Tales from Joy 2024 – #4

Hello again dear readers… or, more properly around here:

My braincells are starting to seep back in ….and it’s such a relief! Someone please remind me if/when you hear me denigrating the mind…which is fairly fashionable in Buddhist circles.

I slept well, and awoke to the sound of the nuns chanting next door, as they do every morning around 5:15. Such a charming wakeup bell!

I did not join them, however, since I do suffer from CFS**

But I did arise (well, by 6 a.m., anyhow) and meditate, with my Childish Drink by my side. (That is the spices I religiously carry with me: ginger, garam masala, cardamon, cinnamon, cacao powder added to coffee or tea and soy milk. I ascribe certain mystical powers of health and vitality to it. Belief might be the foremost ingredient.

**CFS – A condition I first identified decades ago, and called it “Chanting Fatigue Syndrome.” It sets in after about fifteen or twenty minutes.. Everyone I’ve ever dared to mention it to has nodded and said:

Then because the nuns were finishing up around dawn, I turned on my own Spotify soundtrack, and began my regime of physical therapy, yoga and Joyful (very simple) pilates, same as in the Baja.

Thus, I’ve returned to a recognizable body as well as mind today.

I rearranged my little cottage/kuti in a way that works for me, returning the plastic bottles of water and the “hot” fruits in the basket (melons, bananas, papayas, and ripe mangos have more sugar than my body can handle, sadly).

Since the death of Maichee Sansanee two years ago, her sister Pa Tum is now the defacto leader of SDS. She was having a community meeting in the main hall. Very luckily for me, my friend Bam was there to translate. Not a lot of English is spoken at SDS.

I learned that this coming Saturday is Children’s Day, always a major event at our center, and across Thailand. I’ll probably lead a little flute parade with the kids… as in past years.

Yesterday I tried to go out shopping. But in my brain-free condition I forgot to weigh my green mango. So the poor cashier kindly ran to the produce section to do that for me. Then when I went to pay, we discovered that nearly all my money was from Cambodia, not Thailand…and I had to put most of my purchases back. This was cause for a minor “stupidattack”. They are not fatal, however, and pass quickly.

I’ve decided to wear a face mask out on the street here inBangkok, to filter the pollution that consistently hangs in the air. Ten million people are packed into a small river valley. But I’ve come to love the pure pulsating circus-like energy of Bangkok, and the way that everyone makes it work. Like an intricate symphonicmovement…

Read the full newsletter #4 at this link (pdf)