I have just realized that Bangkok was the only city in my current travel stretch where I did not have any specific agenda apart from meeting with a friend. There was no retreat, no training, no nothing. It is nice to have such occasional lack of agenda.
Well, there was one agenda: to have a chat with my friend Nat. (oh and a Thai massage session.) I met Nat while I was in Spain on a chance occurrence. We had coffee and started to chat. The short chat grew into friendship.
This three-day visit to Bangkok was actually the second time I met her in person. I am not sure what I can write here. Any idea, Nat? I do not know any other persons with whom I can have discussion in the same way we have ours.
As my taxi drove for the airport early that morning, I felt sad. I have been to several places lately, but only Bangkok has managed to make me feel this sentimental.
It was as if I had left the city too soon. Bangkok seemed not to had had the chance to tell me its stories. Perhaps there were words that have not been said, scenes that have not been seen, and experiences that have not been shared.
On board the aircraft, I opened the first page of the book Nat has given me. The book titled “Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living written” by a female monk Pema Chödrön. What a powerful book. I shivered when I opened the first page and felt my eyes getting warmer as I read the preface.
Page ix, paragraph two:
“In our era, when so many people are seeking help to relate to their own feelings of woundedness and at the same time wanting to help relieve the suffering they see around them, the ancient teaches presented here are especially encouraging and to the point. When we find that we are closing down to ourselves and to others, here is instruction on how to open. When we find that we are holding back, here is instruction on how to give. That which is unwanted and rejected in ourselves and in others can be seen and felt with honesty and compassion. This is teaching on how to be there for others without withdrawing.”
I was writing this entry but I did not know at first what pictures I can put here as illustration. Perhaps I should have taken pictures of all the places we went and the things that we ate, Nat. But pictures seemed unimportant and almost irrelevant compared with the things that we chatted and shared. Thank you for being such a gift.
You were right. Our chance meeting was not by chance at all. It was not a meeting between two strangers. It was a meeting of two long lost friends.