Phuket Vegetarian Festival | Documentary Video . . The annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival occurs on the ninth month of the Chinese lunar calendar (often, around October) and spans nine days, where participants – usually of Chinese ancestry- undergo a strict vegetarian diet during the period. Various gory spectacles, perilous events and parades taking place, from sword piercings, fire walking, etc… […]
I have a fascination with Buddhist monks.
India and Southeast Asia are rife with them.
Maybe it’s the shaved heads, robes, spiritual aspiration and ascetic lifestyle. Whether they’re wearing a Tibetan crimson or Theravada orange and brown, whenever I see a monk, my eyes zero in with intent focus as if they’re human puzzle pieces, walking on a waft of incense.
“The monk life is very hard. I spent 6 years as a monk and I am thankful to grow up in the monastery, but I couldn’t wait to leave!” cajoled my 24-year-old Laotian tour agent.
– You didn’t enjoy it or have fun? I asked.
” It’s not that it was bad. There are many boys there with you.
Yoga can impact people’s’ lives in a powerful way: awakening meaningful connections with our bodies, uplifting spirits, increasing flexibility, strength and health, releasing stress, offering insights and a new outlook on life… As a result, it’s only natural that some yogis feel inspired to teach this goodness. So where does one begin?
Almost a year ago, I’d traveled to India. It was my second visit, but my first time exploring it through yoga.
At the time, I wrote some light posts from a travel perspective, giving readers a brief peek into what it was like staying at a yoga ashram and getting my yoga teacher’s certification at a school there.
How many times can I look at Buddhas and temples?
Ordinarily, my tolerance isn’t high for seeing the same things over and over.
Variation is key.
After a month long yoga bootcamp at Himalaya Yoga Valley in Dharamsala, I finally graduated. Woot! Muscles aching, belly battling waterborne parasites, while hurdling through two asana classes a day and intensive schedule of studies and teaching practicums… It was a lot! Along the way, you accept your body’s shape-shifting as your foreign environment molds you– injury happens, bad diets take form (carb-loading cause you can’t eat veggies), India initiates you with horrible toilet habits.
But good things come from it as well…
At 6 AM. the morning fog was lifting off the lake. Devotional music poured joyously over the loudspeaker of a neighboring temple and echoed eerily, as fly-by birds bore life to the serene setting. Sitting in silence I felt the sun spreading it’s rays across my body with an exquisite orange and gold. I inhaled….OM.
We all have this idea that Tibetan Buddhist monks and nuns have very stoic , temperate and reserved personalities. Afterall, walking Buddha’s Middle Path (of compassion), doesn’t exactly lend itself to the appearance of being excitable, emotional or argumentative. Yet, monks have their moments and in their monk clan, they reveal themselves to be absolutely human when it comes to “the art of debate”!