Joy’s Tales from Thailand 2020


Note from Joy

Note from Joy

11/26/21 I’m working on our upcoming Wattle Hollow 2022 schedule, which will begin again in the spring, and I hope to post it pretty soon, friends. Meanwhile, if you’d like to receive the “Winter Tales from Joy” newsletter, send me your request and gmail address to: joyfoxwath@gmail.com Blessings to you all, during these Equanimity Olympics! (Below are some of the photos taken during my roadtrip to the West last week. I’m home now, until December 6th.)

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Tales from Thailand 2020 #4

Tales from Thailand 2020 #4

Above is the Chinese dragon, on New Year’s Day. We are now in the year of the Metallic Rat. Below is my favorite “dragon,” and also my closest neighbor here at S.D.S. The photo is actually the baby. Mama appeared last month and posed for five minutes, but I didn’t have my camera with me…what a tease! Mama has grown to (at least) eight feet long now. For you left-brain readers, those brick tiles in the photo are approximately 14”. This winter in Thailand, my schedule has been filled to the brim with field trips, accompanying Khun-mae and Nawng...

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Tales from Thailand 2020 #3

Tales from Thailand 2020 #3

Greetings, dear readers. Hats. We all wear so many in these complicated times, huh? As the relentless dust and heat bore down, over six days of pickaxing holes in the dry rocky ground at SDS 2… I grew to love my Issan farmer’s hat. It became incredibly familiar and comforting as well. This is a strange disclosure for a “nudist Buddhist,” as I’ve often described myself. My sweet friend Maechee Wontawon is on the left (above photo). She’s been here at SDS 2 since its beginning eighteen months ago, and is the sole remaining founding resident....

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Tales from Thailand 2020 #2

Tales from Thailand 2020 #2

Hello again, dear readers. And full-moon greetings from the Green Tara. (It was fun to wait for the moon to rise to just the right spot.) Thanks so much for your heartfelt response to my Tales. There are many Zero Waste Warriors out there, who have been responding with consciousness since long before my nascent attempts. I often fail to avoid single-use plastic: people give me bottles of water, or I buy something that is otherwise unavailable without wrapping.. And I’m still learning about impeccability from Captain Zero Waste. Here (below)...

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Tales from Thailand 2020 #1

Tales from Thailand 2020 #1

Hello again, dear readers. Yes, this time I really am in Thailand, and back home at my retreat center, where I am the official International Volunteer. I can’t seem to resist featuring this fellow (above) that I found while gardening today, though he’s actually double that size. And below, little Maechee Pim, age 9, is showing me the onions that she waters every day. I was given a royal welcome and taken to “my” house, which is always saved for me. (I still don’t understand why or how I am given these absolutely unique blessings…. but I’ve...

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Tales from Thailand – Prologue

Tales from Thailand – Prologue

Hello, dears. I suspect that at least some of you are thinking: Hmmm, they have saguaro cactus in Thailand? The answer is: No. I spent twelve days at the tip of the Baja peninsula in Mexico, before heading out to SE Asia.Last winter, I spontaneously made a reservation at an airbnb in Cabo San Jose, on the un-touristed side of town (I hoped). Never been there, don’t know anyone there… I’m going to re-print parts of a letter that I just sent to a few friends, because it seems to encapsulate the journey that I have been on this year:My darlings,...

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Tales from Thailand #6

Hello, dear readers. I’m sorry to leave you hanging for so long, especially after suggesting that my health wasn’t robust. (It is now) The photo below is from two weeks ago, at the new S.D.S. organic farm, far south of Bangkok. The land was donated by Mei Oo, the woman on the right. She is also the leader of the Dhammachat Bambat/Nature Cure program, who will be fearlessly leading our expedition into rural Cambodia next week. Soon after we arrived at the new farmland, this woman came to pay her respects to Venerable Maichee Sansanee. She told...

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Tales from Thailand #5

Tales from Thailand #5

Hello again, friends. Thanks so much for your insightful and heartfelt responses to these Tales. Though I’m not able to respond personally, they are definitely appreciated, dears. Today, I have time to start the fifth Tale, even though I sent #4 out yesterday…because I’m sort of hiding out in my beautiful little kuti/house today. The truth: I haven’t been present for alms-walk or Kitchen Zen or my afternoon gardening sessions with Chom for three days now. I’m QUITE hesitant to admit it, but I am sick. Tales #4 was originally going to be about...

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Tales from Thailand #4

Tales from Thailand #4

Hello, dear readers.Honestly, I’m not sure where to take you, at this point in my journey. I’ve had too many adventures to relate them all…and I’m acutely aware of how easily I can sway your opinions just by turning my camera or perspective one direction or another. I’ve just returned from seven days in a rural orphanage in Kanchanaburi. It was pretty much pure chaos, since the staff and the director, MC Jutipak, were all away at a conference, leaving a struggling skeleton crew to maintain the 85 children. I don’t know if it was because of,...

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Tales from Thailand #3

Kitchen Zen! A truly humbling experience…What a wonderful opportunity to fail so blatantly, on so many levels e.g. hand-slicing tarot chips with a simple grater for an hour. They’re supposed to be consistent…no two of mine look alike! And I keep switching hands, cause I’m a wimp! Or peeling hundreds of friggin’ quail eggs, until I’m cross-eyed. (Actually, I was the last one standing, in that particular event) Isn’t life fascinating!… (from a note I wrote to my pal Chef Tuesday last week.) I’d like to dedicate this issue to the many millions...

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Tales from Thailand #2

Tales from Thailand #2

Hello again, dear readers. This is probably not the image you expected to see in my second Tales this year. But I must credit Winnie-the-Pooh as a major inspiration behind my current mindscape . Or rather, Pooh was best able to sum up the advice given to me by my teacher Anna Cox, right before I left on this adventure. Anna told me: Effortlessly let go of any work….and see what stirs, into the light. Pooh told Christopher Robin: Doing nothing often leads to the very best of something. I usually do not watch movies on airplanes anymore,...

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Tales from Thailand #1

Tales from Thailand #1

Greetings, dear readers. I’m home, again, here with my heart family in a heart-centered community, doing what I love. Not that my life is any less wonderful in Fayetteville or out at Wattle Hollow. It’s just another flavor. My dear friend Nawng Joy met me at the entrance to S.D.S. and unveiled the latest miracles here at the center, too many to recount in just one Tale. But for openers: There are now a couple of caves that are constructed entirely out of pink Himalayan salt blocks (!), and heated with light bulbs. I’ve never heard of or...

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