A Day at the Suan

It’s 5:30am and the light is barely starting to peek through the clouds,
depending on the season.

A loud vibration is sounding outside the walls of your bamboo living space. And even though you’re supposed to be on holidays, it feels oddly satisfying to get up this early knowing it’s with good reason – the health and well being of the soul. The comfiest bed you’ve slept on in Asia, maybe even in your life, is easy to leave for the day.

You brush your teeth and walk to the big house, up the stairs to the yoga shala. The mats have been mindfully set out by whomever is leading the class. You grab an extra cushion from the prop room so your hips can sit higher than your knees, allowing a comfortable sit through the morning meditation. The ring of a singing bowl starts practice.

Two hours later, the same sound awakens the class from savasana. We all sit up together and reflect. The tone has been set for the most […] of days. Insert whatever adjective you want it to be, it’s your own day to move through however you wish.

Walking down the stairs into the dining area, the kitchen angels have done it again. A luscious spread is laid of tropical fruit straight from the garden (the suan) or the local market. And waffles. Can’t forget the waffles. They never do. And chocolate sauce?! Are you sure this is vegan?!?! We assure you, it is.

The day is so ripe with possibility.

Read a book from the spiritual section of the library?
Attend the daily workshop?
Or have a creative romp at the ever abundant art table.

Define your “why” upon arrival.

Know why you’re here, and it will be easier to make those decisions.

But really, any choice you make will enrich your life in some way.

The flavors of lunch waft around the big house as 1:00 approaches. Meals around here are… bountiful. Plant-based local Thai cuisine, which is hardly easy to find anywhere else, mounds the dining table as we all gather to ground before diving into the pot of green curry.

Laughs are shared while washing up, and the idea of a nap in a hammock arises. Seems fitting as the jungle heat creeps in or an afternoon rainstorm rolls over the sky.

4:00 already? Well, 3:45 as the gong sounds for the afternoon session. Mmmm, this one is going to be delicious. Something slow and juicy to wind down the day.

Followed by dinner, it feels like much of what we do around here is eat. It’s where good conversation really happens, over that plate of stir fried veg and sticky rice.

Maybe there’s a movie afterwards or an ecstatic dance or a jam session with all of the instruments laying around. It’s okay if you don’t know how to play, just make noise with something. The fun is in the collaboration.

We all retire to bed, exhausted from the day and shocked that it’s only 9:30. We’re so used to staying up much later in our regular lives.

There’s just something about the jungle that gets us in tune with our natural rhythm…

Come find out what yours looks like in the Garden of Mindfulness.

 

Words by Kelsey Stratton