Buddhist Community Project by Axelle

After spending 3 weeks in Peace village, I have joined an another project in Trang in a Buddhist community called Thaylaytham for 1 month. Since some times I have been interested in the Buddhist philosophy and I thought that this project could be a good chance to learn more about it. But when I arrived in the community I realized that it was not like I had expected, I thought that we would practice meditation, that we would have teaching about Buddhism but the main thing was actually to live with the people of the community, mainly women, of the community: eat with them, work with them, ect. So at the beginning I was a little disappointed that it was not like I expected but after I thought that I had to give a chance to this project, I knew that I could learn a lot about others things and I did: I learned so much things about agriculture, alternative medicine, plants… I have had the opportunity to do things I would never have done like working in a rice fields, working with them in their organic shop, pick up fruits and vegetable , making coconut milk.. But the most important things is that a learn so much about life and people: the women of the community were so kind with me, even if we didn’t understand each other most of the time,

we could still talk and laugh together and they taught me so many things. I admit that they were sometimes were I wanted to quit because I was feeling lonely ,I felt it was too difficult because I didn’t understand them or because the lack of comfort but now that I look back I thing that with this experience I have learned so much about myself, being by my own ,and about living simply without all the comfort that we are used to have. This experience have made me step out of my comfort zone and now I am more strong than before. So even if it was very challenging for me, I have learned to take things as they are because you can learn from every situations in your life. Finally I would like to finish with the last advice that one of the monk of the community gave me , which I things that everyone should follow : Never stop learning.

Axelle Ituze , from Belgium

January - June 2013