Work and meditation near Khon Kaen
We’ve been looking for a place or some volunteering work that would allow us to settle down for a bit and not think about where to go, what to do, on what budget etc. A place that would allow us to have the cultural experience, but in a bit less hassle free environment. The Mindfulness project was recommended by a friend who had been there, so we decided to give it a go.
This place was situated near Khon Kaen in a small village. Getting there was actually pretty straightforward despite even following the old instructions by accident which lead us to their old place… oops..
We had read about their strict schedule and getting only 2 vegetarian meal per day (which was freaking Edda out a bit). Once we arrived though, the schedule was not strict at all . We had a lot of free time and we noticed that the food was prepared with love, there was plenty, it was enough and nutritious. Even if some days we didn’t have leftovers from lunch, there was a village nearby where you could get food and they were also selling some home-made peanut butter and other snacks.
The work was physically quite hard especially because of the temperature and sun. It was quite enjoyable though. Everyone was doing what they could and the motivation was good.
In the evening we usually had a talking/sharing circle and some teachings. We really enjoyed the teachings and hoped there could have been more, as we arrived on a period when the project was going on its summer break and there were a bit more free days.
Everything from living to cooking to toilets and building were organized in a "natural/organic" way to minimize waste and recycle as much as possible.
There were people from all walks of life, so the group was very diverse. I think everyone shared a concern for the environment and the well-being of themselves and possibly for all humankind. The environment at the project was very open and accepting. People could try new things, talk, share and do things without having the fear of being judged. Nobody was gossiping or talking behind your back. The environment was almost overly positive.
We had our first experiences of participating in a ceremony at a monastery, giving an offering to the monks, having a real Thai massage and really meditating for the first time. I must say we both enjoyed the Mindfulness project very much. We wish we could have come earlier, because the stay seemed very short (9 days). I think we could have gained even more.
Still, despite the short stay there are some take home lessons.
- We will try to keep/learn meditation
- Edda will start learning yoga a bit and Christophe will keep doing stretching & back exercises
- We will try to be mindful about the food we cook and eat.
- We will try to be patient and more kind towards each other, and not make the other person small
- We will try to be less judgemental about basically everything and share our kindness & smiles with the world
Now we are heading towards Myanmar and Canada, but hopefully the next years will present us an opportunity to visit the Mindfulness project again and stay for a bit longer.
PS: We didn't really manage to take any photos, so huge thank you to everyone for sharing