A day of my life. January 20, 2015

How I volunteered in Thailand, was chilling in the hot weather, and lived near a buddhist temple.

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In Russian Livejournal there is a community called ‘A Day of my life’, where anyone can write about a day of their lives and share photos. Looking at it made me appreciate diversity and try to live every day of my life to the fullest. Back in January 2015 I took photos of how I lived one day and am sharing them just now. 

Back then I was volunteering for Peace Revolution project in Pathum Thani, Thailand, which is about 40 km north from Bangkok. The aim of the project is teaching people to develop inner peace through meditation and share it with others, and by this make the world a better place to live in. Who can be best meditation teachers? Those who are doing it all the time, the monks. So I learnt meditation from the monks, helped work on projects and travelled my self-development journey in the middle of nowhere, in a very quiet and peaceful corner of Thailand.

I woke up at 6 AM and do a crazy cardio T25 workout with a video by Shawn T. It takes you 25 minutes to complete and about 3 min of stretching after. You become supersweaty and its totally worth it. At that time I took up a challenge to complete 10 weeks of T25 daily trainings (one day off per week on Saturdays) and it really changed my days. Waking up to being active! And after that I would also try to stand on my hands at least for 2 seconds =)

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For someone who was not used to living in the village, I really enjoyed these morning bike rides through what I called ‘the village road’.

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Every day on my way to work I would bike by the Dhammakaya temple which sponsored us with teaching monks. It is huge and unbelievably different from all the other temples in Thailand. Since they believe in concentrating in the very center point of your body while meditating, they built a temple in the shape concentrated circles (if you look from above), which means going deeper and deeper inside yourself (at least this is my understanding). During big buddhist holidays more that 1 million people have gathered in this area to meditate together, and it’s quite a spectacular view even for tourists. The golden part is made of 1 million (!!!) golden buddha statues – 300 thousand outside, and 700 thousand kept inside.

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I arrived at work and had a nice breakfast (Thailand is full of delicious fruit and back then I was also addicted to condensed milk, I was just eating it by spoon). One cool thing about the NGO I volunteered with was their corporate culture of cleanliness. The idea is, that even though we had a cleaning lady, everyone from the office had to clean twice a week, in order to help each other and to understand the efforts necessary to keep it clean. On Jan 20 I cleaned together with Aum, a sweet and shy Thai girl who is immensely curious and has unfolded like a beautiful flower into a mature and wise woman through the time I have known her.

After cleaning I started my working day, and here I would sit in front of a computer and I had two main tasks – to coach people online, who have started the free Peace Revolution self development program, to support them and give advice on meditation, and to coordinate a fellowship we would organize in Georgia later in May 2015.

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And of course as in every office, I procrastinated a little bit watching Cinnamon challenge videos.

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Before lunch I meditated for an hour or so. We had a special room dedicated to meditation, and we could go there anytime. A ‘must have’ for every office. A secret I must share here is – try not to meditate after eating, this will make you fall asleep for sure.

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One of the things I loved the most during that volunteering time was lunch with my colleagues. We had girls from Bolivia, Mexico, and Chile, a guy from Colombia, I was Ukrainian, and Thai staff who were always sweet and helpful and would teach us Thai words so that we could get around easier. We talked a lot about self development, healthy eating, making ourselves better, love, wisdom, and many others things that I came to realize I hadn’t talked about with friends over food. This was a habit that I kept, and now I love both small talk and  meaningful conversations.

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In Thailand it is so hot that after lunch you need to hide in an air conditioned space, otherwise you would just melt and fall asleep at the same time. So we would hide in our cold cold office, and I must admit I never expected to often feel so cold in Thailand. We worked four more hours, and then biked back home.

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Normally we would read books and practice yoga in the evenings with my roommate Angie from Bolivia, and it was so liberating to be free for such simple and fulfilling activities. And to never be in a rush. On January 20th we went to a shopping mall to buy some pants and have a dinner, but I guess it was not so meaningful to me, because I did not save any photos.

What is a typical day of YOUR life?

 

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