I talk with Chris Luard about his life abroad, where he teaches meditation in Asia and stays largely in Chiang Mai, Thailand. We talk about some of the ins and outs of life in Thailand for an American, a kind of backstage glimpse into his daily life.
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I thought it would be interesting for listeners to hear some about Chris’s life in Thailand. A lot of times we don’t allow ourselves all the full range of possibilities that are open to us at any given time. Chris has been one of those unique people in my own life who has showed me time and time again that you really can follow your innermost Self wherever it may lead you. The usual routines and trappings of conventional American living - a house, a car, a collection of automated contracts and necessities - are options but not in no way mandatory for the 21st century spiritual traveler. ‘Packing heavy’ externally sometimes leads to ‘packing heavy’ internally — the literal baggage becomes interior baggage.
Of course, one can err towards the other extreme, too. I did this myself, recently, when I moved to San Antonio to pursue an MSW. I had the idea of traveling light, of forgoing big moving trucks and simply packing a couple of suitcases and heading west from Atlanta to Texas. After going through ordeals of having to begin again with getting “stuff,” I suddenly began to understand why people hang on to furniture, boxes, papers, books, gadgets, and all the other stuff. I miss my stuff. I ended up needing some many little things I previously took for granted. Perhaps it’s just that no-win-game of the grass is always greener. Everyone I talk to that did take big moving trucks commends me for my simplicity just as much as I now envy their thorough packing.
But it’s been a good transition nonetheless. I live in downtown, and the streets of downtown San Antonio are very walkable and very interesting. In some ways, it’s sort of a hidden treat. I show Chris the view of the downtown skyline from my window in the video below. We recorded the interview on Zoom, and we plan on doing more together. In fact, we are working our way through a mindfulness class that we hope to share on Contemplative Light in the near future. If you prefer video to audio, you can listen and watch our podcast interview below.