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Lucid Thoughts

Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016

Cyber Monk Redefined

Cyber Monk Joke
I guess it would be accurate to say that Cyber Monk was a joke when I first coined the term inside my head. My Vietnamese traveling buddy even laughed at the idea (and so did others, but I do get the joke). But it was given substance when I left my last permanent address 4 years ago to live a nomadic life as a renunciate, armed only with my laptop and my web-skills to ensure my survival on the open road. With no money, no property and no address, I had been traveling around the Philippines and Southeast Asia, essentially, as a monk surviving on this laptop.

Wanna be a Monk?
With my 10-day Vipassana meditation courses and my current monastic life at Thai Plum Village in Pak Chong (Thailand), my friends ask if I want to be a monk. Somehow, staying real and sincere about my answer, I am compelled in all seriousness to say that I am already a monk...but I make my own monk rules.

A Conventional Monk Thing
Initially, it's abstract. Here's how I see it. I do have spiritual pursuits and I am in search of something bigger than myself. I resonate with a monk's aversion to material wealth or ownership, I embrace the notion of detachment and I live a life of nomadic mobility. That's the similarity.

One Size Fits All?
Here's where I differ. If I subscribe to any kind of monastic order, I will invariably find a few of its laws, rites or rituals to be inapplicable or even unacceptable. Every person is unique. Unique in his/her genetic predisposition, unique in his intellectual capacity to synthesize information into a workable life equation, unique life experience, unique body anatomy, etc. Unigue everything! So how could one monastic order fit all sizes?

Not my Truth
Additionally, even the greatest monastic order was founded by a human being - it is not divine architecture. It was envisioned, developed and propagated by people who are great visionaries, living saintly lives whose way of life served as inspiration for many people. Indeed there are many beneficial lessons that can be learned from these disciplines. I emulate what resonates - after all, why reinvent the wheel? Mindfulness as practised at the Plum Village is profoundly powerful and I will take that with me. The notion that my self-realization resides in me (and not anywhere else) is transformational and that is one of the great legacies of Vipassana to me. But just the same, the founders are of flesh and blood just like you and me. Whatever the doctrine, manifesto or dogma of that order principally is a by-product of the founder's unique truth that was selflessly shared for the benefit of many. But at the end of the day, I still have to find my truth.

My Truth
I also have my own unique truth - everyone does. With that truth and my realization of right and wrong as a validating benchmark, I forge my own rules to my private and personal monastic order. I create my own template compliant to my uniqueness. I have no name for my monastic order and it's not even necessary - it's not for public consumption. I allow myself certain liberties most monks are restricted to, and I impose certain restrictions some monks are at liberty to exercise. As I evolve, so will my rules.

Personal Template
In yoga, my teacher once said that as you deepen your practice, you will do less and less of other people's yoga and develop more and more, a yoga practice that is uniquely yours in full compliance to your individuality. That has been my tenet for nearly everything else - my own relationship template (platonic, romantic or family), my own monastic order and pretty much my own way of living life giving due consideration to constraints imposed by society, religion and government (e.g. - I still have to get a driver's license to drive a car). I draw the line up to what point I will allow them to make decisions for me (e.g. - I will not be a soldier and be shipped across the globe to kill someone who hasn't wronged me, my family or my country). To the extent I allow them, at least I am mindful of what liberty I am relinquishing.

Ending Thoughts
Some people need institutions to make decisions for them - they need it and they look for it. And other people simply want to take ownership of their destiny by exercising that control themselves.

--- TheLoneRider

Cyber Monk Blogs

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

with direction coming from Bangkok

GPS waypoint: 14°33'25.4"N 101°31'45.0"E
174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Thai Plum Village International Practice Centre

Location: 174,176 Ban Sra Nam Sai, Moo 7, Tambon Pongtalong, Pak Chong District, NakornRatchasima, Thailand
Tel: +66(0)2-885-5980

Blogs on Thai Plum Village

  1. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  2. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  3. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  4. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  5. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  6. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  7. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  8. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  9. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  10. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  11. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  12. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

How to Get to Plum Village from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport

You are encouraged to arrive at the Center Friday afternoon between 2-4 pm
  1. Suvarnabhumi Airport to BTS Train Line by TRAIN
    there is already a direct train from the airport that goes all the way to Bangkok with a final stop at Phaya Thai. Upon airport arrival, go down to Basement and take the Airport Link train to Phaya Thai Station. Get off and walk (.8km) to the Phaya Thai BTS Station | 35 mins | Baht 45
  2. Phaya Thai Station (N2) - Victory Monument Station (N3) by TRAIN
    board the BTS train heading to Mo Chit. This takes you north but get off at Victory Monument Station (N3) which is just one stop away
  3. Victory Monument Station - Plum Village by VAN
    upon arriving at Victory Monument, take Exit 4 and go down to the basement and walk 100 meters towards the Suzuki Showroom. Across is a pool of vans. Line up at ticket counter No.18, "Jamnong tour" for the trip all the way to Plum Village, Pak Chong. (Baht 500), 3.5 to 4 hours. Take the 11am or 12 noon van to ensure you arrive at the center before 4pm.

How to Get to Pak Chong (Proper) from Bangkok by train

ignore this if you plan to go to Plum Village. Take the direction above instead
  • If you are arriving Bangkok and would like to proceed directly to Pak Chong without spending a night in Bangkok, best to take a plane that will land in Don Mueang Airport in time for the #71 Train (Bangkok to Si Sa Ket) to stop at the MRT Train Station, Bang Sue, which is only a short walk from the airport. Train schedule at Bang Sue Station: Fri 10:27am, arriving Pak Chong 1:30pm. Express aircon car (Baht 289), non aircon (Baht 198). Duration is 3 hours, stopping right in the heart of Pak Chong. From Pak Chong.

    You can also take the train from the main terminal near the center of Bangkok at the MRT Station, Hua Lampong Railway Station. Departure, Friday 10:00am.

Plum Village Cost Index

(US$1 = Thailand Baht 35.77 = Php 47.52 as of Feb 28, 2016)
  • Baht 500 van from Victory Monument to Plum Village
  • Baht 289 Express train from Bang Sue MRT Station (Bangkok) to Pak Chong Train Station, aircon (non aircon, Baht 189)
  • Baht 500 taxi from Pak Chong to Plum Village (call this taxi number, Mr. Khun Paisan: 085 772.4519 for the trip to Plum Village)

Things to bring if staying overnight

  1. mosquito repellent
  2. hat/umbrella
  3. flashlight
  4. not a requirement, but it helps if you bring clothing in the dark brown color in order to blend-in
  1. 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  2. Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
  3. Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
  4. Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
  5. Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
  6. Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
  7. Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
  8. Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
  9. Adventure Hostel Review Feb 22-26, 2016
  10. Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct. 20, 2014
  11. The Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
  12. Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
  13. Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
  14. Bangkok Dec 31, 2005

  15. Chiang Khong
  16. Ten Days in Chiang Khong, Thailand Apr 30 - May 9, 2016

  17. Chiang Mai
  18. Mike Chong Aug 8, 2018
  19. An Intimate Conversation with my Universe in Chiang Mai Aug 8, 2018
  20. Kneaded and Pampered at Zira Spa Aug 4, 2018
  21. Savoring a Baht 3,500 Birds Nest Soup at Natural Bird Nest by Burapa Aug 3, 2018
  22. Yoga Exploration at The Yoga Tree with Gernot Aug 1, 2018
  23. Yoga In The Park - Chiang Mai July 31, 2018
  24. Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai July 29, 2018
  25. 2 Weeks in Chiang Mai July 25 - Aug 7, 2018
  26. A First Timer in Chiang Mai Apr 9-23, 2016
  27. Dance Mandala in Chiang Mai at The Yoga Tree Apr 19, 2016
  28. Songkran Waterfight Festival in Chiang Mai Apr 13-15, 2016
  29. Border Crossing from Siem Reap (Cambodia) to Chiangmai (Thailand) April 9-10, 2016

  30. Chiang Rai
  31. Exploring Chiang Rai, Thailand May 11-16, 2016
  32. Visiting the White Temple of Chiang Rai (Wat Rong Khun) May 15, 2016

  33. Chiang Saen
  34. Exploring Chiang Saen, Thailand Apr 28-30, 2016

  35. Mae Sai
  36. 4 Days in Mae Sai, Thailand Apr 25-28, 2016
  37. Border Crossing - Mae Sai (Thailand) to Tachileik (Myanmar) Apr 23, 2016

  38. Pai
  39. Exploring Pai, Thailand May 19-24, 2016
  40. Visiting the Land Split in Pai, Thailand May 23, 2016
  41. Trekking the Ridges of Pai Canyon May 23, 2016
  42. Climbing up the White Buddha (Wat Phra That Mae Yen) May 21, 2016

  43. Pak Chong
  44. Pak Chong (Thailand) En Route to Siem Reap (Cambodia) Mar 20-21, 2016
  45. Goodbye Thai Plum Village Mar 20, 2016
  46. Yoga at Thai Plum Village Mar 19, 2016
  47. Pond Picnic with the Monastics Mar 14, 2016
  48. Sentence Expansion Mar 12, 2016
  49. Alms Round of the Thai Plum Village Monastics Mar 10, 2016
  50. First Day of Teaching English at Thai Plum Village Mar 8, 2016
  51. Cyber Monk Redefined Mar 6, 2016
  52. Thai Plum Village, Day 6: Plum Village and Vipassana Mar 2, 2016
  53. Thai Plum Village, Day 5: Visa Snag Mar 1, 2016
  54. Plum Village, Day 4: Picnic with the Monastics on Lazy Monday Feb 29, 2016
  55. Plum Village, Day 2-3: Getting Settled Feb 27-28, 2016
  56. Plum Village, Day 1: Arrival Feb 26, 2016

  57. Phan District, Chiang Rai Province
  58. Yoga with Amm Prajna Pitchaya and the Sivananda yoga community of Phan May 16-18, 2016
  59. Visiting the Nam Lot and the Pha Khong Caves of Phan District May 18, 2016

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Reader Comments:

Mawil HermogenesMawil Hermogenes
(6 March 2016) Your own rules like?

Jackie SanchezJackie
() That you do, Git, that you do...

Mar 6, 2016

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