After the riding around in search for apartments in the 5000/bhat a month range ceased, David directed us to a Buddhist monastery for what they call “Monk Chats”. I kid you not, they had a sign on the door that read just that.
We go in and sit down, as a group, to speak with one (eventually two) of the monks. There Tyler, Jeremiah, and myself all listened to the life of this seemingly young monk who had been in practice for 11 years. After his life story, we were able to let him into ours through questions.
I took the opportunity to speak about two things that have weighed on my mind, both generally and specific to this moment in my life.
1. Buddhism emphasizes the idea of living in the now, and constantly being present. How does that transfer into goals one wants to attain in life? How do you balance ambition with being present?
2. Any advice on how to deal with Rudi’s death?
The talk was interesting in that for a very long while, he would not look at me when answering questions. He would have consistent eye contact with Tyler and Jeremiah, yet with me it was very shotty, even when answering one of my questions directly. His body language also changed immediately upon the arrival of his studies teacher. It was almost eerie to me. But I digress…
I cried. Listening to him speak on his own mother’s death, as well as the necessity for me to stay true to “investigating” my own emotions in regards to Rudi’s passing really put me in a place where the strangers, cast members, and cameras became irrelevant, and while looking this monk directly in the eye, tears fell. Overwhelmed at the idea of death, as well as being in the midst of dialogue with the revered messenger of Buddhism, the religion I have always felt closes to, was heavy on the heart.
I donated to the monastery and walked away with two matching meditation necklaces (one for myself and one for Nelson), as well as a bracelet.
We left and I headed towards Tyler’s bike, only for David to say “You’re riding with me.” How do I explain David? David is a high dosage of crazy, balanced with education and charisma.
He’s the type of guy that blurs the line between famous and infamous, fear and legitimate danger, life and death. Here I was riding on his bike, both invigorated and terrified as I see him as a person with few limits.
He spoke to me about Rudi, the passing of his father, and death in general. The night before, over drinks a conversation ensued about the paradoxes in the Universe. It touched on everything from art to quantum physics. There is some heavy shit being dished out in Thailand. He said that he felt my energy deeper last night. He is a mind reader and magician, though.
So we rode, everyone else followed and I felt so alive. I released my hands a number of times and just let go. There was a dangerous comfort that I had on his bike, and for tonight it agreed with me…for tonight.