1) What I found interesting from the reading is how difficult meditating can be especially for Westerners. Individuals from western countries are often taught to be productive and to always plan for the future. We seldom take the time to be present and fully enjoy the moment. What surprised me is that I see this trait in myself as well. My mind is usually cluttered with thoughts. I’m constantly thinking about the tasks I need to complete or the people and things I am surrounded by. However, this reading taught me the importance of slowing down, taking some time within my day to be mindful, and to be comfortable in silence. I believe that developing this skill will be beneficial for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Rather than becoming lost by the day-to-day tasks and rituals, it is important to take in my surroundings and embrace it all.
2) A learning goal is to venture outside of my comfort zone and keep an open heart and mind while I am abroad. I want to start where the community is from rather than where I am from. I want to learn and expand my mind through making observations, interacting with the community members, and by making meaningful connections with the culture of Thailand.