The Move to Thailand - January 2001

Suwanna Fakchar, children, Willard, and Mama and Papa - October 2000

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The new millennium is going to be the beginning of my "life journal" on the internet. I have been keeping journals for many years, as well as portfolios of art exhibitions, published articles, and professional involvement¹s, and enjoy the time to record my impressions of the passage of events in time. Doing a journal on the internet, on the other hand, is like having a video camera on you all the time, because you know it is possible for anyone to read what you have to write about any time of the day or night. I remember a show I did for the New Orleans Cultural Art Center in 1985. I titled the installation "Life-o-mation". It was at this installation I exhibited a large portion of the events in my life, as well as having a computer print out a data base of personal information I had assembled for many years prior to the installation. People found the installation absolutely fascinating. The ability to peer into someone¹s personal journals seemed to be a way for people to enter into the personal life of another person without feeling like they were intruding because I made everything public.

So, as I convey my thoughts on the internet, I also know that I am live, and can be read and seen by any net-citizen. I would like to acknowledge the work of the late Dr. Rolf Von Eckartsberg, renowned Social Psychologist from Duquesne University, for his continual support and collaboration for the definition of the journal and its place in our life. His paper Social and Electronic Immortality written in December of 1988 is as pertinent today as it was when he first wrote it. Rolf was a mentor and close friend during my stay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His wife Elsa and three children, Rolf-Tonio, Bia, and his daughter Uta, are all pursuing their professional careers.

Journal Entries

December 24, 2000 - San Francisco

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The new millennium is here, and I have decided to move to Thailand, and marry a wonderful Thai lady with two children in January 2001. (photo above)
Photo on left is Suwanna Fakchar, October 2000.

Moving to Thaliand comes as a result of several trips to Thailand and experiencing the culture, the food, and the general mood and feelings expressed by the Thai people. My marriage is a way to participate directly in the culture, and at the same time learn what it is like to have a family in Thailand.

Suwanna's family lives in the rice capital of Thailand just out side of Nakhon Sawan. Here, in these flat rolling plains there are thousands upon thousands of rice farms. It is here I will marry, and bring my on-line business with the Portal Market with me. It will be an opportunity to experience "globalization" directly. The biggest hurdle for me is the leaving the American culture. It has been my impression for many years that the American culture is loosing its ability to create personal interactions with people. There seems to be more attention paid to monetary issues than anything else. It is as a result of this observation I have decided to join the more spiritually oriented Thai culture with its emphasis on Buddhism. In particular I have been following the work of Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, and the monastery he began at Wat Suan Mokkh in the early 1930's. The monastery is also called Suan Mokkhabalarama (The Grove of the Power of Liberation). I have also been studying with Sri Bhai Sahib Ji, and his Vibrant Celestial Meditation (VCM) practices from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

When in Thailand, earlier this year, I also had the good fortune to have a sitting with PHRA DHARMAKOSAJARN (Luang Por Paööananda) from the Wat Cholapratan Rangsarit just outside Bangkok. Luang Por, now 91 years of age, highly recommended that I visit Wat Suan Mokkh, which I did from Sept 16-27, 2000. It was here I met Ahjan Po, the current Abbott at Wat Suan Mokkh. Interestingly enough for me I discovered that this was the same monastery that Jack Kornfield had done his studies as a monk, and later formed Spirit Rock in Woodacre, California. Prior to leaving for Thailand I went to Sprit Rock and participated in vapassana meditation practices. I want to give credit to my friend Robert "Azul" Simons of San Francisco for introducing me to Spirit Rock.

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January 1, 2001

International Day of the World's Indigenous People shall be observed on August 9th, 2001.

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I think its very important as the world celebrates the beginning of a new millennium that the people who have been so closely related to this planet are not forgotten, and that their rights are protected, and their cultural ways are honored. The developed world is slowly loosing one of the best resources on the planet, and that is the ability to communicate with people who live their lives in relation to the land. If mankind eradicates that sensibility, and only relies on technology for its guidance into the future, it is my belief that the spirit and soul of the human race will have been forfeited.

Click on image to see my accepting carving from Orang Asli.

Click here for Full view of Orang Asli carving

I have visited the Orang Asli (original people) of Malaysia, and their ability to create spirit totems with wood they find in the swamp waters is truly sublime. These totems honor the sprits of nature, land, and many other natural forces. The one shown here is the wind spirit carved by Zamri Mori Rahman and titled the "Spirit Poting Beliong" carved from Bakau wood in 2000 on Carey Island. I purchased this carving from Mori and plan to visit their community again, and offer more money to collect their work. Life in the jungle for the Orang Asli is as varied as the Aborigines themselves are - ranging from those of the Malayan jungle nomads to those of the firmly fixed communities. It is my intention to pay more visits to these people, and provide an outlet for what I consider to be an exquisite art form from the Orang Asli.

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January 7, 2001 - San Francsco

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragons, a Chinese film by Ang Lee, is simply the most exquisite film ever made. A romance that speaks to the heart, and demands of us that we follow our heart and believe that in our deepest dreams we can attain our fondest wishes. I saw this film last night in a sold out theatre in San Francisco, and as I watched the story unfold I realized I too had to slay so may doubts and fears to journey half way around the world to be with a Thai lady I met in Thailand on my last visit. I plan each day, and keep the vision alive as I prepare to leave the United States on January 20th to become part of another culture. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragons is full of subtle lessons to be learned in seeking a higher order of love and a chance to break out of traditional ways and soar into the clouds amidst the order and confines of culture.

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May 19, 2001 - San Francisco

Over the last four months I have been living in Bangkok and Ban Phot Phisai. I have met a monk in Nakhon Sawan, and I plan on teaching English at the main monastery in Nakhon Sawan as well as in the villages. I am growing Moringa Trees and learning to appreciate the stilling of the mind. On a recent trip to Cambodia I had an unusual experience on the train and I would like to share that as an article.

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December 25, 2001 - San Francisco

I returned to the United States on Dec. 4th, 2001 having been in Banphot Phisai, Thailand since July 24th, 2001. I was in Bangkok during the Sept. 11th attack on the WTC. It was frustrating because there were so few people to talk to about the personal feelings I had. I have been adjusting to the living in a third world environment and have come to know the ways of village life in Thailand. Na and I are still together and we are planning on seeing one another again when I return late Jan 2002. I have been the project manager for Brian Goggin and his work with erecting a Thai Temple door in the United States after it is cast in bronze.

Thai films that were seen in 2001:

On-line Journal - 2002
On-line Journal - 2003
On-line Journal - 2004
On-line Journal - 2005
On-line Journal - 2006
On-line Journal - 2007
On-line Journal - 2008
On-line Journal- 2009
On-line Journal- 2010

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