POSTCARD #123: Chiang Mai: We’re on the second day at Doi Ang Khang, not far from the border with Myanmar. Living in a created log cabin structure built on a hill. It’s possible to walk up to the main hotel building because it’s not far but there’s a public vehicle, song-taew that M likes to go on, so we have to call for it every time. M gets on first then I clamber aboard. She laughs: Toong Ting, the whole thing goes down – paloomph – when you get on! Ah well, it’s nice to be noticed… it’s because I‘m heavier than most Thai people. Jiab gets on and the suspension of the vehicle hardly alters.
We start going up the hill and at the top get into another vehicle that takes us all around an amazing wild garden titled Suan 80, created by the much revered King of Thailand on his 80th birthday, at the time of writing he is 87. The whole of this area was planned and created by the King and is titled The Royal Project. M runs and skips along the ascending pathways through exotic flowers and fields of vegetables. The simplicity of it. While Toong Ting lumbers along stopping at places where you can sit down, M runs back and asks if I’m okay, then runs off again.
I’m struggling with mind states that do more harm than good. Years spent busy with the traffic of thought, intensity, uncertainty and believing simply that this is NORMAL – this stress is how life is supposed to be lived. No instruction, advice, no indicators; it never occurred to me that maybe I should stop pretending I have control over what happens and just let it be… a lifetime of small events that I couldn’t do by myself – it’s simply taken out of my hands. Okay, give up control and I’m carried along in the wave… am I simply selecting the data that fits the theory? Mindfulness of the question is enough for the present time.
Otherwise pretty much immersed in thinking about what other people did and failed to do and should have done but didn’t and the true purpose of life is seemingly missing… thus finding my way out from the complex untruth created by those with whom I had placed all my trust. But I’m past that now, can see through it; karma being as it is, it’s not impossible that in some future time there may even be a quality of gratitude for so-called elders’ ignorance (their ignoring). This is the human condition.
A small bird appears out of nowhere, lands on a thin tree branch, The tree branch takes its weight, swings low and springs back up – bird folds away its wings, looks around, experiences the swing of the branch. Do trees know the birds are there? Does water know the shoals of fish that swim through it; is the blue sky aware of flying flocks of migratory birds… then the thought arrives: you can only experience something if you’re separate from it.
“There are forms, shapes, colors and so forth, but there is no thing there. There is solidity, and no self-existent reality. All there is is the quality of the experience itself. No more, no less. There is just seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing, and cognizing. And the mind naming it all is also just another experience.” [Ajahn Amaro]