Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Apoligies from the maechilion

a friend, a young, skilled nun, rebuked me. With all right. She said what I write about the monastery I'm going to stay at for the vassa makes her sad.
May she forgive me. When I write about the feeling of going to jail, then it says very much about the state of my mind which is not able to find freedom and not so very much about the place. It shows my limited capacities to socialize. When I say that I'm not going to leave my room often, that's because I can't control the mind doors.
When I complain about people talking too much and breaking rules it means I have not enough loving kindness for them and am clinging on to views about how I think monastics and meditators should behave.
I'm not better than the others - wanting to keep rules but breaking them.
This elderly nun is more a weird reclusive and far away from being a good Mae Chii.
A Maechilion, a strange animal that seeks a peaceful and secluded place in the zoo. (not any specific place)
Yesterday a monk came to stay overnight. For him I was really a Maechilion :o).
He observed everything I did, he watched me meditating, walking around and doing things, chanting. This morning he observed me leaving for almsround, after almsround he checked what I have got. I offered him some of my food in which he seemed to be interested. And when I mixed all food in my bowl and did the chant, he came very close to check the contend of the bowl. And sometimes he was pleased and exited as if I'd just had shown a funny trick.
This blog is a diary full of stories of failure, success, personal views, feelings. It's for friends and family to know where and how I am and to laugh about it later. It is - apart from little personal e-mail communication - the only platform to speak about my struggle on the path. So please be patient and forgive me when I'm wrong.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


the last couple of days I'm experimenting with the walking meditation. I went back to the 3rd walking step, lifting, moving, placing and so forth.
Than I started to repeat lifting, lifting, lifting, moving moving, moving, placing, placing, placing.
Than I started to note the intentions before each part of the step but gave that up partly for the behalf of noticing of the bodily reaction in the pelvis, the chest and the column vertebral on every single foot movement. In good moments I could notice up to 27 movements in one step and catch the intentions but to walk 10 meters took me 20 minutes.
In sitting after this it felt at first as if an endless stream of information is vomited out of me, pictures, remembrances, millions. It was too much input or better output to note anything in peculiar, I felt dizzy and a slight fear to loose consciousness ... after some time noticing came back to the normal: rising, falling, sitting and a touching point.

oh, and there is something to confess.
Nuns are not suppose to climb trees, as far as I know it is not a rule but more a logical convenience not to climb. The skirts are really a hindrance as I noticed the other day on the roof.
I avoided for some hours to climb up that tree, but after 5 hours or so the little scared kitten was still sitting and crying on a high branch, so I decided to get the ladder for the first meters and then climb the rest.
Lumpoh came out to go and take a shower, when he saw me equilibrating between ladder and tree he came and supported the ladder. Don't know if he could see something under my skirt, I was concentrated on not falling down while catching the kitten. I wear underwear anyway. And I don't think he even tried to see something as he was going in his lower robe and towel, taking good care that nothing falls off.
It would be better to give the kittens back. They are afraid of the dogs and those want to play, so the kittens will be more time on trees then on ground, as it seems. They were on trees again today but I will not climb again.

Today I told Lumpoh that I will stay the vassa in Wat Rampoeng.

Friday, June 26, 2009

going home?

I am asked to come home, to overtake a job in a Galerie and to live the normal Laypeoples life again.
I will honestly consider it. It's maybe the best and last chance for me to go back and have a job rightaway. To find a job in this samsaraworld is not easy for a 50 years old weird woman.

The thought of going back feels completely wrong.
Everybody here is expecting me to go home because Im without teacher. That's an important point but no reason to go back. Actually I'm not really without teacher, I meet my preceptor regularly and do courses with him and will stay for the vassa in his monastery.
Presently I cannot imagine to ever live a Laypeoples life again. It's not the job, I'm not a lazy person.
And I'm not brainwashed in that sense that a dubiouse leader of an odd sect is influencing me to do whatever he wants. Brainwashed may I be, in the sense that I could clean up and clear my mind in the last year clearence continues uninterrupted until the mind becomes pure.

It is maybe hard to understand for those amongst you who never have been ordained as a Buddhist monastic. I feel like a monk (yes, correct, monk, not nun) through and through and I do not have very much desire for the things I use to like before. (To the dog I'm still attached)
There is no other desire (apart from having my dog with me) than to study and spread the Dhamma and to find the ultimate goal: liberation from suffering. Samsare bhayam ikkhati. I turned into one who sees the danger in worldly things. A good achievement for a nun. Not so easy to deal with for someone who has to face all these wordly things again after happily letting them go.

Sometimes I'm sad that I came that far to see a glimps of truth to understand the message of the Buddhas teaching. This almost leaves no choice, there is no other solution then living the holy life. What can I do? I can't even drive a car anymore knowing that I will kill plenty beings with every meter I drive, I can't sit in a gallery and tell lies for somebody and sell nonsense called art. I cant do comedy anymore, I don't want to be in the center of attention again, knowing that the laughter I bring is only a release for a moment and not a way out of illusion.
I was very happy in the former live, had a nice home, good friends, a dog beloved as if it was a child. I loved that, honestly.
But this kind of love does not allow to free oneself nor any other being in this world. This kind of (Lay)life seems not to be a safe refuge anymore, as it seemed before.

I didn't knew that I would change so much when I left home to ordain for a year.

I don't know if I ever manage to set up a center on my own. I hope I could, but I can't do it alone. It will not be in Thailand for sure. And I need time and support for it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vassa (Rainsretreat)

yesterday I decided to stay in a Wat in the city for the vassa. I discussed the term yesterday with Laa and we came to the conclusion that it may be wise to go before the preceotpr gives me up. I feel a little bit like sending myself into jail. To be secluded enough i will probably not leave my room often. When one leaves the room one steps into other people, there is no nature around, but village, so no escape or real solitude except in the room.
People there are are really nice, no doubt and I should be grateful to be supported to be given a room and so on.

Monday, June 22, 2009


the path of purification. this wonderful book i was donated and sent from andrew from the uk. for the limited english that i can read and write the translation which i have now of bhikkhu nyanamoli [i dont have the "nye", this ~ above the n so i write words like n~anamoli or phalan~ani = nyanamoli, phalanyani] is much easier to understand.
have i mentioned that i feel very fortunate? actually everyone is fortunate, one just has to see it and to be content with life is giving.


my mother! a big hug! is in her 70ties and now got a notebook and is able to write e-mail and to follow my blog. i am very happy and proud of her.
being educated by my mother was not easy as a child and youth but that's past and it prepared me well for the life i'm living now and even for the buddhas teaching. this is the best reason to be grateful.
she cares for the still-my-beloved-dog which is another reason to be very grateful.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

29 monks

a nun and a lot of lay people were gatherd in the half ready but already beautiful buddhahall. 28 th aniversary of the monastery.
the first surprise was, that nuns were named: phra [monk], mae chii [nun], upasaka, upasika [lay], in a speach of a monk, very unusual, nuns existence usually is not mentioned.
second surprise was,
after interfearing of a lay woman, i was seperated from layity and asked to sit with monkscushion right behind the abbot who was sitting on a higher seat, monks left and right on the walls, on podests, as usual, laypeople were sitting on the floor in the middle back part. thats a quite typical sitting orden for ceremonies.
in front of ajahns seat was another, ever higher seat for ajahn's teacher who was the point of concentration that evening.
after i prostrated to him from far, he came for a chat, a short one due to my limited thai speaking skills. he was pleased of how i prostrate, sit in meditation, behave [surprise]. than the chanting started, i could join in to the abhidhamma and some parittas. i still haven't memorised them entirely but to chant with others it's ok.
the monks were offerd some water, hot ovaltine, soymilk ... [no surprise at all]. i meditated most of the time but i was very hungry and my stomac made noises.
i thought, with a touch of bitterness, i confess "good that some nuns have learned to be restained, patient and without envy."
at the end of the ceremony the monks received some gifts, put in front of them and offered by the people. suddnly just before i wanted to close eyes for meditation again, a little tray with offerings were given to me [next surprise] and i joined the choire of the blessings.

Friday, June 19, 2009


it was nice to come back already on the bus - houses got less, trees more. it is a relief to be here, to be surrounded by nature sounds, this noiseproof-city-citisen-ears know the value of nature sounds.
when i arrived with the bus one of the villagers came runnig with a parcel which arrived while i was away. [again, thank you! andrew.] some known people greeted from far, after arriving at the monastery the dogs almost went crazy of joy to see me again and even the mosquitoes where happy to have me back with tasty farang blood and came in swarms. lumpoh was happy as well and showed me the new trees that were planted on the templeground.

tomorrow i'm invited to another monastery's 28th aniversery. i'll stay over night, but after that i'll stay here, meditate, studiy [thank you, andrew] the visuddhimagga and try to find out what comes next.

i'm invited to stay for the rainyseason [vassa] in a wat in the city. it may be wise to stay there for the 3 month rain retreat. hard desicion. i can help them there and i need their help for the next visa [if i stay that long in thailand] and maybe this elder, stubborn recluse can overcome her aversion against crowded monasteries.
to practice with teacher has some benefits, as well, i admitt.

have i ever said i gave up the wanting to teach dhamma and to become an arahant? well, that was hasty said. :o) these are the only things that make sense, the only goals worth going for. with luck i have 20 - 30 years left to do and to go for. there is no time to waste. and i should go to where i'm given the chance to teach and to practice.


never before have i practiced so much and so intense meditation. before i started i told them that i will not speak, exept in the reporting room. i received a "keeping silence" button which was really helpful. lot's of people asked about phra noah, about nadya [she went to see a friend - i wasn't talking anyway] about my brown robes and where i come from etc. and i could just point at the button on my chest and depart friendly smiling face to ground in slow motion.
the first day i did 12 hours meditation and 6 hours sleep. then 14/5 for 3 days, then 16/4 until no sleep for 2 days in the end.
walking and sitting by turns.
still i'm far, far away from the goal - the freedom from suffering. but i did understand some about the anatta and the sunyata deaper than before. it had helped a lot to learn a bit about the abhidhamma before going on retreat.
i'm told to study the abhidhamma and develop stronger mental power.
i saw, as well, which are the biggest obstacles on my path.
dog's amongst it.
before i went the thought occured to me if i eventually will be one day invited to help to set up a meditation center in america. and on determination this thought arose again with other thoughts about the direction in which it may be wise to turn the next step.

the most astonishing that happend during course was that one moment during meditation i suddenly jumped up, took my robe folded it and put it on like the monks do, with the folded part on the shoulder. the interesting point in it is, that i have never done it before and nobody ever showed me how to do it. so i was very surprised to notice me standing there in robes in the middle of the room.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

back to the conventional

finished the retreat now feeling both happier, richer and exhausted.

celebrating my 50th birthday in silence, will make some small gifts to the nuns here and continue practice.

tomorrow i'll go back to wat suan pa.

i wish you all the very best.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'll be gone ...

Dear friends,

from tomorrow on until the 18th, which is my 50th birthday, I will be in retreat at Wat Rampoeng. As I will not talk except for report and chanting, I'll keep phone and internet out of reach, as well. In case of emergency – if, for example, you're dying and I have to come immediately, call: 0066806765067. Otherwise, I'll be back on the 18th anyway.

Here are two gathas for you:

The five aggregates are heavy loads.
The foolish person shoulders them.
Carrying such weight is suffering.
Tossing away these burdens is bliss.
The wise have discarded all this weight,
not picking up any new.
Craving is torn out by the roots.
Desire is stilled, quenched in coolness.

One ought not to long for what has passed,
Nor wonder anxious about future.
The past is left behind, the future is as yet to come.
Whatever is present: sensations, objects, thoughts, one sees it - direct and clear, just so, just now.
The mind unshakable, secure.
Effort is the duty of today. For tomorrow - who knows - death may come.
There is no escape from death and it's great armies.
One who lives thus: ardent, unyielding day and night
has truly had an auspicious day, so the peaceful Sages say.

Be peaceful, joyful, healthy, without pain (in broken toes and wherever), without disease (this includes allergies), without dangers (not possible but a nice and sincere wish, anyway), may you love and be loved (in the ultimate sense, the pure, unconditioned love – especially for the monastics amongst you)

Happy to have friends being with me without being around with them. Lots of love