Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Matter of Time

Even before I left for Thailand I wrestled with how to manage my time while I was there. I felt I only had so much time and had so much to get done, to see and to accomplish. I knew I had to use time wisely and efficiently and not wastefully or ineptly.
Two tall strands of bamboo stand a hundred yards from my front steps. They mirror each other though the reflections are not perfect. Standing side-by-side they create a gateway and an ikon to a reality that transcends space and time. I sit for hours gazing upon these delicate lacy growths. A background of grey haze accentuates their presence and in early evening as the light fades they become mere silhouettes against the darken sky. Sometimes I ponder their presence for a moment, an hour and sometimes more. As I do time passes but I do not notice. In the land of a thousand images I contemplate these unruly clumps of bamboo as others meditate on the Buddha.
Time passed today…
The formal training began today. The intent of the training was to integrate the counselor’s knowledge of Western counseling techniques with Shan cultural approaches. There are two young man that spent many years in Buddhist monasteries. My hope is that as we explore they will see ways to utilize their training. When I mentioned that we needed to learn together they looked puzzled. Much of the education in Thailand is in Friere’s work called a “banking system.” We open your skull pour in the information and shut the door. In other words rote learning. One Shan leader called the Shan people “Order People.” He said “Our people are used to taking orders and do not process information.” However another educator pointed out that once their horizons are expanded, they can think with the best... " My hope is that my training will help the counselors to further develop their analytical and critical thinking skills through the use of narrative and story.
We shall see…

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