The Land of Smiles


AYBKK - Bangkok, Thailand

With the director and head teacher of AYBKK, Boohchu Tanti

So much love!

The first time I traveled to Thailand was back in 2007 after a long 4 month stay in Mysore, India. My first stop was Bangkok and like many places what struck be about the city was its smell. Not really a bad smell but a very distinct one. One that is unique to the city all its own. Smells often bring nostalgia and this was no different. I had an interesting time there and can't say it was all that great due to the company I was with. I stayed for a month in Bangkok, traveling north to Chiang Mai and then south to the beaches. I left Thailand rather broken due to circumstances that arose there. An experience I will never forget.

I returned briefly over New Years in 2009, and made my third trip back in early December. It was kind of a full circle moment. This time arriving because I was invited to teach a workshop and within that I was able to reflect on how much has changed since my first time in Thailand. To see, feel and experience a greater strength within than I had before. That the pain I felt my first time when leaving, which was so profoundly deep, I nearly cried the entire trip home to the U.S. I am reminded how everything is transitory, even pain. And that somehow what I experienced then was a good thing in the larger scope of my life. It is always hard to see that when in the mist of it, but undoubtedly this is true. These experiences help us to empty out to then have something greater fill us up inside.

This past December I felt so much love. A beauty and a enthusiasm that is distinctly Thai. The amazing thing about feeling at home inside is that you then start to feel at home everywhere and that love doesn't cease. What I am realizing is what I have been searching for lives deep within my heart. At every moment and within every breath.

When teaching I'm not afraid to say, hey, I'm just trying to figure all this stuff out too, but I am here for you and let's ride this out and see where we land and we will do it together. Teaching can be rather terrifying for me because often I feel there is so much more for me to learn and I feel as if I will never know enough but then I remember that simply holding space for others is enough because I would rather be an open vessel for something more to work through me.

Unspeakable gratitude is all I can express. To have years ago made the scary leap to live the life I knew I was meant to live. Nothing about it has been easy, and thank God it wasn't, because we must burn. Burning bright has to endue the heat of discomfort. We must step into reality that has great plans for us, and that goes far beyond what we can imagine.

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