Since being in Hong Kong, I recently got internet back and a cell phone where people can reach me on a regular basis. I also started going on Facebook again and found a place where I can veg out and watch TV and movies all day if I choose to.
And I hate it.
As free and full of options all these things give me, I feel trapped sometimes within the confines of technology and choice. I don't HAVE to check my facebook inbox but I somehow have to. I don't have to text 24/7 but I somehow have to.
That's why it was nice to kind of see that you don't HAVE TO live that kind of life. You can live a simpler one.
One morning, we took some time away from the Shaolin temple and went up this mountain.
Beautiful winding trail where butterflies flocked around our hips and the winds blew in the bushes.
Our destination is this cave where a couple of monks sometimes call their homes. Because the cave is relatively isolated and cool, they come here to meditate, practice Shaolin and just enjoy being in the present moment.
We came here to help one of our monk friends with some chores.
The whole lot of us were helping to water the monk's garden, where he grows his own meals.
Then we worked out a bit. Nebula is fierce.
Because our monk friend is relatively clean and simple, there really weren't much to do after gardening so Carrie and Jani decided to sweep his entranceway. Nebula and I supervised.
After proving our spectacular housekeeping skills, we returned to civilization and our store bought meals and our iPods and designer shoes. But it's definitely nice to know that life doesn't have to be so complicated, so fraught with complexities we often bring upon ourselves.
Over the years, this is definitely what my travels have taught me: that it's okay to chill out, to enjoy the present moment, to be a little zen. I'm still not a complete master at it but it's a work in progress.