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Welcome to Jeroensjourney 2!
Dear reader, Beste lezer,
 
Welcome to the weblog that follows on jeroensjourney.punt.nl. Here I will update you on my experiences in Thailand and India, and my personal inner or spiritual journey. After my healing journey described on jeroensjourney.punt.nl (with also information about Buddhism, meditation, Taoism and other healing practices), this weblog, from early 2007, relates about further healing and spiritual growth for an increasingly happy and true life.
 
With love from Asia,
 
Jeroen Deva Geetesh (jeroensjourney@gmail.com)
(I check this e-mail not very often, so let me know, on my blog, that you sent me an e-mail)
 
P.S.:
Je reactie is van harte welkom!     
Reactions are very welcome!
Where:    Guys bar, The Sanctuary, Haad Tien, Koh Phangan, Thailand
When:     Friday, 1 March 2008
 
Dancing on Koh Phangan island
 
After my Taoist Healing love workshop (more about that later), I spend a night on the internet and skyping with my girlfriend who is not with me here in Thailand and then went for some dancing.
This was the weekly party in guys bar here in Haad Tien bay. This was the place where I had one of my best new year's eve parties ever on new year's eve 2006/2007. And it was after that party and my stay in the Sanctuary that I wrote my very positive outlook for the year 2007. I was sure than that the year was going to bring me lot's of good. And it did.
 
Now I just spend about 2 hours of constant dancing. After all the work sith sexual energy in the workshop I was so fit and full of energy and really enoyed the dancing. I got a lot spontaneous nice feedback on my dancing. One guy who was at the course told me the day after: "Thank you for yesterday." "Huh, what?" I asked. "Yeah, for your dancing, it is very inspiring."
Never thought about that. That my solo dancing would inspire others. I just do it because I love it. And I guess it is with everything. If you do what you love that is noticed and people like that.
 
What I also noticed was that it was so great to dance absolutely sober. All I drunk in the one and a half hour I was there was one litre of water (I easily sweated that much as well ;-)). And after the course my consciousness was sharp as a razorblade. I felt so balanced and in a space of no mind and that really added to the thrill of the dancing. So much better than the half unconscious state of the intoxication caused by alcohol. But sadly many people need that to loosen up and get in touch with their feelings. I stick with the slogan I found on a door in my guesthouse in Chiang Mai:
"No drugs here! If you want to get high: meditate." 
 
At 3 am I was back at my bugnalow on the beach and, after sweating so much from the dancing, went for a naked swim in the moonlight. Beautiful, and nobody around so who cares.
(Naturist beaches, do, as far as I know not exist in Thailand ;-).
Anyway, I loved it. Live in paradise is great.
 
The view from my bungalow in the morning
 
All the best from Thailand,
 
Jeroen
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Where:  Pai, Thailand
When:   19-02-2007
 
A great day in Pai
 
Dear reader,
 
Before telling you about my meditation experiences (which could easily lead to many blogs), I'll write about my last day in the mountain Village of Pai. A nice backpackers' haven with a laid-back atmosphere and beautiful surroundings.
 
Walk outside Pai
 
Enjoying my first days in Pai with mountainbiking and hiking, my pen-ultima (is that English? The day before the last day) (of 5) was a very nice one as well. I stayed in and around the village. I walked out the village, crossing the river near my river-side guesthouse. In a few minutes walk I was in the rice fields in the middle of the Thai countryside where a nice English women ran a bungalow operation (see pictures underneath). I was exploring options for a next stay as my
The bungalows in the rice fields outside Pai
 
guesthouse was nice, but with wooden rooms, rather than separate bungalows lacked a bit of (audio) privacy. And for a longer stay a quiet just out of town location might be nice.
 
Anyway, I told her about my plans to go meditating in a few days and she told me about a Wat I had considered but did not know, not for from Chiang Mai. She told me that one was nice so my decision was taken: I knew where to go to meditate.
 
A quiet day
 
My afternoon was having lunch, reading a bit, putting photos on my blog. Nothing much.
 
Diner with a friend
 
At night I met a girl I met in Tao Garden (during my retreat) who lived in Pai and gave yoga-lessons there. A really nice American girl with a dramatic life story who was now, even though she just broke up with her Thai boyfriend, doing very well.
Even though we hadn't spoken much in Tao Garden it was very nice to meet up and I only just caught her in time as she was off for a couple of months of work in New Zealand.
 
Meeting my English neighbours
 
On the way to Pai from Chiang Mai, I had met to English men in the minibus. They stayed most of the winter in India (one for the 6th consecutive time) and made a visit to Thailand. A bit the opposite of what I am doing, as I am taking a return trip to India (starting March 3rd) from Bangkok.
 
After dinner I walked into Pai and looked if I could see my English friends somewhere. It wasn't long before I found them in a bar. At 9.30 PM they were still drinking, trying to leave for dinner. Even though I just had had dinner I proposed to join them.
We had a really good time with a lot of laughter and ended up at midnight in the little Indian shack on one of the main streets in the village, run by an authentic Indian from new Delhi. I was introduced to the best samosas in Thailand (really deliscious my Indian veteran dish-mates confirmed) and my friends told that even though they loved Thailand, they missed India.
Great to hear for me as I was still a little bit scared for the chaos, the bad hygiene, the theft in India two weeks before my own trip there.
 
 
All in all, I had a great day. That is what I would like to have somewhere. That you can just walk into town and bump into people. But first I have to think where that place where I am going to make and meet these friends will be.
But first, more adventure, more new places, more new people!
 
I keep you posted,
 
Jeroen
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Where:   Koh Pah Ngan to Chiang Mai, Thailand
When:    7 - 9 January 2007
 
Thailand: travelling South to North 
 
Dear reader,
 
After two weeks on the beach it was time to head north to Chiang Mai before my Taoist course would start.
When I left it was rather rainy and a bit windy so I hoped my trip wouldn't be a repetion of my seesick trip on the way out. It started with waiting for the longtail boat to get us out of our bay to Had Rin, the nearest town that had roads to connect with the rest of the world. After some 45 minutes, we didn't know exactly when the boat would go, a not so happy looking, shivering Thai man appeared, wrapped in a waste disposal back. He was the boatsmen and he was sick. "I sick. Cannot go. If I go maybe I die."
Mmm, we didn't think it was that bad, but we didn't want to be responsible for this poor man getting any sicker or ending up with a, not so easy to manoeuvre, long-tail boat on a rough see. So we continued doing what travelling often is all about: waiting.
Maybe another 30 minutes later a boat appeared on the horizon which actually came to pick us up. The ride was great fun with our skilled boatsman riding down the swells, which were up to 3 metres high, like a surfer. No, I don't think any of us would have been able to bring us safely to town like this man did.
 
In Had Rin, I and a Canadian girl needed to go to the boat terminal to go back to the mainland so we took a minibus to the next town. There we bought tickets and collected our stickers so typical for organized trips in Thailand. So my sticker said "Train", indicating that after the boat I would have to board a bus to the nearest train station.
After waiting for an hour the boat trip took maybe two hours and with little wind it ended up being a very comfortable ride. I had a nice chat with a Taiwanese guy and a Swedish girl about Buddhism and meditation (which they both did as well) and we then went each to our busses to the next transport hub.
 
My next destination appeared to be a small travel agency where those headed for 'train' had to wait for a minibus to bring us to the railway station of Surat Thani. Around six o'clock I arrived there. I left my room on Koh Pah Ngan, about 50 kilometres away at 10 am, or 8 hours ago.
Now the question was wether I would be able to get a train ticket to Bangkok. Everyone I spoke with on the bus had made a reservation and people told me that the trains were very full and that I would be really lucky to get a ticket. Prepared to stay overnight at Surat Thanai - I was in no hurry - I asked for a sleeper place to Bangkok. And I got one on the 10 pm train. I kind of had expected that as for me in Thailand everything always goes right.
 
Spending some hours chatting with a German carpenter who spent 3 months every winter in Thailand, this wait was a nice one. But I love trains and railway stations anyway and we got ourselves some nice food from the street stalls, which I really enjoyed after having been dependent on restaurants for the last two weeks.
 
I arrived in the morning in Bangkok where I reserved another sleeper for that night to Chiang Mai.
I spent the afternoon walking around the railway station area, with internet, eating and reading. With another reasonable night of sleeping I arrived in Chiang Mai after 48 hours of travelling and found the same room as where I had stayed for many weeks in April and May on my last visit to Chiang Mai.
It felt a bit like coming home.
 
All the best,
 
Jeroen
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When:        31st of December 2006
Where:       The Sanctuary and around, Koh Pah Ngan, Thailand
 
New Year's Eve costume party in Thailand
 
Dear reader,
 
As you see I am a full month behind on my blog, but that's what happens when you do retreats and have so many other things to do.
New year's eve was definitely one of my highlights of my journey so far and show that I am doing more than meditating and 'work on myself' here in Thailand and also that I haven't become a monk or something who renounces all wordly pleasures :-).
 
Costume party
 
I must admit that I did get a little stressed when I heard that the New Year's Eve party was going to be a costume/masked party. "Where the hell am I going to get a costume here in the jungle???" Improvise was the answer to that question. I wanted to get in touch with my creativity and playfulness: here was a challenge! Flicking through my limited wardrobe I found a black piece of cloth I use as a sweat band when running and a black T-shirt. Looking at my unshaved chin, the first idea came up: I'll dress myself up as a criminal.
In town the next day, I was not planning to buy a lot but, found a black sarong with dragons on it which I loved and bought. Now I was almost there. A Thai criminal I would be, wearing a sarong for the first time in my life.
More people had wondered what to wear for the night and Shashi, the lovely girl who led the aum meditation and gives Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massages and lives near the Sanctuary, organised a 'make your own costume gathering in her house'. It was there that I found a witch/wizzard hat and thus I ended up as a wizzard, not as a criminal during the change of the year.
Also, after doing the aum meditation I had sort of become part of the in-crowd as several of the people who participated where residents of the area. And, shouting, crying, laughing, dancing, going crazy and more definitely gives a bond. Even with total strangers.
 
Beach banquet and dancing
 
The party started with a nice meal on a very long table sitting, Japanese style, on the beach with candles and moonlight. Wow, what a nice way to end the year! I had a nice chat with my German neighbours who lived in Rome working for the FAO (United Nations Food etc.). Before I knew it it was already 10 pm and time to meet Shashi and the others to change into our costumes and start of the night. After a torch light walk through the jungle on my way to Shashi's house I discovered that they already left. I changed into my costume and made my way down to the Sanctuary where the party had already started and many costumed people where already present. As soon Shashi (see 'fotoalbum') and the others joined it was an amazing party with the most amazing costumes. As I was told later it was the best and 'most costumed' party they had had in the history of this annual events. I won't doubt that.
 
New Year's celebration
 
2007 was celebrated with big fire-heated lanterns / lampions (ehhh, what's the right word for this) going high into the sky and with fireworks on the beach. The fireworks where an interesting Thai experience. The Thai who where lighting the fireworks had great fun although it seemed that nothing really went the way it should have. In my humble opinion fireworks should go up vertically into the sky, but the 'Thai fireworks' went more horizontally, making us step back a bit not to get hurt. A guy beside me joked "I am sure this is all according to the Thai health and safety standards". I was sure as well. And that was exactly why I was a little worried.... But after the spectacle everyone still had his or her limbs and eyes and the new year was further celebrated with a bonfire on the beach. I like most others headed back to the dance floor.
 
 
Dancing, dancing, dancing
 
From midnight on almost all I did was dancing. First at the Sanctuary and when the party ended there at 3 am at the nearby open-air bar/disco. The atmosphere was great and I was surprised how much success I had with my 'little effort' costume. I guess after all the Taoist inner alchemy I must be quite credible as a wizzard :-). Anyway, one girl, Natasha (see photo), became really excited every time she saw me, which is always nice ;-). And even when I leant out my wizzard hat here excitement did not cease, so maybe it was not just my costume.... I wonder if she was completely sober as far as drugs were concerned. You have enthusiasm and enthusiasm, but this was something else. Anyway, with only three alcoholic drinks during a 10-hour night I had just as much fun as anybody else, whatever they used.
Anyway we had a lot of fun dancing together until her boyfriend decided that we got along a bit too good and I took it a little bit easier. No need to spoil a good night, and I would have felt the same in his shoes, but did not realise until very late that she had a boyfriend. I liked her but was mainly interested in having a nice night which I certainly did.
For me this all was more proof that since I had healed some personal stuff in Romania in september and done a lot of grounding and centering work the dynamic in my contact with women has changed for the better as I seem to attract them more than ever.
 
To my own surprise I was able to keep up the pace, dancing almost none stop until 6 am. And then I did not stop because I was tired, but because my bare feet hurt from too much dancing. With only chi ( I had done a lot of Taoist energy work the previous days) I surprised myself, but when I woke up at 11 am I could just hear the party end. For me it hgad been enough. What a great way to start the new year!
 
All the best to you,
 
Jeroen
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Where:  Koh Tao, Thailand
When:   22 December - 27 December 2006
 
Dear reader,
 
After Bangkok I went to Koh Tao, an island on the east coast of southern Thailand. It wasn't where I was headed for, but it was so windy that I arrived completely seasick in Koh Tao and decided to give the next  hour on the boat a miss.
 
Koh Tao (I like the name!) turned out to be an extremely hilly island with roads that are so steep that I even wondered whether I'd be able to cycle them with a mountain bike. The place I went to (offered to me on arrival and it sounded okay) was a quiet resort on a small beach with one other bungalow operation. It was great for snorkelling with many coloured fish very near the shore. The many divers (the place is a diver's paradise) told me that they had seen many shark. The small island a couple of hundreds of metres from the coast was called 'shark island' so that made sense. I didn't see any sharks. And to be honest: I didn't mind.
 
My days started with my Taoist exercises, chi kung and meditation on a wooden platform on the beach looking out over the sea. The most amazing place to practice! Apart from that is was swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, massage, walks to town (about 40 minutes up and down), reading, eating, socialising and more exercises. I hoped to find some rest for painting but there were simply too many things I wanted to do.
 
I had expected that like last year in Bangkok I would miss Christmas in this Buddhist country, but our friendly Thai hosts had other plans. The day started with an afternoon beach and reef cleanup. A Christmas clean up instead of a spring clean up!  Then we played volleyball which was fun with our Thai hosts and then a great Christmas diner beside the beach finsihing with a bonfire on the beach. A really nice day as I got to know quite a few of the people in the resort and we had a really good time. Mmm, palmtrees instead of christmas trees. Let's say I didn't miss Christmas at home with darkness and the rain and the cold outside.   
 
Koh Tao was a good reminder how it is stil possible to live in paradise for 20 euros a day. Life is good in Thailand!
 
All the best,
 
Jeroen
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Where:  Bangkok, Thailand
When:   19 - 22 December 2006
 
Meeting  friends in Bangkok
 
Dear readers,
 
When I arrived in Bangkok, it didn't start as I was used to since I arrived at a different airport. The massive, architecturally beautiful new Bangkok Airport was completed and in use. But while I went through the passport control I realised that this was a kind of homecoming, as I met Lieke,  a Dutch girl I met at my meditation retreat in Chiang Mai in April. She had been in Holland for a couple of months and was back on track for a year or more of travelling. We shared a taxi and it was nice to meet up again. In Bangkok,
exhausted and not really in the mood for more socializing we each went our way, checking into a guesthouse.
 
It felt funny to walk around Soi Rambuttri in what already was my 6th visit to Bangkok. So yes, I felt at home, and enjoyed the warmth and the fruit and food stalls on the street. And like always, I was amazed to see that again new guest houses had been built, other buildings and shops changed and even a few completely new temple buildings in the adjoining Wat Chana Songran compound had been constructed. And I had only be away for just over 5 months!
 
After a good nap and a massage, I went on for my next social outing. I was going to meet my Thai friend Thirayoot for dinner. It was really nice to meet up again, but I maybe wasn't as social as I'd liked to be and did not last too long as tired as I was.
 
On my second day in Bangkok I had arranged to meet my French-American friend Anne who I'd met in Kyoto (Japan) in June. She had kind of settled in Bangkok and was busy organising her photographs (she is an artist and professional photographer) on the internet. It was really nice to meet up as it was in Kyoto, because again we were so much on the same wave length again.
 
All in all, despite my jetlag, it was a nice start of my journey, which indeed felt more like 'coming home' than a visit to a far away exotic country.
 
After three nights in Bangkok I already left the city to move on to the islands. I was a bit in a hurry, worried that arriving just before Christmas might lead to problems finding accomodation.
 
Take care,
 
Jeroen
Lees meer...
Where:  Bangkok, Koh Tao
When:   19 - 27 December 2006
 
Double jetlag in Thailand,
 
Dear reader,
 
My journey in Thailand started good and not so good. I'll start with the 'bad news'. After a night in the plane from Brazil to Holland, 2 nights in a bed in Holland, another night in the plane from Holland to Thailand, 2 nights in a bed in Bangkok and a night in the bus followed by a horrible boat trip (it was very windy and almost everyone on the boat got sea sick) I arrived on the tropical island of Koh Tao to relax, feeling exhausted. With 9 hours time difference with Brazil and so much travelling I experienced the worst jetlag I ever had. It took as much as 7 days after arrival in Thailand before I felt normal again.
 
A jetlag is a funny thing. It is not just being tired and particularly travelling eastwards, as I did, it can be really annoying. I described it as follows: "It feels as if my soul is still somwhere above the Atlantic or above Europe, unable to catch up with the speed of my travelling". It felt like I wasn't really there. Really weird and unpleasant. But my beach resort with beautiful snorkeling and cheap massage, was of course the best place to be in the circumstances.
 
Read the 'good news' in my next blog,
 
Jeroen
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