Once on horseback and another time on foot, I’ve been fortunate to experience the wonder and wisdom of Cocora Valley in Salento, Colombia. It’s become my place of refuge this month, a place where I’ve been able to both calmly reflect and seek advice and perspective during these difficult times.
A few months ago, a monk said to me, “It’s easy to be thankful for our friends, family, good health, and positive experiences, but it’s much more difficult to be thankful for challenging situations, difficult people, and other difficult experiences. Now you’re probably wondering: why should we be thankful for these things? Well, sometimes, difficult experiences and people who make us angry or sad can show us where we might need more wisdom.”
A year ago, I moved to a really charming corner of the world called Battambang, Cambodia. I had previously been there one other time for my first 10-day Vipassana meditation retreat, but this time around would be my first time actually living and experiencing a non-monastic life in Cambodia. I was excited to return and reconnect.