10 March 2009
“Entering the Mandala”
After an intensive work and preparation for Body-Mind Detox (7-9 March), I became relaxed today. By the time I got up, the sun has already been there. I looked outside my tent to see an empty ground, which was home to new friends who called themselves “Dream Mandala Cohort I”.
I glanced at the white screen we made instantaneously – only an hour before the cohort arrived at Khadiravana.
The screen brought a beautiful memory of the first night when we entered the mandala for the first time. Bo’s soft voice ringing in tune with Mai’s guitar melody tells us to close our eyes letting go of weariness, stress, heavy emotions or physical pain. There’s only one thing that matters: we are together touching earth under the stars.
“In the Mandala”
After nutritious breakfast prepared by Phorak House run by K. Wat & Chaba, we walked from the mango grove to the mantra stupa. It’s a little warm and sunny inside. We faced each other looking at each other’s eyes and looking at ourselves to search for hidden “radiant mind” inside. We took turn to become each other’s mirror. We shared our life experiences.
“Buttered Tea Operation”
Jick dropped in with pots of Tibetan buttered tea and old tea from nomad area, a bowl of tsampa and a pot of droma, dwarf potato from Tibetan plateau.
At about the same time a TV star and her PR team came. They sat near K. Oi, executive editor of Woman & Home. Both seemed enthusiastic to experience traditional life. Yontan cleaned his hands and showed us how to make tsampa.
The cohort learned to appreciate simple food from Tibet. More than everything, we realized the harmony between outer and inner nature, outer and inner peace – ancient wisdom from people who drink buttered tea and eat tsampa as their main food. This harmony is the detox essence.
“Om Ah Hung”
We moved to Vasutara Sala in the afternoon. Each was given bamboo pens, black ink and A4 paper. Little Phu joined the group and shined in this calligraphy class. We learned how to write sacred syllables “Om Ah Hung”. The syllables represent body, speech and mind of Buddhas. Ajarn Yontan checked each one’s hand posture and gave advice on how to use bamboo pens. Even though the wind made it difficult for us to concentrate, we beautifully finished the task.
Calligraphy is more than an art of writing. It’s also an art of meditation: a way to tame our monkey mind. Learning it, we take part in preserving this ancient knowledge, which is usually transmitted only in some monasteries.
“Pancake on Banana Leaf”
Bo asked everyone to go to the forest to be with oneself and come back with a token of contemplation. Some were too exhausted to go anywhere. They lied down; yet, contemplating on the new and rich experience. We were served hot pancake delivered by K. Jick on Fon’s motorcycle. The wind became calmer. I asked everyone to come closer in a small mandala. The nearer we are, the better we can communicate our mind.
Each one of us placed a token of our choice in the middle – dried leaf, wide flower, mobile phone… These objects, no matter whether they are natural or man made connected our hearts…
Here are some memories: