Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Buddhist experience from the fieldwork


Now I am in Ayudhaya, where I have stayed for a month for my foeldwork. I will head to Nakornratchaseema tomorrow morning. During these days, I have learned a lot from local people, local government, etc and I have really appreciated all their kindness and support given to me. I really don't know how to pay them back. I just hope that after my study, I could do something for the country and for some students as it will be worth all support I receive during these days.

There is one feeling I have always noticed in my mind - it is a sort of 'Mana' or the feeling that I am better than other people. There are two main causes of this feeling, apart from a nature of human being in me. On the one hand, I have made quite some effort to get my study done and fortunately, I have been sort of successful. I am very pround of myself sometime and tend to become more confident in myself than before. I could understand some people who are successful and become over confident and even arrogant. It is from all bloody hard work that you have pass through and you start to get some fruit from it. On the other hand, I have been praised (or complemented) that I am so smart, intelligent, brave, competency, etc. Normally I tend to think that what I am doing is very common, but when there are more and more people saying that I have done something so special, I have become pround of it. I see this feeling arising several times.

For me, the advantage of being confident and pround of yourself is you believe that you are able to succeed something. This belief is really important when you want to achieve. However, the main disadvantage of being too confident with high 'Mana' is, as we all know, a high confesent person is likely to think that they are better than other people and to down on them. My exeprience tells me that everyone has their own ways and conditions of living things and of doing or not doing something. These life conditions are uncomparable and it is discussing to try to make it comparable. We just do our best for what we have and who we are.

I will try to be mindful of the 'mana' feeling a lot more. I dont want to be a sort of discussing person who always think that I am better than other people.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My sixth time retreat at Wat Pa Nannchart

Dear friends,

I am back again after a few months away from my blog. Now I have been back to Thailand to collect information for my study. At the moment, I am waiting for feedback from my supervisors and I spent this short free time on meditation retreat at Wat Pa Nanachart, my favorite temple.

The last time I was there is September 2008 - just a few months before I went to the Netherlands. This time,my sixth visit, is the longest time I have ever been there (5 days: 20-25 Jan). I have found that I have different experience at each time due to my life conditions at each moment. Apart from the fourth time that I met Robert, I think I love this retreat the most.

There are so many reasons about this. First of all, I was very peaceful to be there - good weather, not too many people, well-adjusted physical conditions and better meditation practice (esp. in the afternoon). I did sitting and walking meditation for 3-5 hours a day, depending on the temple's work and myself. All the routines at the temple eating less, working hard (for the temple's chores) and sleeping less are a real mental practice that allows me to perceive how body and mind work to get what they want. Meditation certainly provides me quite some calmness to watch the mind more clearly. This peaceful time also allows me to see my weak points especially low effort during tiredness.

Second, living at the temple really shows me how our life should be. We actually need only 1-2 meal a day, a small shelter to protect us from cold, heat and rain and some clothes. 4 basic needs are just what we need and the what is more is just like a gift to our life. Due to the peace, I really feel that we can be simply happy by just this simple way of living. Its unnecessary at all to have too many.

Moreover, I really feel that the practice is similar to my study - I need to work hard for it, no matter how difficult it is. I can see that the harder I have worked for it, the more consequences and output I have received and learned. This can be applied with both of my study and meditation as body and mind are needed to be practice along the way.

Now I have been back to Bangkok with strong intention to practice more to earn more mindfulness esp.in every day life. It's not easy at all if you have a lot to do and you have many people to live with. However, I still believe that we have always gain something when we practice more and more. I promise with myself that I will never ever give up to grow myself up in this path.