this body

Without N. I would now be miserable. With tooth pain, without phone and so many Dhamma discussions poorer.


Talking to him is challenging because he knows about the Dhamma as much as I do (or more) and he can ask good questions so that I have to look for good answers.

One thing I really appreciate is that he speaks straight forward – with tremendous respect for the robes but – straight and clear as just a real friend would do.


Thai people and those foreigners who live in Thailand for long usually always talk around, hinting, friendly suggesting. As a German this is the most difficult for me here in Thailand. If you try to help somewhere for example, a friendly ‘You don’t need to do this’ can mean ‘get your hands off and get lost before I lose my temper’ or it can mean ‘I care for you, please don’t do what you are doing’. One has to be very attentive and observe the speaker. But still most times you don’t get it right.


When I left Prao, I payed respect to A. K. and said that I will be back on the 18th, he answered: ‘maybe you come back before the 8th‘. which could well be an imperative and mean I have to be back before the 8th or it could be just a nice idea. Don’t know. So, if possible I’ll go down before the 8th.


I am comfortable with walking down now. In the beginning of my time here, I was short of breath and exhausted from walking 30 minutes for alms (short way) which is up hill on the way back. After 5 months in the mountains, (mentally) pushed by my companion, I can walk much longer now. Health is really restoring. Only the pain in the stomach and the left side of the chest is uncomfortable. I lean to the left more than ever (well observed by dear N.) My guess is that the pain comes from shingles that I had not too long ago, once in front on the chest and another time on the shoulder towards the neck where I have it usually every 10 years or so. Mostly its just a few itchy pimples and a lot of tiredness … and pain. Another guess (my brother’s) is, that it is Rheuma (arthritis). I had that a bit in Germany and Spain but in Thailand?


After N. made a mention that I get out of balance, notably physically, I started to do some meditative exercise to stretch the back, see if that gets me upright again. As a lay person I always did yoga, long walks with my dog, and much more moving around doing things. Since I am ordained I did mainly walking and sitting and some sweeping. I really had given up to care much for my body when I ordained as Mae Chii. Which was all right then because I was infatuated with having a healthy, (quite) perfect body.


Being far away from becoming an Arahant, I should probably care a bit more for this body now. 


One comment

  1. I think that thoughtful monks and nuns should take good care of their bodies, which includes exercise and yoga. Being a renunciate should not mean being inattentive to the body, since our bodies, such as they are, are a gift and allow us to study and to disseminate the Dhamma. If this means doing some weight training, yoga, or aerobics in one’s kuti, I feel that is a good thing to do. Just because our bodies are impermanent does not mean that we shouldn’t care for them as best we can…even monks and nuns in robes should be able to run, to exercise, and do yoga to strengthen body and mind. So, Bhikkhuni Phalayani, I hope that you do take good care of yourself, and exercise, and do yoga as you wish…the world needs you healthy and happy!

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