Saturday, January 31, 2009


Today is all about fears.
what to say? ...
I'm a hypocrat. (hypochonder in german, don't know if that's the correct translation)
this morning i imagined myself painfully dying from meningitis ...
Some think they are ill [that's me], some only see their evil deeds they've done, some get lost somewhere, some never can be satified, some cling on to beloved pet [oops, could that be me again?], some are running after something which they will never get, some ...
Everyone has to deal with something.
What is it?
It's the reflexion of our mindstate, our mirror. We should stop, watch closely and consider, sit on our but's and meditate.
Out of fear one wants, does, thinks one needs.
The fear not to have enough makes us greedy and attached. The fear to loose makes us clinging.

the almsbowl might not get full enough, the wind might blow away all broomed leaves, the backpain while brooming might be a first sign of illness, the fire might jump over and burn the trees, the man with the knifes who comes in to the buddhahall while meditation could be a thief or a murder, but no - he sells knifes.
have i pronounced these thai words correctly or did i call "fish, beautiful horse" instead of "monk come, help", while i was trying to cover a burst waterpipe with one hand while chaseing away fighting dogs with the other. [was funny, in a clear moment i used the waterstream to get rid of the dogs and remembered the main lever of the watersupply, got there without getting wet all over and masterd the situation before the monk was out of bed]
daily fears and worries of a forest nun.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Today's theme to reflect on was the dissolution, the vanishing of all phenomena.
enough input came from samsara and out of my memories.

Today i feel very fragile and this morning i had the feeling everything is breaking apart. Lonelyness, feeling left alone.
4 days ago a tick bite me in the ear. It still hurts and the lymphsystem is swollen and hurts. But i have no headace and no fever, so it's probably not a meningitis.
in earlier days, at the buddhas time such a little tick bite could have ment death and i took my shower as if it was the last.
the scorpion in my bathroom, a small, black one - i'm not shure if they're deadly poisonous but they are very poisonous - reminded me to remain very, very mindful.
i started to be very grateful that i'm happy, healthy and strong and could overcome this feeling of selfpity that i had in the morning.

My live is somehow close to death and it sacres me more to become an invalid dull than to die of a tickbite.

When i s a child my father often talked to me about death. He was afraid but faszinated of it and as a result i created "mind-friend", toto, my personal death, and spoke with him about everything important.

What to do if this was my last day?
a helpful question.

I was a couple of times close to death in this life. It started with my birth. I had the navalstring 7 times around the neck and i first started breathing when they had lost hope. [nasty baby :o)] that's what my mother told, i can't remember.
but i do remember to have been strangulated by a classmate. He was tall and strong, i was not. He pushed me down, sat on my stomac and strangled my neck with both hands. I didn't do anything, couldn't, just observed panic, not being able to breath, than suddenly no more fear, accepting.
But as you know, i'm still alife and rather happy about this fact, cause only as humans we can achieve enlightenment, the buddha tought.
Don't waste time phalanyani, there's much work left.

Sidenote: we had a pink/violet sky this morning while pinabat, marvelous.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

arising and ceasing

Nothing new, everything does so.
my life always was full of farewell's, moves, changes, i'm used to it.
In the last 6 months i saw hopes, planes, chances, ideas, meditation centers, teacher courses, etc. arise and vanish or cease.
Aeons of worlds arise and dissapear. Billions of breathings, tears, pain, joy, had arisen and ceased.
puppies will be born, they are being prepared these days and they will get old, ill, and die just like me.
I came to know that i love my brother more than my own life. we don't see each other often nor do we talk much on phone.
sunset. Beautiful! Goldencolored mist moved slightly through the valley.

Sorry for not being able to translate the following poem of heinrich heine:

Ein fraeulein stand am meere
Und seufzte lang und bang,
Es ruehrte sie so sehre
Der sonnenuntergang.

Ach fraeulein, sein'se munter,
das ist ein altes stueck,
Davorne geht sie unter
Und kommt von hinten zurueck.

Arising and ceasing ...
It is just so. We can cry, laugh, go crazy, become wise. There is no way to give a halt to it. Better not try. Next breath.

On course

Last night i had a strange dream about my ego. It presented itself as an ugly, hugh creature and destroyed all the work i was doing.
I decided to set myself on course again.
As i will not have any chance to do reporting, i will write here about the ongoing while forthgoing.


Today i walked back to the place where we started to build up the meditation center. A lovely wat nestled in the mountains, with wonderful old trees, a cave. It's not far from where i stay now. We left this place because the old monk who is living there is mean and greedy. [it's not talking bad about someone it's the blanc truth]
He did what he could to make work difficult for us. For example forbade to build more huts. He offered to leave the place if we give him 500.000 bath. he is, i guess, top of the list of rule breaking monks. Drives car, eats 3 times, cooks, cutsplants and diggs soil, was telling lies about us in the village and so on.
The day we left the monastery we found , after having decided to leave, weard things arranged to do some black magic.
I laughed about it that day, but meanwhile i do believe in these things.

Last time when i visited the place looked vasted, today it was nicely broomed, cared an old mae chee [nun] was there and tents were put around the chedi as if a lot of people are expected to meditate there.

after having had a good meditation in the cave with a hugh buddha statue, i went back to where i stay now and was passed by the monk in his car who went shopping.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


All of my life i fought with and again peoples prejustice and views about how women are, ought to be.
In childhood i hatet to be a girl, hatet being stuffed in cute dresses, and was not very much interested in tipical girl's games and toy's.
I managed to be taken out of the cooking and sewing class for the girls and put in the boys class for handcrafts instead. :o) Oh, what a fight. and i refused to go to ballet but went to judo instead.

with 11 i suffered endless when the tits started to grow and boys said: we don't play with girls, girls are stupid. Suffered again, or still, when boys started to be interested again in girls but for another reason this time.

finally learned to be stronger than the men around me, generally.
Learned, later, to find some good points in being female - but somehow never fitted in the female rule.

As a nun, i thought i will not have to deal with this theme anymore. one is just what one is, a seeker on the path to truth.
But, sad as it is, as a nun one has to deal almost even more with it. Not because of the buddhas teachings, but because of peoples views.

Some men have that insulting idea that all women are clinging monsters.
Or they say women cannot parc a car or talk for hours on phone with their friends. Or whatever, there are hundrets of such views.

I just still don't fit into this sceme. [although i have to confess that i'm still very attached to the dog ... wuahhhh! Am i a female clinging mother monster then]

Mae chee phalanyani on her path to truth is not interested in fighting for female rights anymore nor will she try to change men's or monk's views about me or women. May they deal with their views and fears themselfs.
No time to be wasted for this.
There is something more important to do. Practice! Learn to let go. Let go. gone forth.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Some of my reading friends are shurly wondering about a couple o things i'm writing and may not know, what i am doing here.
We're doing vipassana meditation. The way mahasi sayadaw, a burmese teacher taught. This is the way to practice meditation the closest to as the buddha himself meditated.
Vipassana means: seeing clearly. We try to see clearly who we are, what we do, think, feel, say, ... Every detail, every moment. As the buddha said, when one is walking, one knows that one is walking ... We try to be mindful as long as we are awake. even when we are not meditating.
The meditation practice is split into 3 parts, mindful prostration, walking and sitting. As much as duties allow. If we have duties, they should be done mindful, as well.
During sitting meditation, for example, the mind is with the rising and the falling of the abdomen and always goes back there. If a thought arises, we not thinking, thinking ... Until the thought goes away if we hear something we not hearing, the same when we smell or feel or taste something or if pain arises. Every sensation that occurs is to be noted and than the mind goes back to the rising and falling of the abdomen.
Weard things do arise sometimes. But whatever comes up is just noted, while the body remains unmoved.
That's the beginning. There are further steps, but this is the base.
From doing zazen for very long time i was used to have a good concentration for a period of time. a strong concentration helps but is not necessary to have. we do not concentrate at "not to think" or on how many times we breath in and out. If there is thinking, thinking is just noted as what it is, usually by noting it it disappeares anyway. That's a concentration from moment to moment. Nothing spectacular.


the letter, ment to be the christmas and seasons greeting, arrived. With pictures of the-still-my-dog dana. With care ppared from my mother.
pain, pain, pain. missing. wanting to see. The dog, of corse, not the mother. I'm used to not to see my mother since many years.
One day later her phonecall catched me in midst of meditation. We talk once per month, or so. usually i don't answer, when i'm meditating.
She has backpain, pain in her legs and can not walk very much. She cannot keep the dog more than one year. [which is over in 5 months.]
I feel struggeling. Can i give up robes because of a dog? Can i break the promise i gave to always take care that it will have a chance to be reborne as human?
I wander how a mother of a human child is able to leave children behind to ordain. Good that i don't have children!
I can't have it here because i'm not allowed to take it with me into my room. But more important - i do not have financial recources to feed it proper and to make shure that it will not have all the dog's deseases all dogs around here have.
I gave up all inshurances for myself and i don't want to go to doctors or take medicine if not absolutely necessary. But i went to see the veterinary when he dog had a little cough ...
At least i can catch myself and am not overwhelmed by worries and thoughts of the dog but i have to find a solution. And i need to make a decision: nun or not nun, that is the question.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

pumpkin costumes

When i saw all the monks there on that celebration i remembered a funny story my long-not seen-not-teacher told one day.
He went in winter with another monk through a canadian city, coverd with all available blankets in the monks saffron color. It was halloweens night. People started to come out of their houses in halloween costumes. it came to their mind that they, covered with all these blankets, on this day look as if they were going as pumpkins.
I started to see the monks i met and who were not in line with the dhamma and their particular monks rules, just as laymen in pumpkin costumes.
The effect was enormous. Instead of being angry or upset about their behavior i now was able to smile at them with compassion.


Marvellouse breakfast. Enough leftover cake, some gruetze and pudding, german bread, homemade strawberry marmelade and so on to fill the empty bally with sufficient material that no hunger will come up until next day.
And then - next invitation for lunch.
After short hesitation i accepted. Usually i have one meal a day in the morning and some fruit later, if i have any.
That's great because one does not loose time by thinking on how and when next food will be prepared, taken, achieved? And the stomac gets used to it easily.

One thing happend on my way to the birthday celebration. [i took the bus and touched money, i confess] having broken my own rule, i thougt i could just go to a pharmacy and buy something i need. I went to one i knew with good english speeking buddhists. They remembered me. At the end i left the pharmacy with lot more than i expected without paying anything and delighted and yes, i confess, proud. They said they see that i'm trying to follow the buddha and wanted nothing but a blessing.

Friday, January 23, 2009


Weard things are happening.
i'll write more about monatic birthdayparties later.
All my life i loved birthdaycake, i have to mention that first.
Somehow i do not understand the sense of birthdaycake anymore.
One very ambitioned woman here was staying up all night; with a friednds help she was baking all night through, and managed somehow in a small mae chee's kuti's kitchen to prepare cake and "rote gruetze" [a cooked fruitcoctail] for 100 monks, 50 mae chees and many meditators.
a small piece for everyone.
After 4 hours of sleep [the inauguration of a new building lasted until midnight] i was prepared to help. Decoration of tiny pices of cake in little paper nests on big trays. Nice meditative job.
Then carrying all out and watch that not all would be eaten up before the official breakfast started.
Then to note seeing, wandering, angry, let go, amused, let go, ... by watching laypeople, nuns and monks get carried away by greed. It was not necessary to offer to monks or novices, they helped themselfs, not loosing time by clinging onto rites. I was not less greedy than everybody else and at a certain point, after having given to the abbot, i was overwhelmded and took my part [more than 1 tiny pice]. I tried to chew long and not to eat all at once, after swallowing i waited, curious how long the taste and satisfection will last. Before a minute was over, the taste changed and was not "good" anymore. it was still ok, but not satisfying anymore. The wish to have more arouse and was not satisfied, so displeasure arouse, meanwhile the taste had faded away, more displeasure arouse and with it the wanting more increased. I was about to take another of these little sweets my companions had worked so hard for all night, when i remembered that anger about other peoples greed arouse when i observed them taking more than 2 -3 pices. Same rights for everyone, no more cake [today].
At lunchtime the fruitcocktail had to be served with icecream. We prepared the for the yogie's, for the mae chee's and than, i had the job to prepare it for the monks [who loved it] and samanaras served at the tables.
arm bending and streching, fingers closing and opening, back bending and rising up ... i noted, no need for wanting, wanting.
Could i give up desires ???
No, later in the afternoon i was invited to come to a privat breakfast tomorrow morning, cake and gruetze will be served. :o)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

not much to say

today i left the beatyful forest to go to town to help with the preparations for the birthday. i decided to remain in brown robes. i have 3 sets of it. Gave all white away. Well, i could easy get it, it's in the storeroom but i don't want to have more than 3 sets of robes, thats enough. And i gave it to the still absent Not-any-more-but soon-to-be-again Mae Chee Nadia in her absence. For some reason she loves to wear white.
Yesterday I received her mail. She'll be here on the 8th of february and ordain again.
Welcome back sister, i'm happy that you could convince your parents.

And i received an invitation to a forest monastery in Sri Lanka.
Something to consider.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Smoked nun

Today is a busy day.
this morning after almsround and eating, i started to finish the birthday gift for ajahn s. His birthday celebration is day after tomorrow. I found a nice piece of wood the other day and on an old fireplace some carbon. I drawed buddhahead on that halfrotten pice of wood ... Today i thought i ought fix it and remembered to have seen something useful in the storeroom. Of course it was in the last corner.

My plan was to prepare everything today have a last almsround tomorrow and leave this place to go to the birthday and than find myself a new place to stay.
I knew that the buddha would have said a short but clear "no" to my plans to start wandering alone and barefoot amongst the villages. It's one of the heavier bad things a nun can do. [the alone part, not the barefoot].
But i'm not a bhikkhuni and women do not get raped so much nowadays anymore. People have kind of respect for nuns meanwhile. So i thought i could dare it in the chiang mai area.

But than it turned out that monks are not interested in staying here. So no need for hurry. I'll stay, do some nunswork, as practicing and studying the dhamma and will have time to find out what is worse: Abandon "my" dog for ever or take off the robes.

Part of departure preparation was to dye a set of mae chee robes brown. Dyeing as in the buddhas time ... A fireplace, a pot- lots of to wet firewood and smoke which always came into my direction.
But, yes, it's getting kind of brown. Hope the robes will have such a nice darkbrown tone after rinsing as my hands have now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I have the intense feeling that i should leave this place and give room for those who need and deserve it and for whom the kuti was prepared for. Monks.
I'm guest, living from borrowed tothpaste.
Although i like this place and people take good care of me i already have this farewell feeling in my heart.

That's the 1 step of making up mind process. So far so good.

The 2. Step, a good plan, where to go is not yet formulated in mind. But there are a lot of places, a lot of option.
In a few days i'm invited to ajahn"s "birthdayparty", i could stay at his monastery anyway. He wants me to come there. I can visit the bhikkhunis. Samaneri khema saranee invited me to come. I could go to japan, chinsan, dear friend, i'll contact you about this option, as soon as i made up my mind.
I can, of course, go back to mallorca. but maybe not yet. i need more time to meditate. Of the one year i wanted to be ordained only half year passed. And i have to find out if going home is an alternative to being homeless.
The no-more-to-be-teacher once mentioned that we could go to india this year. Since he said it i'm thinking that i really would love to do it. Maybe i could do it on my own.
Burma has some good teachers.
I don't know if i dare traveling just with my robes and my bowl. Wow, appealing. But today i don't dare ... mae chee's are suppose to pay for their travels. A big obstacle, it's not only that i don't want to touch money like every good monk, i don't have any. Just enough for one trip back in case something happens to my mother. I will defenately not touch it.

with exitement i follow the happenings ...

The good part of it

Nobody tells me to take off the brown monksrobe. And so i'm wearing it the whole day. Before that i only use to wear it for almsround and if nobody mentioned something for brooming leaves while it's still cold in the morning.

I don't know what that is with the monksrobe. I guess i was a monk, (one of the bad sort) in one of my past lifes. Or forwhatever other reason i feel so bound to it.

It's a shelter, a fortess, a magicians cloak. I feel naked without wearing it. When i got one, i instantly knew how to wear it. And i do not feel ridiculous as i do when i have to wear these white mae chee stuff which is like running around in a nightdress all day.

It's more than just a simple aversion that i have for mae chee robes.

The buddha declared white to be the colour worn by the householders, it's the laypeoples color. One who has gone forth is not supposed to wear white.
When i ordained i clearly heard the words, 'you are now one how has gone forth'. How can i wear white then? Nope!

For the monks in the bigger monasteries - there are those who don't know, don't care and don't think about such terms. The majority i would reckon. But some of them are completely aware of what it means and who declare and treat mae chee's as laypeople.

Politics ...

... Like these boys in my childhood that, at the age of 11, when the tits started to grow, yelled: girls are stupid, we don't play with girls. ...

I have not the slightest ambition to change thai society. But i rather disrobe before accepting the white clothes as a proper outfit for a buddhist nun.
[knowing that i will have to wear them it very close future]

Monday, January 19, 2009


Being sad about something or not does not change the facts of reality as it is. there are facts, naturally, that cause sad feelings. tragedies in the world, such as massacars in gaza, or little personal crisis, like having to let go ones not-any-more-teacher. But things are happening - with or without us wanting, liking it - to everyone, because everyone has his/her own karma and everyone has to deal with it. Unless one is an arahant. But who of us is?
Therefore, phalayani, and all who want to know, listen carefully to this.
Sadness is just a feeling and when for ever what reason it arises, we should note that it has arisen and should take good care that we do not get overwhelmed by feelings. Vedana anicca, vedana anatta. Feelings are changing, unstable, feelings are without a self.
I was sad often enough in this life, to know that it's never lasting forever. It may lie a little relief in being sad and crying for a while, but then we should face the present moment again the rising and the falling of the abdomen, sitting, hearing, smelling, ... feeling,[sad still, aha], rising, falling, ... It does not make any sense to cling onto those feelings.
Unless one want to act like a fool and does not notice that the ego, this worm, just tryes to make itself important. "i'm hurt! I'm without any help left alone! I want, i need ... I dont want." shut up little thing, your opinion is not asked.

The greatest service of friendship we can do is to let go in freedom those who wish to go to freedom.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ajahn mae chee

This morning on almsround i was called ajahn mae chee. that's wow, don't know, wow, ...
Ajahn is "teacher" and a title for monks with at least 10 vassas, rainyseasons. funny. But i'm shure she knew what she said. I tryd not to get my ego blown up.
Then later i met my none-teacher. But he didn't realy talk to me. it's nothing personal, he said.

It's sad [for me at least]. But if it is good for him, then it is good. Sad is as impermanent as having a teacher, or a friend. May he be well and able to make good progress in his practice.


very interesting. Honestly, i felt better in the morning without sleep. Clearer, more awake.
This morning after6 hours sleep it was incredibly hard to get out of the warm bedding, to change cloth, and all that.
Before going to bed i thought that i possibly can not sleep, didn't feel tired. But once lying down for the first time after 6 days i slept immediately like a stone.
When i did sitting meditation that week, i didn't feel the cold and while walking it wasn't cold anyway. And i was coverd by my monksrobe and -blanket, these two keep good warm.

Friday, January 16, 2009

End of detremination

Tonight i will finish my determination, will give this body a rest, ly down and sleep.
It is a great experience, though, just as it is, with having been all alone suddenly, with getting less food, every single thing that happend. Excluding the cold in the morning maybe. :o)
Interesting how easy it was.

The buddha was fully enlightendafter 7 nights, ananda after 9 nights. In my case: i could determine 100drets of nights without sleep and with standing on the head or something like this - i would not achieve what they did.
Maybe later ... :o)
I could see clearly some defilments, could get rid of some, know how much work there's left to do and for now i'm just greatful to have the chance to do this.
Seeing myself as a little dhamma sprout, i have to say, it's not good for sprouts in general to be taken off the earth and left without supplement. but i am one of the kind that grows everywhere. In some places better, stronger, with a lot of fruit when harbor comes, in other places [like for expl. a monastery in a city] not so good and little fruit.
I could not get rid of the attachment to "my dog". And i'm not shure if i will be capable to before it's dead.
There are other clinging objects and attachments, but non of them alarming or out of control. To be noticed, observed and let go when the time comes.
Talking of clinging, today's almsfood: SALAD, i almost was about to hug the woman who gave it. Salad is rare here. And i had my fun observing my nervous greed while opening the plastic bag ... Than i had soysprouts, col, choko / bananamuffins, cookies, kakies, drinkingjogurt ... and lots more. Plenty and the finest.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ego strikes back

Thought of my father last night who died yesterday [15., the blogtime is incorrect maybe it's european time] two years ago. It's a strong lesson of impermanence when a parent dies, no matter what you felt for them when they were still alife. One should really try to clear everything with them as long as it's possible.
Impermanece is easy to see and easy to understand but so difficult to accept. It's just not what we want. :o)
I was about to think that more than half of my life is spent, a third left, and tryed to see and accept impermanence as what it is. A truth, as reality.
Suddenly, in a moment of unawareness ego took it's chance and started compaining. It's too cold, go somewhere where bathtubs full of hot foamy water await, why you wear no shoes, feet are hurting sooo much, why you do this stupid determination with no sleeping as long as possible? You are alone, you could sleep 8 hours ore even longer if you wanted ... And so on, and so on ... Why are you doing this???
Simple answer: because i can.

The old monk is back. He's sick, sais he. He looks like he really is, his skin is grey/green.
asking for phra no-aa and coughing like "i want somewone to care for me." i shared my almsfood with him and gave him a hot gingertea.
Yesterday a bunch of people came here to look for a dog who belongs to someone of the village who comes back today from bangkok.
They told me that my old brother is drinking whiskey every day. That's why he pied without shame standing in front of the buddhahall the other day, i thought ...
Anyway, he is not one of the real bad monks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

one more night ...

Meditation is going quite well, as far as it seems. There are moments of extreme tiredness and those of great clearness. Most of the time it's just peaceful with very little thinking.
i slept sitting for half an houre during evening chanting, woke up and felt horribly tierd. Did stumbeling meditation instead of walking.

I noticed at night, that companion monk was not at home. He left after lunch and did not come back as it seems.
Nuns are not suppose to stay alone in the forest, i could eventually go back to si pah doo ... But 1. It's a bhikkhuni rule, i'm a mae chee maybe this rule does not count for me here, 2. I'm not afraid, it's not deep in the forest anyway and 3. someone has to feed the dog. [the dog was scared alone, that's how i noticed]
O.k. I'll stay here for now and see when he comes back. But i have to consider if it is wise to continue determination being alone. I don't feel like freeking out, but who knows.
If i'm breaking a rule, by staying - i'm sorry.
i don't want to interrupt practice for that, neither mine nor someone elses.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

day 3

Done. see if i can continue , not a must but worth a try.

This place is beautiful, peaceful. Very cold at night. But warm and sunny now. Looking through trees with some falling leaves the glimmering surface of a lake can be seen.
tinh q. in canada finished showeling snow for today, i guess and friends in spain are about to get up.
Shrill the sound of the phone, let it ring.
Last call i answerd was a thai woman who is full of hate and dispair pretending she loves me she told me who has the meditationcenters money, hinting i could take it and buy a ticket for a flight home ...
Close sensedoors, phalanyani.
Back to what counts.

Monday, January 12, 2009

2. Night

meditation round the clock, not tired yet.

on determination

that means in short: less words, more practice for some days.
2.nd day starts tonight.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


[preface, 2. Blog today i'm not practicing enough, tz,tz,tz]

A theme with different aspects.
Not only here in the blog i was asked to come home and teach.
first question that arises is: where is home? some mean germany, others are talking of spain.
When i left the village here, where i use to go on almsround, i was asked after two weeks: "when will you come home?"
And the abbot where i stayed for two weeks told me: "now you have two homes". [with the next breath he said that his monastery has no place for nuns, so no need to learn to bi-locate]
An answer to this - home is where i actually am. As there is no i, there is no home.

But back to the topic. Teacher.
Teaching the dhamma is a serious thing. I might already serve as meditation instructor. But i'm far away from being the dhammatheacher i would accept. One has to be picky in this term.
The buddha explained that one can harm the dhamma and create a lot of bad karma if one teaches as the dhamma what is not.
The goal has to be not to create any karma anymore. So, let's go for it.
Here in thailand teachers are highly respected. important teachers always are surrounded by statues of their teachers and their teachers teacher, and of the buddha, of course.

If one goes to do a course or even more intense when one ordains, one entrusts body and mind to the teacher. A first step of let go the "self". The buddhist monastic code explains the relation between teacher and student as of father [mother?] and child. One should stay at least 2 / 5 years with ones teacher, and is suppose to attend and care for him/her as he/she for the student. The relation is lifelong, even if one is far from ones teacher/student after 2 / 5 years.
I met my first teacher 28 years ago, only for one week, and never again, but still ... there is something.
To attend ones teacher - next step of letting go self. Very hard for me to chew. I used to be the one that is attendet. Haaard lesson to learn. But the present not present teacher doesn't like it anyway.
It's an art - to attend but not bother, to be bound but not cling, to observe the self but let go of it.
in another occasion buddha described the teacher/student relation as being friends, of which one knows more than the other. This suits. And i hope that i may always be the "true friend" for a teacher as well as for eventual students.

Few month ago i started the teachers course but here is much left to learn.
I'm ready to teach but I know I have to take care that I'm not carried away by pride, not blow up my ego, when I do. Be mindful, Phalanyani.

What if those asking me to come home come to thailand instead? :o)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cemetery news

As i mentioned the other day, i could do some meditation practice on a cemetary, or better said -crematory during last week. Sometimes other monks came to do some walking and a moviestar practiced there, i heard. :o)
It is a nice quiet place, surrounded by trees, view over a nice vally with sunset behind a mountain. A "veranda" for visitors, a cemented path to the fireplace and the fireplace. a 4 side pyramid like building with stairways on three sides leading to a platform with a place big enoug to burn the dead corpses. on the fourth side, the one without stairway ashes and rest of bones were broomed down to the ground and builded a pile there.
Meditation there was peaceful and quiet.
Nuns are not allowed to stay alone at a cemetery at night and so i stayed only until after sunset. In earlier days nuns probably were often raped or freeked out on cemetaries, i guess.
Well, it was, indeed, a bit spooky at first. But never scary, though.
The platform of the fireplace was perfect for sitting meditation. And always empty, non of the monks - if one was present - seem to dare to sit up there.
After a good start with highly concentrated walking meditation i sat down on the platform. Suddenly i felt the presece of an other being. A moanful old man who died without having eased a fight with family sat down to my right and lamented. Than a young woman with her baby came, she was so unendless upset having died together with her child.
You are dead, i said, you have to go into the white light and try to be reborne as human. Don't get lost on the way. I than said: seeing, seeing, talking, talking, noted the rising and falling of the abdomen. than another one came and tried to settle and fix himself in my body.
You can't do that, i thought, you are as much illusion as i am. i had to laugh. [noted laughing] You do not have self nor do i, so why try to cling on something, it is useless. with every try, we get stronger bound by the strings of suffering. So let go. let go.
Rising, falling, ...

Friday, January 9, 2009

monks bucket

Today is a holiday, a Buddhaday. Yesterday was headshavingtime. It's quite cold, but not cold enough to have no more mosquitoes. So they have easy accsess for their meal while monks and a nun walking peacefully through the village for the meal of this day. Going on pindabat [almsround] one is not allowed to wear a woolen hat unless one is sick.
This morning few people where present to offer food. I confess, i was gettin worried wether i will receive enough. Thougts of selfpity, like: without your teacher you do not count here, your female, only a mae chee, arouse. not much, not strong, but i noticed them.
Maybe i'm spoiled, usually i receive enough to feed an entire family. grateful i finished almsround, having again more than enough food for one day. [it's not allowed to save some food for next day]
When i came back to the monastery i put in my bowl what i wished to eat. The rest, i wanted to bring to the buddhahall. where those who want can take it. After 12:00 o'clock a villager comes and takes the untouched leftovers.
[Nowadays the food is offerd in little plastic bags.]
When i entered the buddhahall everybody was there. It almost felt like a surprise party, which it was not, of course. I put my food on tryes and plates, prepared for a cerymony, as the others did. When i wanted to leave the old monk said: nang! [sit!]
Oh, oh, i was still wearing the monkesrobe that i use to wear for almsround. A mae chee wearing a monksrobe, for some people possibly offending, for some defenately a sign of going in the right directon, but in any case seldom and unusual. People were greeting me, some offering flowers and food to the old monk. I sat at his side to his feet and at a certain point of a chant i joined in. First low volume ... it was o.k., i was not chased out. next time with more power ... Than two monks, i've never seen before came in. Oh,oh, i thought.
I bowed to them and they stared at me, the alien. I turned around again to sit as before and prepared for questions. Than food and monksbuckets [a yellow/orange bucket that contains things a monk may need in small portions, you always find toothpaste, toiletpaper, soysouce, incensestick and so on] were placed in front of the monks, suddenly one tray full of food in front of me. Than the old monk ordered to offer me one of the buckets and we did our chanting together.
The villagers took the five precepts [trainingroules: not to kill, not to steel, no sexual misconduct, no false speec, no intoxicants or alcohol, this last one will be broken soon ...] and went home. I heard some questions about phra farang, but nobody answerd and nobody insisted.
By the way, i guess my teacher is staying at the monastery i just left, at the cemetery, where i often meditated. With luck a place for a new meditation center is found.
For outsiders this bucket story might be not very interesting but it is somehow a milestone, a sign of anicca - even thaiculture changes.

Thursday, January 8, 2009


The days around new years i spent in wat si pha doo. Monksmeeting, parivara. about 20 monks and 2 nun, one of them me, where there. I meditated a lot and stayed at the abbots private home. it's the guesthouse, but normally he lives there. After being there for two weeks or so, he brought me to another, nice indeed, monastery with a young monk and a nun living there. He spent the night in his home and had some guests. I mentioned that i could go back to wat suan pa and instead of saying "oh no, stay here", he was quick to drive me back.
So am i here now, alone with the here residing old monk. The teacher left after the parivara, worked on his career as moviestar, and goes now to a place in phrao to meditate. I have no idea for how long.
First of all it feels good to be in a place again, where one is not a guest and occupies someone elses home.
This morning i went on almsround and had, again, more than enough to eat in my bowl.
no doubt, going on pindabat and wearing a monksrobe is the right thing to do. What can one happen as long one has a robe, a bowl and health? [i'm not always that sure]
Meditation is strong and peaceful. This is a good place for practice, as alfonso already noticed.
But doubts come and go.
Sañña anicca, sankhara anicca
Sabbe sankhara anicca, sabbe dhamma anatta.

stepping on a rope might be as dangerous as stepping on a snake, if one does not see them as what they really are.
May all people, who practice the dhamma with devotion soon realize buddhanature.

until yesterday

trying to put loose ends of the thread together, i will continue the blog i startrd last year, when i was thinking of becoming a nun.
Meanwhile i am a theravada buddhist nun, a mae chee in norther thailand.
I came with the intention to stay one year, to learn fairly enough about teaching meditation and to go back to teach.
When i told my teacher i will stay one year, i was asked:"why so short?".
the buddha taught to stay at least 5 years (for women only 2) with one's teacher and i understand now why he said so - and i'm prepared to face it. Even though i do sometimes think to just go back ...
A lot of things happend in the meantime. To make it short, we spend the rainy season in wat tam bua tong, had to move [bad monk, long story]. Stayed in samoeng, were chased out by a "peaceful" thaimonk with a broom and moved to wat suan pa. I had a wonderful sister. She disrobed for administrative reasons and will come back soon. I stayed at a big city monastery for almost 6 weeks, tried to convince myself that it is not too bad there. Very nice people, very good abbot and teacher, but noise from outside and inside the monastery, many people. My sister and i were very happy to join with our teacher again. But i am indeed very grateful that they helped me to get the one year visa and they knew that our stay there is of limited time.
I had some interesting insights, lost faith in the thai monkhood, with some exceptions of which my teacher is one, gained abslute faith in the buddha, and learned a lot.