Wild Birthday

A day in Chiang MY Part 4: WILD B-DAY
(for new age hippies who aren’t afraid to love)

Next we went to Wild Rose Studio and Sauna, a place I’ve heard about so many times and was so happy to finally visit. A fellow I met this morning actually invited me to the Friday night Sauna, and perhaps it was cosmic coincidence again that Azriel also frequented it. We arrived pretty late (10PM) and all the 25 sets of sarongs were taken, but it was no big deal because the scene there was complete without it. It was one of the yoga teacher’s birthday, so 9 of us sat in the beautiful teak yoga studio and celebrated. In exquisite contrast to the usual Friday night and Birthday alternatives, we commemorated the evening with vice-less conversation, sing-along serenades, sharing of chocolate treats, and group activities to smother the lovely Kim Grace with deep affection. I can’t imagine a more perfect and pure way to cherish a birthday person.

The first game went like this… Kim agrees to do deep listening, in which she will take all the words we will say and receive them without interjection, meditating on the sound and her own breath. With eyes closed and wrapped in her blanket (body warmer than usual from the sauna but chilly now in the cool night air), she listened. Like we were composing a birthday card, we told her what we like about her. Individually and collectively, we went for complete meltdown. When it was my turn, everyone laughed because I had known Kim for all of 5 minutes before we started this, but I too had something honest to say, based on my first encounter and from what I could gather from her friends and her energy in that moment. She was speechless, trembling and only able to say Wow and giggle. Azriel sang the most beautiful song. Niceties ensued, and Kim couldn’t underscore how powerful it was to combine meditation, her breath, the sounds of caring words and loving energy focused on her. It was time for another game. Kim was blindfolded and told to lay down on the floor. Beginning like “light as a feather…” we lifted her up into the air, then walked around the room, levitated her up and down, then undulated her. After five minutes of this (and in complete silence) we placed her down, and tapped her skin like as if we were typing. Then we held our fingers on her for a while, slowly took them away, but held them an inch away, letting the energy keep flowing (and boy did I feel it!), then pulled away. She totally freaked out, in the best way possible. We all got mad hugs and it was simply beautiful.

A note on family. I’ve always said that family are the people you choose to be around. When I heard of Wild Rose, everyone said the Energy was amazing. And today I met Rose, the woman who runs the place. I actually saw her this afternoon at lunch, and she had amazing energy. Anyway, one of the things I said about Kim during the oral birthday card is that I walked in, right past her, and from across the room her radiant eyes found me and initiated warm warm introductions and Welcomes. I immediately felt at ease, comfortable among these 15 strangers. Wild Rose is a family, and they’re not connected by merely by work, or yoga. Millions of people work and exercise together without ever forming any real bonds with each other. The like-spirited are drawn to Rose’s creation, and if they like it, they stick around. They are open and welcoming, an I’d love to embody that intense open love someday. Is it weird that Kim celebrated her birthday with me? Not at all! Because if I continued to come back, (and they were all like Awwwww when I told them I was leaving tomorrow), I would be part of the family too.

I was invited to tomorrow night’s Kirtan, but alas I will be on a night bus speeding into the beyond by that hour. I am happy however that I’m actually open to the singing and chanting. (And I might as well get used to it, as I’m heading to the World Rainbow Gathering in New Zealand, which starts in only 10 days!) All this exploring of diverse cultures (and inextricably religion as well) can’t be meaningful as a voyeur, which is why it’s so important to stay and learn as much about it from the locals and families who ARE these cultures as possible. I see it as an opportunity to synthesize all these tastes and impressions into an personal experience, and it’s too bad I can’t hang around longer.

I could blab on forever.


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