Month: September 2022

Brief History and Sovereignty

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Here is yet another post that I’m backlogged in updating on the website.

Going back to Thailand to take care of family business also got my mind to researching some more about Thailand and it’s history. I grew up in the United States and never really bothered to research it or look back at it. I suspect that some of the reason why was because of the traumatic upbringing that being raised by a mentally unstable parent can create. I felt a lot of unresolved ancestral baggage, and a lot of my personal work has been able to prepare me for learning about Thailand’s history and not see it through the lens of my own trauma. I’m grateful I took the years to process my own personal work so I could learn the history in an unbiased way.

One of the things that I absolutely love about Thailand is that it was one of the only countries in South East Asia to maintain its sovereignty against the colonizing forces of England, Portugal, and France. The Thai people are very proud of their history and culture, and have managed to mostly keep out practices they didn’t agree with, and yet integrated those that fit their perspective of how they view life. My favorite mindset they have is “Sabai Sabai”, which is very similar to taking your time and not rushing. I love the very Buddhist centered teaching of being in the moment and enjoying.

Thailand is very much known as the “land of smiles”, and I feel like the “Sabai sabai” mentality is part of that. If you really do take the time to be expansive in the moment and feel grateful for what you have, it is easy to have a positive mindset, even in the face of adversity.

Gender fluidity

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Originally posted May 4th, 2022

I wish to share something very dear to my heart. As I have been close to many that have struggles with gender identity, I absolutely love the fact that Thailand as a whole is very accepting of gender fluidity. When I dressed as a man the first few days I was here (mostly because my mom wanted me to cover up my tattoos), I was addressed as a male, no questions. At first I was upset because I strongly identified as a woman, but then I was able to play with it. The more I soaked in the acceptance I felt, the more I was able to find it within myself.

People can change how they want to be addressed on a daily basis based off of how they dress and how they use the Thai speech (there are different endings for politeness in male speech vs. female speech). If a man wanted to dress as a woman and identify as a woman that day, everyone addressed her as her (at least from what I have witnessed).

In fact, many foreigners come to Thailand for gender reaffirming surgeries, because unfortunately where they live it’s either not accepted or too expensive. Thailand has a good reputation for medical procedures (especially in Bangkok), but of course it can be a gamble.

One thing that Thailand has taught me is to be comfortable in my own skin, and embrace how I show up in the world by just having confidence in how I want to be seen. Dress politely around temples, but then if I want to dress like a man, that’s okay too (although I’m really loving these Thai skirts). As long as I’m polite to others, that’s what matters.

May we all find the strength to embrace the ways we show up in the world that bring us happiness, joy, and inner peace. Because Gods know that the outer world needs peace with all that is happening right now. But peace comes from within ourselves first.

As an addendum to this post, my most recent trip in August of this year has highlighted that not everywhere in Thailand is as welcoming. I guess this is the same for any country, but it tends to be more progressive in the cities, while more conservative in the outskirts. I feel that since I was blessed with an ability to stay there longer then the average tourist, some of the glamour also faded. It was humbling to realize that we all deal with the same issues, more or less – it’s just that the surface tension of how those issues present are different across different cultures. I still say that Thailand as a whole is very welcoming and open, accepting of who a person is, but I have also encountered some friction. Most likely it’s due to western, colonial ideas being integrated into the current frame of mind, but that’s just my suspicion.

Thank you for reading <3

Saffron Colored Apology

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I wish to give an apology to the way in which I was disrespectful to Buddhism and the sangha that upholds the structure of this beautiful spiritual path. Back in May of this year, I made a post which included me without clothes on in combination with expressing a desire to become a Buddhist Monk. This was inappropriate on my part, and my action created harm, potentially damaging the Buddhist image. The path of Buddhism is about humility, letting go of vanity, and simplicity. 

While my path is not one where I will dedicate myself for a lifetime of service within a temple, it is seen as something that people periodically do in Thailand. When they feel called to practice Dharma in a more serious way, people can choose to become a novice or become ordained for a short period of time (sometimes that can be from a few weeks to a few months). 

This is my calling, to prepare myself for service and to dedicate myself to that path within the next few years. Through my last trip to Thailand, I found a temple that I am happy to dedicate myself to, and the commitment I am looking at is 3 months of service within a Monastery in Chiang Mai. But the way that I introduced this concept in May was problematic because I carried a lot of Western assumptions as I traveled to a South East Asian country. I can’t make the commitment yet because I have a teenage son, but I will continue to visit this monastery and establish a relationship with them simultaneously while I visit family. 

While it is not wrong to be proud of one’s body, it is problematic to create an announcement of this intention while simultaneously posting pictures of myself without much clothes on. I did not know this while I made the post, and that is why I’m making amends now. 

I knew the path was going to be long and obscure, and it is requiring a lot more of me then I thought it would. I am grateful for my ancestors and family to lead me through this process so that I can make them proud by aligning my thoughts with my actions. I want to be clear that there might still be more “revealing” photography in the future (because I mean… I live in a commune-like situation and nudity is a way of life for me), but I will not confuse it with this other aspect of my life where I am welcoming in this discipline and humility. Becoming a monk feels like a rite of passage for me. Will there come another time in my life later where I might go into the monkhood again? Probably. But for now, I shall focus on this shorter term goal and keep learning Thai, praying, making merit, and loving my family who were so generous to me as I visited Thailand over the past few months.

I feel grateful because the forgiveness of ignorance seems like something that is easy to grant, but what I wish to bring attention to is how much we can accidentally damage or unintentionally create harm. Buddha teaches to alleviate suffering, and lays out a clear plan on how to alleviate suffering, but if we don’t look at the way our actions create suffering, we will not be living Buddha’s teachings. Thank you for taking the time to read. Many blessings to you <3

Taking things apart

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It is with a processing heart that I make this announcement. With many things coming together in my life, it also puts me in a position to break down that which I do not have a capacity for. Now that I have taken care of a lot of things family wise, I am focusing more on what my life is structured around for me personally.

One of the biggest things I have had the most success with is the Soul Compass Path. I have met some incredible and amazing people through hosting it over the past 5 years, but hosting it on zoom is no longer sustainable. I feel as though I am changing as a person, and my passion for the commitment to leading people through a 9 month transformational program has questioned my ability to continue this responsibly. Part of the reason why I did so much travel, was to really look at my wake amidst health challenges from 2020, and how I structure my business as an income. I have decided to keep seeing private clients, host ceremonies in person, host journey groups, but I have decided to discontinue the Soul Compass Path.

If you have been following this blog for any period of time, you know that the Last Mask Center is near and dear to my heart. We are rebooting the Cycle Community, and I’m 100% into it. I have killed off so many parts of me that felt like I had to do this alone, but one of the things that has been the hardest for me is how to translate spiritual, mental, and emotional healing into a business model that is sustainable. One of the reasons why I felt like I had to put the Soul Compass Path to rest is because it felt so much like I was participating in this Spiritual consumerism that is so prevalent at the moment. My time in Thailand taught me that spirituality is not merely a thing gifted to Westerners because they show up with time to kill and expensive gifts. It is something hard earned, and it needs a community of people to support that transformation.

I am choosing to dedicate more time to the Last Mask Center teachings, and am still a student teacher of Energy Body Mastery. I feel like the format of a 9 month program is just not feasible with everyone’s schedules at the moment (or at least the ones who have turned their attention toward Eagle Therapies), but a 7 week intensive seems to be very receptive. If you’re interested in the next round starting next week, feel free to sign up for the Orientation. It will be recorded, so even if you can’t make it live, you can watch it later. There’s no commitment, and because I’m still a student teacher, it’s done by donation! This is normally a $300 value, so why not give it a go? I have decided to put a pause on teaching EBM specifically for kids and teens until I am fully relocated to the Pacific Northwest.

Speaking of that move, I am excited to say that I’ve had time to schedule more blog posts on this website. It was hard to do it with this last trip to Thailand since for a majority of it I was either sharing bed space or floor space with my family, but I am happily back at the Magnolia Collective with more rest and allergy friendly food in my system. Stay tuned for more travel updates and finding more about which monastary I will choose to serve as a Buddhist monk at!

All in all, I feel quite alleviated that I am putting the Soul Compass Path to rest. I am looking forward to creating practice circles where we get to get knee deep in process, dance, and share how we are manifesting our own destruction of the patriarchy!

Remember that I will only be in the Richmond, VA area for less then a year at this point – so if you want to join us for any live ceremonies or dances in person – get to stepping and follow the Meetup!

If you happen to have a big transition happening at the moment and you feel called to participate in a fire ritual that’s centered around letting things go, send an email to chenchira@eagletherapies.com because a big death ritual is happening this weekend. It’s always more powerful to do ceremony in community, and there will be several powerful practitioners here. If you happen to be in Alexandria, VA this weekend, don’t be a stranger! Send a message so you can swing by.

Gratitude to each and every person who read this! I look forward to more juiciness in the future from all you beautiful people.

Giving offerings to Pélé at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (post coming within the next few weeks)

Wat was that?

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Back in April of 2022, I did a lot of traveling to Thailand for the first time. I’m trying to repost some of the posts I made before on the website. I just landed on Sunday, coming back from another family trip to Thailand, and I’m happy to engage more with Eagle Therapies. I look forward to getting Eagle Therapies back on track.

To be honest, I visited so many temples that I have lost track. In my path to learning what the steps are to become a Buddhist monk, I have visited so many to see that many temples run their temples based off of their priorities and values. Some have more of an emphasis on meditation, while others care more for doing acts of service for the community. I feel a great deal of pride knowing that I will follow in the footsteps of my ancestors as I learn more about this path.

Originally posted on May 4th:

My time in Chiang Mai was very meaningful to me. I met amazing people, learned amazing history, and visited incredible Wat’s (or temples).

Did you know that most temples in Thailand have a monastary attached to them? Even the big ones that tourists come to visit. The reason why is because Thailand is primarily a Buddhist country, and monks are held in high status there. People often give donations and gift food, and in return the monks perform ceremonies of good luck and good fortune for the people. It’s been humbling to experience and meet the people I have met. It has been so magical here, and I’m blessed to know that this is in my blood.