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”You are not the voice in your head, you are what can recognize the voice in your head”
- Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien
On 30 th of July 2017, I had the opportunity to meet Zen Masters Thich Dieu Thien and Thich Thong Hoi and also their students, who had come to Kumarakom, Kerala, India. They were here as a part of their Indian tour to spread their teachings about AWAKE.
The guests were welcomed by Mr. Lijo Philip, the Senior Manager (Travel), of Kerala.com Travel Division, Kochi, Kerala at Kottayam Railway Station.
From here the group was taken to Lakshmi Hotels and Resorts at Kumarakom, Kottayam, Kerala. Here the Zen Masters and their students enjoyed their breakfast. They loved the food especially the cut fruits. After breakfast the group moved on and stopped outside the restaurant for a group pic.
From here we proceeded on to the boat jetty at Kumarakom from where we were to board a boat that would take us to the destination – the Coconut Lagoon Resort. This resort is a part of the CGH Earth Group Enterprise. The only way that you can reach this resort is through the Vembanad Lake. Soon the boat from the resort arrived and we boarded on it. Through the way their faces were glowing with delight. They were indeed very happy with the backwater cruise.
The cruise lasted for roughly 10 to 15 minutes. On the way, I was able to interact with some of the students and was able to know more about the Zen Masters and their goals. They gave me a hint of what their teachings were about and mainly what the term AWAKE was.
As we entered the resort their happiness knew no bounds. They were captivated with the sheer beauty of the place. Everyone agreed on the fact that the Coconut Lagoon, Kumarakom was indeed the best and apt place for their trip. The resort being surrounded with lush green trees, pristine backwater canals and traditional accommodations, was a great place to get closer to AWAKE.
We were warmly welcomed by the friendly staff of the resort along with the harmonious beats of the drums playing in the background. The staff offered the guests fresh tender coconuts to quench their thirst. They were then taken to their rooms where they could get refreshed. After getting fresh the guests were taken on a Nature Walk guided by Coconut Lagoon’s Naturalist. The guests were taken around the resort and were shown the nature at this place.
Each and every element of Coconut Lagoon has a different story to tell. Be it the plants, the Biomass Digester, the coconut palms, the gardens, the animals or the traditional structures. This resort is home to the world’s smallest cow, the Vechoor Cow. This breed of cow is best known for the quality of milk given. We were lucky enough to meet four of these lovely cows who had very interesting names of Charlie, Chinnu, Mani Kuttan and Ammu Kutty. We also came across many little colourful butterflies at the resort’s Butterfly Garden. A little stroll through the resort was indeed a mesmerising experience.
After this all of us headed out to the resort’s restaurant to have our lunch. The buffet consisting mainly vegetarian dishes was laid out here. The speciality of these dishes was that the most of the ingredients used, were locally grown. Each and every dish offered, tasted unique and it completely filled our stomachs as well as hearts. After a scrumptious lunch we headed out to rest in the resort’s lobby area. After a short rest we went to the recreation hall for an AWAKE
Once there, we welcomed the Zen Masters, with folded hands just as their students do. Soon after, the demonstration programme started. Firstly two of the students gave us a small introduction about the Zen masters Thich Dieu Thien and Thich Thong Hoi. They told us about what made the masters choose the path of AWAKE and how they are successfully continuing this aspect.
Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien started the AWAKE Centre called Universal Door Meditation Centre in the year 2001 at Texas, US. Ever since then she travels around the world promoting the aspect of AWAKE. It was in the year 2003 that Zen Master Thich Thong Hoi met her and from then on he too joins her to promote AWAKE. Both of them realised that our life is all illusions and like the great Lord Buddha wanted to get free from that and hence chose the path of
Clear Mind or AWAKE.
Zen Master Thich Dieu Thien, helped us understand this aspect of AWAKE with the help of objects like flower garland, hand and three glasses of water. She explained the need of adopting this way so as to Wake Up from the False Mind (Illusions) and become like a glass of Clear Water (Pure and Fresh).
This demonstration was followed by an interactive session with the Zen Masters in which myself and Mr. Lijo Philip asked them some random questions to which they gave us apt answers. This interesting session came to an end with a song which said ‘Goodbye for Now...See you in AWAKE World’
As the day came to an end we said our goodbyes and parted our ways hoping good for each other. This experience that I got, thanks to Kerala.com Travel Division, Kochi, would indeed remain etched in my heart for a long time.
In total this day was indeed an AWAKENING one.