I grew up watching Thai Lakorns (dramas). I have always loved how Thai culture, their history, their tradition, and of course their food was portrayed in the films! But of course what is portrayed in movies is not exactly what reality is. Finding out that I got accepted into this program was astonishing because now I am able to really learn more than what I have seen from movies and lakorns. I am so excited for the day I departure with the friendly people that I have met at orientation.
When I received the information that our orientation was going to be held at a temple, I was so excited to see how beautiful it was because from watching Thai Lakorns their temples are beautiful! The day of orientation I drove to the temple confused…. Is the temple behind the house? I think we will have to walk to the temple because it should be up the mountain somewhere right? Like many others I did not expect the house to be the temple, I was quite surprised. Even though the temple was not like what I expected it to be, I came to a realization that I should not be guessing this and that and I should go with the flow like what Acharn Cathy has said during the orientation.
Walking into the temple, I felt a comfortable and happy sensation knowing that I am finally one step closer to making my dreams come true; going to Thailand and learning about their culture. Growing up I did not know much about Buddhism because I grew up in a Hmong shaman family. When I met the abbot monk and listened to what he had to say about their tradition, it amazed me how beautiful their culture is. From the orientation, I learned so much about Buddhism. Their religion is an insight to the true nature of reality. Their religion has a lot to do with meditation, and I have always heard how soothing and calm meditation can do to one’s body and soul. Their religion is so beautiful for the fact that it does not discriminate gender, sexuality, race, or really anyone… it is about the awareness of kindness and wisdom in your own life.
One learning goal that I have for myself in regards to this learning abroad seminar is to really learn more about myself during this journey. I have always been so focused on others, my family and friends that sometimes I forget to focus on myself. I want to go on this trip and explore the different opportunities, options, and happiness in life and I am really looking forward to learning more about Buddhism. I am really excited to go on this trip and am ready to learn so much more!