Misery is everywhere, learn to grow despite it - Thailand, Chiang Mai

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December 8th 2010
Published: December 9th 2010EDIT THIS ENTRY

So week two and my life has been distilled down to a few key principles:

1. Eat as much as you can as often as you can
2. Train hard, 6hrs/day are becoming 7-8hrs
3. Rest well
4. Repeat steps 1 - 3!

I feel like a different person, stronger, faster, nimbler and sorer :). I'm ordering two, sometimes three main courses at each meal and then topping it off with desert and a large smoothie. I actually can't keep up with my need for food to the point where I have to really try to eat slowly. Whole plates of food are hoovered down in minutes. I've stopped eating at certain places because they simply can't cook the food fast enough or in sufficient quantities. My friends and family will know this simply isn't James behaviour!

The training is also getting more serious and each session incorporates new puches, kicks, elbows, blocks... We practice light contact sparring regularly. The pace is relentless. Every day I train the equivalent of 1.5 weeks compared to someone practicng 2hrs twice a week back home.

I've also enjoyed the more subtle moments we have. Kru Pedro broke into an impromptu speech the other day when his Rotweiler, who has a large tumour on its leg, made it bleed from scratching. He spoke of Misery and Pain being everywhere, and yet through a focused mind and learning to deal with the now, we could succeed and overcome it. He never asked for anyones attention and yet the various groups all stopped mid-practice and listened intently. I felt quite moved.

We start and end each session with a prayer, which I've copied at the bottom of this entry. I like its connotations even though I'm not particularly religious. Marco, my instructor leads this prayer and is also referred to as Kru. The name for an instructor and also a sign of respect.

I think these things appeal to me because there's a part of me which believes that too often today, we are in too much of a hurry. We lose sight of the basics which give our lives structure and a sense of place. The thanks before a meal, addressing our elders with respect, etc.

I also went back to the tiger kingdom on Sunday (a welcome day off) to see the cubs. Very cute, but still capable of a nasty nip if you forget where you are!


On this day
This servant would like to express
His most sincere gratitude
For everything that he has received
And for everything that he has not
In this eternally changing Universe
Today this servant will be conscious of
His actions, his speech, his thoughts and his emotions
Choosing always a constructive path for the soul
All being One, teach this servant to live in moderation and harmony
For the good of all

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Street food...Street food...
Street food...

... Nom Nom Mushroom omelettes.

9th December 2010

I love the prayer and how true it is, Nanny and Gradad would be so proud of you just as Sy and I are:) Not too sure of the bruise though!! the tigers are soooo cute, it must be amazing being so close. Enjoy the warm weather as we still have some snow and tempretures -7 not too much fun, can't wait for my holiday and some sun. Enjoy the elephants on Thursday stat safe. Love you loads Mum xx
9th December 2010

An Amazing Experience
Hey James Sounds like you're going through an amazing experience and journey - it sounds very uplifting and the practices behind it all sound very aspiring to live to. Wishing I could have the strength to undertake something like this. Take Care of yourself x
10th December 2010
Street food...

So that's where my slippers got to..... ;) Looks like you are having some truly awesome life experiences. Like you, I'm not particularly religious. But I do believe in the power of gratitude and we should all learn to say a prayer like this everyday. Would love to be in your shoes right now mate. Very inspiring!
13th December 2010

Cute ...
Ah they are super cute, but they still can't match ziggy and zaggy's cuteness! :-) xxxx
14th December 2010

No-one can hold a torch to Zigalar and Zaggyzar. I miss them :( x

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