You often hear people escaping mentally to their happy places where they can reconnect with who they are meant to be for a moment; rewriting some chapters, rearranging some priorities and for just a short moment, just ‘being’.
I found my happy place when I went to Myanmar. I could not stop smiling there, it was a wellness trip of sorts where I met the ‘me’ that Life had made me forget.
Imagine stacking all your belongings, your clothes, books, electronics, furniture, house, car, pictures, everything and setting it on fire. Then imagine owning a robe, a bowl for food, a simple bed and a toothbrush. How might that feel?
It’s incredible how attached we get to our ‘things’ and how much simpler and lighter life would be with less things.
Nowadays though some monks I met had iPhones 🙂 and they labeled them their 6th and final belonging. That’s how powerful a role the media plays on our lives.
My favorite places to travel and capture images are those where life is still simpler and where basic living is the color of the day. In those places color is celebrated not managed and there is a refreshing freedom of whimsical mix and match.
When I was a small child, we lived close to a very special monastery. In that monastery was a very magical well that always fascinated the dreamy child in me. We were told that the well was always empty but if you prayed and your prayers were accepted then the water flowed and you could have a drink of holy water. I was in utter awe of seeing my suspended bowl attached to a piece of rope sometimes come up full.
In my travels I saw several cultures revere water in different ways. On this riverbank in Myanmar locals considered this water a miracle cure for their ailments, the river Ganga in India is considered the ultimate destination for Hindu worshippers.
There is so much mystery in something as simple as water. We are 70% mystery ourselves!
Throughout my travels I have seen places where people felt content with who they are, blissfully living between earth and sky without want for anything more. That would seem to be the ultimate goal and the secret to happiness, being able to feel truly satisfied. These people seemed to be always doing something, busy, working, creating, in harmony with life somehow as they toil in it. Our modern world keeps dangling carrots in front of us to make us want more, with hardly any time to appreciate what we already have.
I remember as a child getting very excited about the occasional long walks we took to our favorite monastery pocketed in the heart of the Lebanese mountain overlooking the valley of the saints. We walked for hours and felt the importance of our pilgrimage with every dusty step. It says so much about pilgrimages and the necessity of removing oneself from a current situation to meet new requirements for personal development. Walking up the mountain dictated a baggage free walk and a sense of lightness and freedom that only comes from surrender to a higher cause.
I look back with so much endearment to those days, the time of innocence and magic.
Day 47 of 365~
Image taken of a young monk Myanmar during my trip there last year.
In a world where impressions and information bombard us from all directions as soon as we open our eyes in the morning, how do we make sense of what is happening in the world?
In a single day you hear of a president resigning, a new scandal unfolding with another president, a child shooting other children, Olympic Games, your own private messages and communications, other local news, advertisements in your mailbox, and so much more to process in one single day.
Makes me wish for a life when news came from watching a starry night sky (as a friend mentioned she did yesterday to start her day), a walk on the beach, a meditation, a good, long and deep conversation with a good friend…
How great it would be to see the world from a higher place, at least once a day.
Day 46 of 365~
Image taken from a balloon at sunrise in the magical kingdom of Myanmar.