Entries in Thailand (3)



The website here2here came into being five years ago. My first blog post was titled “Ahlan Wa Sahlan”, an old Arabic greeting, welcoming guests.

Today I find myself on the island of Koh Samui in Thailand, and so “Sawadika” is the Thai word with which I greet you. 

As I look out my window I see that it is very low tide, as this evening will welcome a New Moon.  The rocks normally hidden by water peek out and make themselves known. They remind me of all the activity that goes on in life that is often not seen. 

Here for a three week fast and detox programme I have become aware of much that has being going on in my own body without me being fully aware of it. My experience is very different from the first fast and detox I underwent four years ago.  Into our second week, I am experiencing deep releases and much regeneration. 

There is a sense of much sweeping occurring.

The sweeper.

Before arriving here I also realised that although I have been decluttering in my home, much sweeping was needed in my digital life.  And so I have begun slowly to delete unnecessary or old documents and emails from my laptop. No small task and so I will continue with that when back in Abu Dhabi.  For now, my focus is on bodily well being. 

I have written before about Mindfulness and Balance and The Question of Balance, and balance is surfacing as a recurring theme for me yet again.

Since my last blog, I am happy to share that I was a finalist in the Mira Mobile Prize 2016 Exhibition in Porto, Portugal.  Three of my artworks are currently being shown in the Electron Salon at the Los Angeles Centre for Digital Art, and next week one of my works will be exhibited on an electronic screen in the reception area of the venue where the Mobile Digital Art and Creativity Summit being run by the Mobile Art Academy in Palo Alto, California, is being held. 

On and off line have now totally merged into one for me and can no longer be viewed separately.  The call to transparency and integrity grows stronger as the here2here world I envisioned five years ago becomes more and more of a reality. 



Day 13 of my two week fast and detox finds me feeling very different to what I did upon arrival. As toxins have been eliminated my energy levels have risen, and a feeling of lightness and clarity has been my companion these last few days.

Visits to the Chalong Temple, the Big Buddha, Sunset Beach and a mall have been possible in my free time. I have travelled in a tuk-tuk, the local taxi of Phuket, exposed largely to the elements. Traditional Thai massage has loosened muscles. I have listened to tales of Calcutta, Kashmir and Rajasthan, recollections of motorbike rides into the Himalayas, stories of both successful and failed business ventures, as well as family histories. We have all laughed a great deal and supported each other on the programme.

Much fills me with gratitude. For one, I have had the privilege to be introduced to the practice of Qi Qong and partake in meditation sessions led by Tobi Warzinek. Tobi spent seven years studying at the Center of Higher Tibetan Studies in Switzerland under the guidance of some of the greatest contemporary masters of Tibetan Buddhism.

Sensing the energy of people and places is something I often experience, but this has become heightened during my stay. In the Qi Qong classes, I have experienced energy flying all over my body as well as energy which is controlled and tangible.

Today I have found myself thinking much about online energy. To what extent does online presence convey energy? Is it possible to feel the energy of the other online through avatars, content produced or shared, quantity, quality, online conversations, etc.? If the worldwide web contains a flowing stream of consciousness arising from all its users, what sound does each individual make as s/he enters this stream? Is it a gurgle, a splash, a gush or a drip?

I believe energy is conveyed by online presence but would love to know what readers of this blog feel about this.

This morning as we walked to the Wellness Center we came upon this frog.

The famous frog haiku by Matsuo Basho immediately came to mind and somehow seems appropriate in this context too.  Here is the translation by Alan Watts:     

The old pond,

A frog jumps in:





Mostly Somewhere Else

Day 4 of my 14 day fast and detox in Thailand is underway.  After spending almost two days being ill, flat on my back most of the time, I am happy to report that I am feeling good. 

As the body eliminates toxins, various symptoms arise but thankfully they pass. To remember this while they are happening and to simply accept the experience is not so easy!

This morning, after a downpour of rain, the group stepped through the puddles and made our way to a deck overlooking the beach for our daily kundalini yoga session. The focus today was on the heart chakra. Sun salutations and chanting filled the space.

To end the practice, intentions for the day, uttered out loud, were shared. More than one participant expressed a need to be in the now and not worry about matters back home or what they would be doing upon departure.

Perhaps you’ve come across the two passages that follow before, but they always serve as a good reminder that our perception of reality is often distorted and blurred, and that it is even possible to live somewhere, be among people, and yet not truly see or hear. 

In  “Zen and the Art of Motor Cycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values”, Robert M. Pirsig describes two climbers:  

“To the untrained eye ego-climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical.  Both kinds of climbers place one foot in front of the other.  Both breathe in and out at the same rate.  Both stop when tired.  Both go forward when rested.  But what a difference!  The ego-climber is like an instrument that’s out of adjustment.  He puts his foot down an instant too soon or too late.  He’s likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees.  He goes on when the sloppiness of his step shows he’s tired.  He rests at odd times.  He looks up the trail trying to see what’s ahead even when he knows what’s ahead because he just looked a second before.  He goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about somewhere else, something else.  He’s here but he’s not here.  He rejects the here, is unhappy with it, wants to be farther up the trail but when he gets there will be just as unhappy because then the it will be ‘here’.  What he is looking for, what he wants, is all around him; but he doesn’t want that because it is all around him.   Every step’s an effort both physically and spiritually because he imagines his goal to be external and distant.”

And then there’s the ancient tale telling the story of a disciple who asked the Holy One where he should look for Enlightenment.  The tale goes something like this:

“Here,” the Holy One answered.

“When will it happen?”

“It’s happening right now,” the Holy One replied.

“Then why don’t I experience it?” asked the disciple.

“Because you do not look.”

“What should I look for?”

“Nothing,” the Holy One said. “Just look.”

“At what?” 

“Anything your eyes alight upon,” the Holy One said.

“Must I look in a special kind of way?”

“No,” said the Holy One. “The ordinary way will do.”

“But don’t I always look the ordinary way?”

“No,” the Holy One said. “You don’t.”

“Why ever not?” the disciple demanded.

“Because to look you must be here,” the Holy One said.  “You’re mostly somewhere else.”