

I will start my big trip to the south very soon (in this week). i am a bit scared to travel in that area because I have heard that people there are different. But I just hope that everything will go smoothly with my trip. I hope that I will have a chance to collect all the useful information which will benefit my study and hopefully environmental situation of Thailand in the future. Its quite a big hope, but I will try my best for it.

Best wishes for everyone

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My changes


Since I have been back, I have noticed that there are a few changes about me. The first change is I like to stay at home more then the past. Even though it's quite hot at home, but I still prefer to sit in front of the computer, do my study, watch TV (very rare) and clean the house. I think I receive this habit from the way I lived my life in Holland - just study at home and don't go out. The other reason is I am still a bit tired and have less desire ti buy stuffs.

The other interesting change is I tend to have less beliefs in spiritual stuffs. Certainly, I receive this thought from Robert and the way I live my life in Holland. Dutch people rely their lives on the system (working, educating and government system) and effort. If both work well, there is no need to pray and make a wish from any god or spirit. You do your work wisely and make an effort, then it's not too difficult to get things done. It also happens with my study. I just have to work hard to finish my paper. No one plays bigger roles than my effort. However, in Thailand, since welfare system still does not support everyone equally, since the poor is still everywhere and since the promotion relies more on the connection (with biggg people) rather than the real performance, invisible stuffs such as spirit tend to be more significant because it's the only a few hope people have when there is nothing much left for them.

I still make a wish when I go to a temple. Most of my wishes are about having more opportunity to make merit and to do something good together with Robert. i also make a wish for my study. But I still need to work hard for it.

Change is also impermanent. I might change to be the same kind as before or might change to be the other person. We never know. What is more important is to realize all those changes, understand it and make the good use of it.

Best wishes for everyone

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Hello Bangkok


Now I am in Bangkok. I have been back for a few days already (since 5th May). I am quite happy with this trip because I can progress my study. I cant do anything in the Netherlands anymore.

The first impression since I have been back is most things are still the same: my family, neighbors, friends. Nothing has obviously changed. (That's why we do not really recognize this truth so well). The second impression is the hot weather. I think I should get used to it, but I realize that in the past, most of the time I was in the cool office. Therefore, it didn't matter how the weather was. But now I am at home or go out. Most of the time is without air-con. Its just so so hot.

I have not meditated since I have been back. I am too tired for that. I think I will start soon. However, I always notice what happen in my mind- it's up and down all the time due to a matter in each period of time. It is interesting to see how the mind work when coordinating with thoughts, emotion and feeling. I have discovered since I was in Holland that nothing is real esp. all the mental phenomena. It happens cos there are some factors. When those factors are gone, relevant feeling and emotions are gone as well.

I hope that I will have a chance to learn this more and more and become less attached with most things. Less suffering is expected.

Best wishes

Friday, March 26, 2010

Coming attraction - Research Design Seminar


During these days, I am preparing for my research design seminar on 30th March. The feeling for this coming this is quite strange, but understandable, I think.

I am happy that it happens, then I will know the result whether I pass or fail. Then I will know what I need to do next. If I pass, I will go back home for the fieldwork. This is very good for me because it means that the other step of my PhD life is coming. I will also see my family whom I haven't met for more than a year. But at the same time, I start to feel sad that I have to stay away from Robert. We have been together quite a lot during the past 6 months - almost 24 hours a day. The sweetness of love is not there, but the strength of love is getting higher. I feel uncomfortable every time I think about this. Anyway, life must go on and I hope that everything between us goes well. But if I pass with conditions, which means I need to stay longer, the feeling will be opposite from above.

I am also worried about the coming seminar. I thought that it should be ok. But life is very uncertain. I am getting more worried cos my friend thinks that I should present it in a different way. I will see what she gonna suggest and make it different.......

Best wishes for myself

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Thai temple in the Netherlands


Today I got a chance to make offering to a monk at a Thai temple here. Netherlands has 2 Thai temples: Wat Buddharama at Waalwijk and Wat Buddhavihara at Amsterdams. I go to the one located in Waalwijk with a reason that it's more quite and bigger. Its the second time I goes there, but the third time to go to Thai temples here. I should have been to the temple more often, but I am too busy and also I am a bit less interested in making an offering. I am more concerned for mindfulness, observing precepts and meditation which I can do at home.

Overall there are not many differences between Thai temples in Thailand and here. Temples here just have (a lot) less monks, more lay people, look more like a house than a temple. For me, the obvious difference is I offer food that I cook to monks for temples here. I have never done this in Thailand. The main reason is food here is a lot more expensive....And I feel like I can do something by myself.

I am very happy to go to the temple today. The reason is that my family goes to the cemetery of my father for the Chinese tradition to memorize the death person. I am not there, but at least I can do something good and radiate merit to him (and other beings). The other nice thing is I got a chance to make offering with Robert (again). Its very important for me to do this with the person I love. I always believe that we have been together and did something good together before so that we meet each other again in this life.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

16 months in the Netherlands


I haven't written my blog for a long time as I have been very busy especially the last 6-7 months. I am still in the Netherlands - almost finish the first step of my PhD journey. On this 30th March, I will have a research design seminar where committees will decide whether my proposal is good enough for the fieldwork at home.

16 months in this cold country has learned me many things - academic skill, different culture, different way of thinking etc. I like most things I have experienced here, except the weather which is too cold for me. People here are very criticizing (esp. my supervisors and my boyfriend) so that I have to learn to be more criticizing as well. The other thing I like about this country is there is less hierarchy, but more distance between people. People do not look at you from only 'external; thing such as beauty, wealth or even education. But they are more concerned about your 'content' and 'quality' - your thoughts and personality. I love this cos I can safe time spent on making myself 'look' good, but more time on improving my thoughts and personality.

I have a lot to talk, but I dont have much time for this. I might come back the future.