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Photo by Tessa Denison

Respect, Appreciation, Mindfulness

Respect – so many vantage points.
Respect for ourselves.
Respect for our elders.
Respect for our peers and acquaintances.
Respect for our family.
Respect for the earth.
Respect for nature and its creatures and creations.
Respect for being.

Appreciation for the beauty of the land and what the earth can do for us to help sustain life.
Appreciation for our soul and our body and our mind – allowing us to be present and experience new cultures, traditions and ideas while simultaneously challenging our own morals and thoughts.
Appreciation for being able to live outside of our comfort zone to open our minds and learn about the lives of others.
Appreciation for being.

Allowing our minds to reach a greater depth of awareness of our surroundings, facilitating a conscious intention to immerse in the unknown, in the discomfort, in the “different”, which in reality is not so different at all.
Mindfulness that we are all just being.

I have seen this group of students grow in all three of these: Respect. Appreciation. Mindfulness. They have bitten into the apple of Thai culture and tradition, both city life and that of the village of Huai Hin Lad Nai, getting a taste of its sweetness, witnessing the beauty of its shape and its physical form, tasting the depth of its flavour, gaining an awareness of its roots from which it was created.

This white thread around the wrist, which we all received from our host families before leaving the village, signifies the rejoining of our 32 spirits to our body so that we may be whole again and travel safely on our journey home.

For being welcomed into their homes and into their hearts, we are blessed and grateful. ♥