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  1. #401
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    Your welcome. Such a pleasure for me.
    That monk ceremony was amazing, and what incredible luck to be there when it was happening. We also stumbled into a couple of monk ceremonies in Burma (Myanmar) which I'll write about eventually, and I had great conversations with a monk in Burma, and with a couple of monks in Thailand. It's really fascinating - well for me anyway since I've been meditating for years, and drawn to some of the teachings of Buddhism.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  2. #402
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    I have a new post ready. This one is about a national park near Vientiane, Laos, a quite remarkable salt works, and a stomach-churning market. Be warned

    There's also a new post about some blog awards we were given. Direct link: http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/20...awards-awards/

    Enjoy. Well you might enjoy the national park bit, but the markets maybe not so much

    I follow, and comment on many other blogs these days. I find I really really miss the FSU emoticons. They are the best anywhere! So graphic and expressive.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  3. #403

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    Thanks again for another great post Alilou!
    “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” William Shakespeare

  4. #404

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    For this post. I concentrated more on the glorious orchids; and less on the market!

  5. #405
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz View Post
    Thanks again for another great post Alilou!
    You're welcome Buzz. Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    For this post. I concentrated more on the glorious orchids; and less on the market!
    Well I did warn about the market didn't I , but as a friend pointed out - who are the real 'barbarians' - the people who eat bugs and bats, or the people who bombed their country for nine years? I still can't quite wrap my head around those statistics - 100 bombs, every 8 minutes, for nine years. Now that's truly barbaric. Poor Laos.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  6. #406
    I <3 Kozuka
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    Wonderful post on Laos and photos!!!!!!
    "'Is this new BMW-designed sled the ultimate sledding machine for Langdon and Holcomb?' Leigh Diffey asked before the pair cruised to victory. I don’t know, but I know that sled is the ultimate Olympic Games product placement.." -- Jen Chaney

  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwanfan1818 View Post
    Wonderful post on Laos and photos!!!!!!
    Thanks Kwanfan1818. I have such fun with photography. Maybe I'll make a book one day.
    Laos is pretty amazing eh?
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  8. #408

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    Quote Originally Posted by alilou View Post
    I have a new post ready. This one is about a national park near Vientiane, Laos, a quite remarkable salt works, and a stomach-churning market. Be warned

    There's also a new post about some blog awards we were given. Direct link: http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/20...awards-awards/

    Enjoy. Well you might enjoy the national park bit, but the markets maybe not so much

    I follow, and comment on many other blogs these days. I find I really really miss the FSU emoticons. They are the best anywhere! So graphic and expressive.
    The whole experience was eye-opening to say the least, and, yes, fascinating. I could see that what was so exotic, and disturbing, for us was just plain normal for them.
    Great post, and yes, a real eye opener. Thank you

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maofan7 View Post
    Great post, and yes, a real eye opener. Thank you
    Thanks Maofan7. We've been to local markets all over India and SE Asia and I must admit this was the most . . .um . . .colourful
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  10. #410
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    I have a new blog post ready. It's about a shreiking-at-the-driver terrifying ride in a minivan to Vang Vieng (beautiful place) and then Luang Prabang, a town so lovely we doubled our planned time there - markets, temples, monks, etc. You know the drill - SE Asia at its best.

    Also there's a new post in the Nomadic Life series. Direct link - http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/20...the-way-it-is/

    No graphic markets this time
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  11. #411

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    What a fascinating and beautiful adventure, alilou.

    Please, thank Don for sharing his thoughts.

    I'm sure that the "unknown" is worrisome at times; but, think of all you would have missed had you opted for that "cottage"!
    No one can really predict the future, no matter how secure we feel.
    There are never any guarantees.

  12. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatesindreams View Post
    What a fascinating and beautiful adventure, alilou.

    Please, thank Don for sharing his thoughts.

    I'm sure that the "unknown" is worrisome at times; but, think of all you would have missed had you opted for that "cottage"!
    No one can really predict the future, no matter how secure we feel.
    There are never any guarantees.
    Thanks skatesindreams. And you're right, there's never any guarantees no matter what kind of life you lead. We don't really want the cottage, not yet anyway. These storms come and go, and them we're back to realising how lucky and blessed we are.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  13. #413
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    I just published a new blog post. This one is about a ten hour (!) hike to some villages, kayaking and swimming with elephants (just the most fun ever!), and a boat trip down the Mekong to a temple in a cave.
    As usual use the link in my sig line.

    Also another post about a fashion parade of all things. It was a showing of the glorious traditional outfits worn by all the different ethnic groups of Laos - beautiful and unusual. Direct link: http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/20...ashion-parade/

    I am so behind lol I've almost finished watching Canadians from last January
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  14. #414

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    You have the most fantastic adventures!

    And that fabulous fashion show.
    What gorgeous photos
    I'm delighted to have seen them.

  15. #415
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    Yeah, don't we though?!

    We too were delighted to have seen the fashion show - pure luck that we connected with Jim and Lily who told us about it.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  16. #416
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    Another blog post is done - about Chiang Mai, train rides, puppet shows in Bangkok and another beautiful temple

    Also a post about being discombobulated. Direct link:http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/20...scombobulated/

    I've now finished watching Canadians and am watching US Nationals. Slowly catching up. Every evening before bed I watch about 45 minutes of skating. Puts me to sleep nicely
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  17. #417
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    There's a new blog post ready. I've finally gotten to write a post about Burma (wanting to keep it all chronological). It is an amazing country and I'm really glad I got to go there. This first post about Burma (Myanmar) is about the city of Yangon. As usual, use the link in my sig line.

    There's also another post in the Nomadic Life series about becoming undefended.
    Direct link :http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com/20...ng-undefended/

    Thanks for reading

    Just finish watching the men's comp at 4 Continents. Good to finally see Reynolds skate-of-a-lifetime.
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  18. #418

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    Quote Originally Posted by alilou View Post
    We love Laos - it's a very gentle country, even if the people will eat just about anything that moves.
    Hmmm... not human beings??

    I had great conversations with a monk in Burma, and with a couple of monks in Thailand. It's really fascinating - well for me anyway since I've been meditating for years, and drawn to some of the teachings of Buddhism.
    Share your conversations and insights, please. Many many decades ago ... a friend gave me my first book on buddhism (I remember it was written by a Thai monk, and unfortunately I lost the book since). It was, IMO, well written because unlike many books which tell you the teachings but somehow unable to relate the teachings to normal or ordinary lives. It is from this book, that I finally grasped the abstract concept of 'nothingness'. What meditation method do you use, Allison? I don't meditate.. have tried ... but not successful. Too much of a roaming mind.
    Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus

  19. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by spikydurian View Post
    Hmmm... not human beings??


    Share your conversations and insights, please. Many many decades ago ... a friend gave me my first book on buddhism (I remember it was written by a Thai monk, and unfortunately I lost the book since). It was, IMO, well written because unlike many books which tell you the teachings but somehow unable to relate the teachings to normal or ordinary lives. It is from this book, that I finally grasped the abstract concept of 'nothingness'. What meditation method do you use, Allison? I don't meditate.. have tried ... but not successful. Too much of a roaming mind.
    I'm so hopeless - I don't remember what I talked about with the monks in Thailand We chatted for about one hour, one of them spoke English and translated since the other didn't. I'll get Don to check his notes later and see if he wrote anything about it. All I remember is that we learned the older monk had been a monk for 5 yrs and that he'd gotten all his tattoos before becoming a monk, and the younger one had been a monk since he was a child, and that it would be fine for us to come and listen to their evening chanting and join in their meditation which we did the following evening.
    The other monk I spoke with was in Mandalay, Burma, a beautiful quiet soul who asked me a lot about my beliefs, and meditation practices, but I could tell that he was really hearing me. I think it was a pretty one sided conversation actually - I could have asked him more, but he kept asking me questions.

    I've been meditating for so many years. I started just constantly returning to the breath. It took me a long time to realise that I shouldn't be trying to get something from meditation. If you're trying to get something it means you're striving. Now it's not about quieting the mind - I'm pretty good at that, but more about watching and questioning. The mind makes up stories. The issue isn't the mind, or it's stories. It's that we believe them. So my meditations are sometimes just about exploring/resting in the emptiness, and sometimes challenging the mind stories with "is that true?" The question doesn't have an answer. it's simply to challenge any fixed or rigid position of the mind.

    Everyone has a roaming mind because we've all been taught to believe that's who we are and therefore need it to survive. Funny thing is at the times there's no thoughts - there we still are
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

  20. #420
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    I have a new blog post ready. This one is about the truly magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Burma. It's one of the most amazing places I've been to - I run out of superlatives. And other stuff about seeing traditional dances and local comics. Fun!

    I hope you enjoy it
    My travel and adventure blog http://alisonanddon.wordpress.com

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