The vibrant symbolic colors, the delightfully kind and occasionally incongruent smiles of the Thai people, the souvenirs shop worker’s playful persistence, the humorous and insightful monks/tour guides, the bustle of other tourist, the aggressive yet amazingly alert traffic, the deliciously inviting scent of street vendor Thai food and overwhelming aroma of a crowded urban city, and the wonderfully fun personalities of new friends have all contributed to incredible spiritual, academic, and personal growth.
On our last day in Thailand, I felt all my experiences, conversations, and new knowledge come full circle. What I find so amazing about this spontaneous culture crazed trip is the amount of clarity and perspective it has given me. I have spent the last few years comfortably sitting in the gray of convictions and what are perceived truths both professionally/academically and personally. But with exposure to a culture which has been so different from the one from which I was raised, I recognize the similarities within my very basic human values.
Throughout this trip I have embraced the Buddhist idea of simply just “being”. I have tried to take all that there is to take in-smells, sights, knowledge, culture, religion, differing opinions- and explore how all these things have impacted me as a human being. Ajan Cathy used the term “perspective consciousness” referring to the idea that we are products of our culture and being in Thailand has given me perspective to see how this is certainly the case. While I’m absolutely influenced by my life and family back in the States, my awareness of other cultures has provided an opportunity to relate to life and ideas outside my comfort zone. Thus making me exponentionally aware of my 5 senses and he amazing stimuli this country has to offer.