“This is your meditation.”
And he handed me a yellowing, laminated card.
We were sitting on the back of a ‘rot daang’ red taxi truck on the way to the village of Ban Kat, 30 kilometres south west of Chiang Mai.
It was 6am and we were sharing the ride with a small, old lady who had an arm full of ‘phuang malai’ flower garlands.
She was selling the delicate ropes of fragrant, cream flowers to the ‘falang’ white foreigners at Ban Kat market.
They pay three times the local rate she said to Yoshi in Northern Thai.
Yoshi translated to me and I giggled and nodded, but quickly turned my attention back to the card.
It was the size of a portrait postcard.
On its front was an image of a web, printed in black.
In black print at the bottom of the web were the words ‘trust’ and ‘Earth’.
On the left hand, middle side of the web was the word ‘faith’.
On the right side was the word ‘hope’.
At the top of the web were the words ‘LOVE’ and ‘spirit’.
Yoshi could see me looking at the card.
“I’ve had a few copies printed in English.
This copy has been waiting for you.
Now slowly read the words on the back of the card and put it away.
This will be your muse and your mantra during your week’s meditation on Kings Mountain.”
This is what was written on the back of the card:
‘We are one, but we are many.
A communion of man, woman, and earth in the life web.
The life web is a delicate, strong, evolving, ever-changing force.
When the strands of a spider web connect they create a fascinating pattern. It is not perfect but uneven, wavy, almost chaotic, and radiantly beautiful.
The life web is the ability to function and evolve in peace through the day-to-day change of life.
Life is not perfect.
Nor is a spider’s web.
But it is functional and balanced.
Balance is imperfection.
A web reflects the natural balance of a life well led.
Each side of the web represents life:
- Left is Faith: love of self—the personal life.
- Right is Hope: love of fellows—the social life..
- Bottom is Trust: love of earth—the natural life.
- Top is Love: love of all—the spiritual life. In your daily meditation take note of the following four points:
- Faith in a spiritual power provides energy for the greater good. Faith gives purpose to life, just as an act of faith encourages ego deflation.
- Hope gives meaning to a future life and empowers individuals to find peace and enable trust in others.
- Trust provides joy through the communion of the human experience on mother earth.
- Love manifests in each foundation and is released into the life web.
When the foundations of faith, hope, and trust are woven together, the individual experiences ego deflation at depth and is then free to experience communion with the earth and the spirit. The web can be broken at any moment, when the individual falls into ego.
The top of the web is a spirit chakra or vortex of love.
When you are in spirit the chakra is open and vibrating with energy and light It is suspended, moving, changing.
When you are in ego the chakra closes and becomes heavy and still. It drops, falling to the earth.
I finished reading the card and looked up to see the old woman staring at me, her head tilted with a small smile on her face.
It dawned on me quietly and gently.
This was to be the most challenging and momentous week of my life.
Every tear and every smile.
It had all come to this small, sweet moment sitting in the back of a rot daang with a Japanese monk.