When I think of Bangkok Thailand, where I was about this time last year, I remember beautiful Buddhist temples with ancient statues, like the immense gold-leafed image of the reclining Buddha, or the statues of sages doing yoga postures. I recall monks in light orange robes buying coffee and taking boat rides on the Chao Phraya River that runs through the city.

I also think of the sixty or so mostly Thai people in my Traditional Thai Massage class and the chanting before class in the Thai language to honor and invoke a healing state of mind. All of my minor health ailments disappeared during that week in which I was learning Thai Massage eight hours a day. I was sore from being palpated over and over in the same places by students. We learned to massage acupressure points along Sen Lines all over the body. Sen Lines are similar to acupuncture meridians and are said to be pathways along which the “lom” or life-force travels. When there is pain, the Sen line is said to be obstructed or even “broken.” There were two lines on the inner leg and three on the outer. The back had two major lines with additional lines around the scapula. Similarly th 타이마사지 e arms, the neck, the head, the feet, and the abdomen were all mapped with points and lines to be worked with palm and finger acupressure. The bottoms of the feet were also used to administer the massage, in places such as along the hamstrings on the back of the thighs. My entire body was being used as an instrument to relax and open people up to the life-force of “lom” as I learned to use my elbows, my forearms, and even my knees at one point to relax and release tense muscles and obstructed energy flow. We learned also to stretch people into various postures, providing a kind of assisted yoga, a hallmark feature of Thai Massage.

At the end of a week of being pressed and prodded, stretched and stretched some more, both my body and mind were freed up. As I walked the streets of Bangkok surrounded by a population which almost entirely Buddhist, I had a satori moment. In the midst of all the street vendors, honking rickshaws and taxis, I asked myself about the root causes of my life issues and flashed on the cause of my sufferings: the sense of “I,” “Me,” and “self.” The knots and tensions that I have within myself all hinge on some worry, some memory, or some anxiety all related to my individual story line. “I” haven’t achieved this or that, or “I” don’t have enough work, or “I” was laughed at by those people.

At a Buddhist monastery named Wat Arun, I visited one of the head monks and described my “aha” moment. He thought I had glimpsed or seen through the dilemma of the self which is the source of our problems in life. He said if I would keep “enquiring” and “questioning” in my meditation that the satori moment could be extended, becoming more and more a stable way of life. He stated that merely breathing, watching the breath, and relaxing in meditation would not be enough. To make progress spiritually, he instructed, I would need to ask “why?” Why am I suffering in this way? What is the real cause?

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