New life update...

Trip Start Feb 28, 2012
Trip End Nov 22, 2012

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Flag of Thailand  , Chiang Rai,
Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hey you guys...!!

Long time no update i know.... well i am STILL here at New Life but unfortunately i just heard today that the house build i wanted to do is on hold until November so ill only get to work on half the project - big time bummer but its still worth  while me staying on and ill tell you why with all the things i am doing and learning here....

The schedule means that every morning before breakfast there is an activity, for me monday and wednesday is yoga, tuesday and saturady is boot camp (like circuit training) and thurs and friday is thai chi. I am starting to see and feel the benefits of yoga, not only physically being more flexible and capable but i am finally starting to be able to breath properly as i do it and see all the mind based benefits you can get from it too and i can really see why people really get the bug with yoga so much and why my fantastic sis loves it so much too! Tai Chi is great, its basically a martial art but a non voilent one but its based on body movement and balance, breathing and the moves are all representative of combat but on a slow controlled movement but the focus you place on what you are doing means its very meditative too. Its difficult though and i still have to follow the teacher on the first sequence but like anything its sinking in. Boot camp is new, so whereas i would have done yoga i have now started this coot camp an american guy has started, its circuit training but useful cos i am picking his brain all the time too on techniques, muscles worked etc

So late afternoon 4-6.30 we can have 2.5 hours of varying stuff, this week we had a monk from BKK teaching us meditation and giving some buddhist teachings on life and thought but he was great and pretty funny too, he swore quite a lot and gave some very interesting life example stories and acted out many of them for us! wish i had video'd some for you.... other than that we usually have yoga again for an hour, we also still have the steam bath which i dont do now, we football once a well/fortnight and basketball too. We had a guy here for a week doing acro yoga which was a new one, which is kind like remember you used to lay on your back with legs in air and someone would lay on your feet and act like an aeroplane? well its that but doing kinda yoga poses in mid air, i tried it once but think i prefer normal yoga! Usually we have 30 mins meditation at 6 and then dinner. after dinner its the meeting still where you answer a question set that morning, so it goes round the group. Its still mortifying to do but i get by. Last week i got a crazy response to my answer, it was name your favourite quote or phrase and i was last in a group of 30 and everyone had brought books or quotes from people like Ghandi, Einstein, Dalai lama etc but i could only think of the Pulp fiction one as they went round the whole group which i really couldnt have used! until i remembered the one my mum told us our grandad used to say and so when it came to me, i said i didnt have one but my grandad used to always say 'don't let the bastards grind you down'... anyway, the place erupted, no joke, i felt like Peter Kay when he first told his garlic bread joke! the boss, Julian went mental and has since become my biggest fan - i tell you, european humour is different but its moments like those you realise just how different we all find different things funny and on different levels, usually my dry english sense of humour goes pretty much untouched but tell em that your grandad swears and they love it?! Everyday is a learning day.

So after dinner i am now doing a thai massage course about 3-4 evenings a week learning level one and hopefully enough to do level 2 also which means i can practice it. Its complex and a lot to take in but interesting and all about pressing energy points and working energy lines and stuff.

Other than that there are sometimes podcasts to watch or listen to about Buddhism usually or twice a week movie and documentary night for which i usually give the recommendation and have to give a preview of in the meetings but i am so bad at describing them i think i actually put people off watching them. Mum and Del: Recommened Nowhere Boy last week which went down well. Yet to see anything i havent seen or something i like yet but if i do ill let you know about it.

One other thing i am doing which i havent mentioned is something called the Enneagram. Its a tool for learning about peoples personalities and behaviors and when i started here everyone talked about it and swore by it so i borrowed a book and read it and it really is as good as they say and so i am learning about my own and then theres an option to learn to teach it, it costs about 80 quid and takes a month but if i can learn my own well enough in the next two weeks i can learn to teach it too so look out everyone, when i get back you might be able to have me look in to your deepest darkest self with you..!! Only joking, its not like that but when im back ill tell you more about it and what its all about and lend you the book if your interested....

So the plan now is to stay here 6 weeks and then have 1-2 weeks to fix and hopefully sell my laptop, get a few nights out in Bangkok and some shopping done before my flight back on 21st November. Ill be flying back out to Vietnam on 8th January then to start the motorbike trip but also continue looking around SE and Central Asia for more similar or related things to what i have been learning.

One last thing; in Thailand you get like a free two week visa but have to travel to the border every two weeks, leave and come back instantly to get a new 2 week immigration stamp which is a real pain and it means a 3 hour round bus trip to Burma and back so last week i went to the Thai embassy back in Vientienne, Laos with a  friend Ellen from new life for a break and practice motorbike trip in laos so have posted a separate blog with the pics from that trip too. This might be last blog now until i get back as things generally wont change much so will prob keep in touch through email or skype until then so hope you enjoyed part 1 of the trips blogs so far, thanks for reading and looking and especially for leaving your comments - i do love to get those!

So yeah, more than ever i am missing you all, probably because i sense i coming back soon, only 2 months, and so i really cant wait to get back and spend some time back home and having fish and chips, a few UK nights out or beers and of course xmas and new year with family and friends. In the meantime take care of yourselves and see you all very very soon.

Love Lee..xx.x.x

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Delly on

Hey hey hey mr super duper master of all things zen! :) I cannot blieve how much you're learning and enjoying... so many people travel and bum around, but you, you've totally embraced all the new wonderful experiences which have come your way - well done bro mega mega proud of you ya know xxx

You look mega by the way... and no wonder with all that working out, and yes YOGA YOGA YOGA... alas you can convince the other guys in the UK that it's challenging, rewarding and has soooo many benefits! You can definitely come along to my classes when you're back in Nov :) I've seen you eating fried bugs though... not sure how rewarding that will be on your digestion hahaha!!!

Love that you gave the quote of "dont let the bast*rds grinde ya down" think it was actually nana lilly but hey that irrelevant still very funny and got you in the good books with everyone having given them all a good ol belly laugh :)

Can't wait to have you back late Nov... keep on learning and enjoying every moment. Its lashing it down here most days, loads of flooding and things are no different to when you left... so dont be homesick, just revel in your surroundings and enjoy :)

Love you oodles and caboodles, sis xxx
ps I defo want the personality/enneagram thing tested on me, I love that kinda stuff :)

Delly on

PS hows your drawing going?? x

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