Oil, Dirt & Curves
Sunset at Asian Healing Arts Center
Following my Reiki training, I decided to stay in the accommodations at the Asian Healing Arts Center [AHAC] instead of going back into Chiang Mai, Old City, where, I thought, I would have less distractions to spend a few days catching up on my blog updates before I made my next move.
I’m not sure my logic worked, but, it’s funny how things go. I ending up spending another 2 plus weeks in Chiang Mai.
I was doing great with my writing and starting to see some light, when one morning Cory advised if I was still interested, she would run an aromatherapy class; starting THAT morning. [This course was originally cancelled due to the water levels and lack of rain in the area]. You may remember that Cory owns and manages the AHAC.
Absolutely I’m interested; this is what my travels are all about anyway and I can see how this will fit into my future world. I’m not exactly sure what my expectations were but I certainly walked away with more knowledge and a greater respect for nature and plants after these few days of training.
First, I was astonished to learn that is takes a great amount of flower, seed, plant, root, etc. to produce essential oils. I am talking about the pure, unadulterated essential oils; the kind you rarely find on the market today. For example, to make jasmine essential oil, you would need approximately one million jasmine flowers to produce about 8 oz. [1/4 kg] of jasmine oil.
The course was a good reminder of the chemicals we surround ourselves with in products such as candles, cleaning products, air refreshers, clothes, body products and much more. It highlighted many types of products that you don’t tend to give much thought to on an average day.
It reiterated just how much nature, flowers, plants, etc., already provide us with many cleaning and healing solutions we need. Over time, we’ve just forgotten about these natural resources in place of convenience and store bought, chemically produced products.
Have you ever stopped to think about what pharmaceuticals base their drugs on? What the origins of their products? Plants.
I briefly mentioned ‘frequency‘ and ‘vibration’ in a previous post. Did you know that every living being, including plants has a frequency? Check this out, the average frequency for :
A healthy human body is: 62 to 78 Hz. When your frequency drops, your immune system is compromised.
Processed / canned food is 0 Hz
Fresh produce is up to 15 Hz
Dried herbs is from 12 – 22 Hz
Fresh herbs is from 20 – 27 Hz
Essential oils start at 52 Hz and go as high as 320 Hz, which is the frequency of rose oil.
Did you also know that each of our organ and body parts also have their own frequency.
Clinical research shows that therapeutic grade essential oils have the highest frequency of any natural substance known to man, creating an environment in which disease, bacteria, virus, fungus, etc., cannot live.
American inventor Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943), a pioneer of electrical technology, said that if you could eliminate certain outside frequencies that interfered in our bodies, we would have greater resistance toward disease.
Of course I learned how to distill essential oils but I also learned about hydrosols, also known as herbal water or essential water.
Hydrosols are distilled in the same way as essential oils; it’s the exact process, but sadly hydrosols may be discarded by makers of essential oils. Hydrosols are just as powerful and healthy as essential oils, but are in ‘water’ form. You can add hydrosols to your drinking water or use them for your cleaning and bathing products, fragrances, antiseptics, and much more! Better still, they a.re 100% natural!
Here is a good resource/book on hydrosols: Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty.
Needless to say I learned a lot and was grateful for the opportunity to gain this invaluable knowledge. I have a greater appreciation of mother nature and how kind ‘nurturing’ she is to us with all that she provides.
With aromatherapy training behind me, I am ready to refocus on my blog updates again; so I think.
Earlier in the day, I had an instant message chat with one of my Reiki partners, Tom; he’s in the south of Thailand. Quite strange, I had thought to ask him when he planned to make it back up to Chiang Mai, but I let that pass.
I didn’t mention before that the accommodations at AHAC are a but remote; close enough to civilization, but far enough that you feel you are in the middle of nowhere.
It’s easy to bask in its peaceful environment and sounds of nature. As a result, I kept my windows and doors open throughout the night. You wouldn’t really expect anyone to walk in without notice; most certainly the dogs would forewarn you.
Well at about 10pm that night I heard noises outside but no barking. Oh sh#@! I hear the wood planks creaking outside my room. Crikey, what is that? I know if it were Cory or Amporn they would have called out my name already.
Then I hear a knock, what?
Then I hear my name being whispered. OMG!
I shout who is it? who is there? and maybe something else while I was at it.
Lo and behold it was Tom and he was trying not to wake up the household, which I promptly did with my shouts. It was quite hilarious, really.
Cool, Tom made a surprise spontaneous visit back to Chiang Mai.
Did I mention that one of Amporn’s passions is to help local communities make compost? You have to understand that in some of the communities people have a tendency to ‘burn’ things which is not great for the environment among other things.
Having already spent time at AHAC I was keen to learn more about this composting technique as I believe it could be put to use immediately once I got back home. Plus, having previously listened to Amporn explain the composting process, it to be seemed the technique that was easier and took less time [2 months] than traditional composting [6 months to a year]. It also only needed leaves, water and manure.
So, as it goes, the following morning, Amporn asked if Tom & I wanted to help with and learn about the composting technique. Yes, I am in! So blog writing aside, again, we learn how to make compost!
Thank you Amporn, I can’t wait to get started and share with family and friends at home.
So it’s funny how things go. Remember in a previous post I advised when I got to Chiang Mai, I kind of settled and didn’t do much ‘sight-seeing’ [http://liveyouryellowbrickroad.com/stuck-in-thailand/]. Well, I have to thank Tom for coming to my rescue !
Given his spontaneous visit, and his hardy/robust vehicle [soon to be put to the test] we spent 2-3 days seeing the sights beyond Chiang Mai.
View of Chiang Mai from Doi Suthep
I think it became pretty clear on our first drive into the mountains of Doi Suthep, that I still had a lot more work to do on my fear of heights, and this was an easy drive compared to what was to come over the next two days.
At least in my head, the mountains were much more curvaceous with steep inclines than I would have imagined.
Tom certainly got a taste to what to expect for the duration of most of our journey; and even opportunity to ‘opt’ out should he wish.
The next day we decided to go to a place called Pai with a few stops along the way. One place worth shouting out about was a stop at the tomb/Great Monument of King Naresuan Maharaj at Muang Ngai. This King is important in Thai history [see links with info], but what was marvelous about this place was the ‘energy’.
Cory had recommended this as a stop and now Tom & I could both see, or rather feel, why. As soon as we drove up and certainly as we stepped out of the truck, the energy just overwhelmed us.
At times, it felt as if I was experiencing a powerful Reiki treatment. The only other place in the world I’ve experienced this sensation of energy, so far, was in Machu Picchu, Peru. WOW, it was mind blowing!
Great Monument of King Naresuan Maharaj at Muang Ngai
We spent a night in Pai. Typical things you can do in Pai are visit waterfalls, hot springs, see elephants, fish, hike, etc. We had expected it to be touristy and we weren’t surprised.
I felt however that it was a bit surreal. I couldn’t help but laugh as a good majority of [non-local] men seemed to be walking around in their pajama bottoms. It’s ok if you don’t have a sense of dress, but this really took it to a whole new level.
A good portion [also non locals] appeared to be trying to portray themselves as ‘spiritual’; more like spiritual ‘wannabes’. It was as if they were from another planet.
Some were amazing that’d you’d never know they were Thai musicians. Most of the music was reminiscent of the 90’s.
Now let me talk about the ‘driving’ experience and my fear of heights. First of all I have to thank Tom for his sense of humor and patience, but I think I was rather a bit of entertainment for him.
View during excursion
View during excursion
During a good portion of the drive, the mountains had sharp twists and turns while simultaneously ascending or descending sharply with steep exposed drops. Tom might have a different picture and story to tell. Now I’ve been on much worse roads, Nepal comes to mind, but for some reason my fear kicked in at the extreme end of the scale.
Tom’s workhorse for our journey
It didn’t help that Tom would tell me things like, ‘cars made in Thailand don’t always have the same safety features as you’d expect elsewhere’.
‘For example, there is no airbag on the passenger side and no seat belts in the back seat’, just in case I had the idea of planting myself there.
Or how about, ‘It’s ok that the front tires squeal as we go around these curves, you only need to worry if you hear the back squeal’. On one level he thought this was helping.
Now, on one hand, I had heard other cars squeal on the ‘normal’ flat and straight roads here in Chiang Mai so, I get it can be a result of tarmac, heat, etc. But, on this ride, I hadn’t heard a single other car squeal. Then, there were occasions where both sets of tires, front and back, squealed simultaneously!
Let me just tell you that some of my closest friends haven’t heard the things that were coming out of my mouth. But as I said, I was entertainment. Deep down I think that Tom also wanted to push to see how far he could take his truck. My impression only, of course :-).
We took a different route on the return journey back to Chiang Mai and, to our surprise, was more than double the drive time.
As we approached the last hour or so of the drive reaching Chiang Mai, I’m was hoping and praying we were in the clear.
No such luck. The night started to set in, and it actually was the worst section and hour of the entire 2.5 half day drive! I now get to hear Tom saying, ‘whow, that’s the first time I can barely make it in 2nd gear’, REALLY?!
As we are finally exiting the mountain to hit the motorway, BAM! a motorcycle clips a car and careens off the roadside.
Unfortunately, there were road works with no advance signage; actually no signage whatsoever. Fortunately, the motorcyclist seemed to land in some leaves and not hit a tree.
Even with Tom’s sense of adventure, I knew I had to have trust, notwithstanding my holding on for dear life for most of the drive and my frustrating and embarrassing reactions. After all, we did make it back in one piece and had a great time along the way. I guess it’s safe to say, I’ve got a bit more work to do on this ‘height’ thing.
I also have to thank Tom for helping me discover the source of a sound I’d been hearing since Myanmar. First, was a sound which I thought was a ‘bird’ I’d been hearing this since the silent meditation at Panditarama. I’d hear the noise early in the mornings but would never see this ‘bird’.
The second was a sound which I first heard in a hotel I was at, also in Myanmar. I remember thinking ‘something is crawling in the roof/attic’, it loud and sounded quite big.
Both of these sounds I continued to hear throughout Southeast Asia. Finally, I was able to capture a recording of it on my phone. After weeks of trying to explain the sound of this ‘bird’ to others in order to learn the name of it, Tom enlightened me that what I was hearing was not in fact a ‘bird’, but a ‘gecko’. In Thailand, it’s called a Tukke gecko
We were passing over this bridge pretty quick & I said to Tom ‘Oh wow, I think I see elephants in the water, or maybe just ‘logs’. Take a look, what to you see?
The time spent with Cory, Amporn, Tom and others was like walking into a family that already existed and everything just fit. My visa was about to expire soon and so it REALLY was time for me to tear myself way from Thailand, at least for now.
Once again, now I really can leave Thailand, right? Stay tuned to find out more.
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