Through some bizarre string of events the Universe had arranged for my family to go to Thailand in late June 2001. The chain all started when my Body/Mind complex first started practicing Tai Chi in 1974, presumably to achieve inner peace through movement. Somewhat inevitably this led to an exploration into what Tai Chi was. This led eventually to China, which led to an extensive paper. In the exploration my Mind drew the conclusion that the culture of Thailand had strongly influenced China in prehistoric days, possibly contributing the important technologies of rice growing, bronze metallurgy, the mythology of the dragon and possibly even some of the roots of Taoism. Early archaeological work provides evidence of both rice growing and bronze work in Southeast Asia in the area of Thailand which precede anything similar in China by hundreds of years.
The idea that culture spread from Southeast Asia to China is in direct contrast to present thought, which considers Southeast Asia a cultural fracture zone between the dominant cultures of India and China, even referring to it as Indo-China. Culture flows south from China and east from India into Southeast Asia, not vice versa. The theory tends to be that Southeast Asian culture was so primitive that it was overwhelmed by the more sophisticated cultures of China and India.
Because many of the aforementioned prehistoric finds occurred in what we now call Thailand, my Mind began to think of prehistoric Southeast Asian culture as Thai culture. Further the evidence suggests that this prehistoric Thai culture that my Mind had created was egalitarian not patriarchal and warlike. Their world was based upon trade without any royal palaces or king's tombs. They used bronze for ornamentation not weaponry. Prehistoric Thailand was my Mind's example of a sophisticated non-hierarchical culture whose prosperity was based upon trade not war.
My Mind began to wonder if there was any evidence of this ancient Thai culture in modern Thailand. Presently Thailand was thought of as a very peaceful culture focusing mostly on crafts instead of on warfare with its neighboring countries. It fit the mold that my Mind had created. The Thai people were probably the ancestors of this ancient Thai culture where men and women were equals; where there was no war only craft; everyone loved each other and got along. And life was good the way it was meant to be.
My Mind, rebellious through the genetics of my father, Bur, began envisioning itself the knight in shining armor who would rescue the beautiful princess, i.e. peaceful Thailand, from cultural obscurity. My Mind was excited to fight the Dragon of China, symbolizing the patriarchy of the planet, to highlight this egalitarian culture where men and women were equal, where art was valued more highly than war and power. Anyway my Person's interest was piqued enuf to investigate what this peaceful Thai culture was all about. The seed to visit Thailand had been planted.
But the seed of travel lay dormant. The time was not ripe - two teenage girls in middle and high school with too much going on to leave them alone - or take them with us - or for them to even want to go with us - Further private school tuition obligations meant that money was tight.
Then the 'visit Thailand' seed was watered by a friend and fellow waiter, Scott. Returning from a month long tour of Eastern Asia, which included China and Thailand, Scott: “Thailand is incredible. You’re got to go. Visiting Thailand will change your life. Plus it is incredibly cheap once you get there.”
While the Little Voice was speaking out loud and clear for a trip to Thailand the Time was still not ripe. Girls a little older, but not that much - Finances a little better but still anticipating college and more private school tuition - And Papa Bur's impending death - prostate cancer - Did not want to leave him alone by himself either.
Then Bur's spirit left this plane: his Body died - Serena, my Person's oldest daughter, went away to college somehow managing to pay for everything herself & Miranda, my Person's youngest daughter, was about to graduate from her private Middle School, which meant my Person would have no more tuition payments to make. Hooray! Hoorah! No more need to rely upon financial miracles to pay for these educational expenses. Beginning with my Person's Mother's death and inheritance - Refinance home through property value appreciation Father Bur's death and inheritance - What the Universe will do to provide. All we can do is trust. It is out of our personal control.
While the collection of energy, that is called my Person's family, normally took local trips or nature excursions for vacations, Miranda asked if we could do something more exotic and restful this time. "A real vacation." as she said, being of a luxuriant nature. "I don't want to go on a back packing trip or drive to San Francisco to visit Serena for our vacation, like we did last summer.
Remembering Scott, the historical cultural concerns, and 'affordable' my Person blurted out, "Thailand."
My Person: "Would that qualify as a 'real' vacation?"
Miranda: "Yes, of course."
My Person's wife, Laurie said, "Yes!"
In fear of a potential future projected by Mind, my Person responded, "Investigate. We're just thinking about it. I'm not sure we can afford it. Should we spend our retirement? Look into it. Give me some prices."
It was easy to see that my Person was in a state of shock.
Then came the push over the edge.
Laurie: "Guess what don!"
Don is the name they've given to my Person.
Laurie: "Serena said she would come with us."
Don: "What? Where?"
Laurie: "She said that she would come with us on our trip to Thailand."
Don: "What trip to Thailand? I said we would investigate."
Laurie: "She said she would come on a trip with us if we went to Thailand."
Don: "Serena? Our Serena?"
Laurie: "Yes. Our Serena."
Don stunned: "Really? Our Serena? Really."
Laurie: "Yes really. I just talked to her on the phone."
Don feeling as if he had just been turned upside down upon the crown of his head: "That puts a different spin upon things."
Laurie: "It sure does,"
To understand the context of this conversation let us look back at the Lehman energy field 4 years ago, in the Spring of 1996.
Feeling all smug and secure, Don speaks to his family: "How would you like to go to Scotland? We might have an opportunity."
Laurie: "Love it."
Miranda: “It’s about time. Don’t you remember! When I was four years old you promised to take me to the land of the fairies when I got a little older. You assured me that the land of the fairies was a real place, named Ireland.”
Don: "Ireland or Scotland. They’re both the same. You never do forget, do you? - Even though you were so young. How about you, Serena?"
Serena: "Scotland sounds good to me."
Don: "I'm not sure if it's happening yet. Certain details need to be confirmed."
At this point my Person's Left Brain went wild projecting a myriad of pleasant futures traveling with the family energy field in Scotland. "Last vacation with the family, what a way to go. I haven't been a perfect father, but they'll certainly appreciate me for this. One happy family. Life is good and perfect. Isn't our existence amazing. Certainly our family is one of the chosen ones."
Tickets to Scotland are too expensive, knocking the wind out of my sail. Laurie's fire is ignited. She reroutes the trip through London, making it affordable. We buy tickets for the whole family. Don, my Person, is feeling good.
Don to the whole family over dinner. "Well girls. We have a little surprise for you."
Miranda: "What's that?"
Don: "We got the airplane tickets for Scotland. We're going."
Miranda: "Sounds good to me."
Don: "When? Does that really matter? I think the last few weeks of June."
Serena: "I don't think I will be able to go."
Don: "What do you mean you won't be able to go? We've already paid for the tickets. And they are non-refundable. You have to go. What else would be more important than a trip to Scotland/England, the British Isles with the family."
Serena: "My friends. My 16th birthday. A Driver's License and a Job. I’ll stay home and take care of the house."
Don: "I can't believe I'm hearing this. You can't be serious about missing a trip to England with the family."
Serena: "Totally serious.”
Don: "But you said you wanted to go."
Serena: "I would like to go, but just not right now."
Don: "What do you mean ‘not right now'? The time is now. Seize the moment. Carpé Diem as your teacher used to say."
Serena: "I would rather stay home with my friends and work."
Don: "You would rather stay home and work rather than go on a family vacation with us to England and Scotland?"
Serena: "I just said that."
Don: "I am stunned. What about the ticket?"
Serena: "Can't you get a refund?"
Don: "They're non-refundable."
Serena: "I still don't want to go."
Don: "I can't believe this, I was thinking of this as our last family vacation."
Serena: "Sorry Dad. I still don't want to go, I would rather stay home and house sit."
Don: "Laurie. You've got to talk some sense into your daughter."
Laurie: "If she doesn't want to go, I don't think we should force her. It was our mistake that we surprised her - Rather than including her in the planning of the trip. We should have included her. As parents - we have always included them in decisions. We should have consulted her before doing anything.”
Devastated, my Person’s Mind's future plans of a 'last family vacation', shattered laying upon the ground - All of his illusionary visions puffed up like a cloud of smoke.
Don's Mind heavily invested in this imaginary future that had been obliterated sent myriad thoughts to plague and torture the Person: "I must be a terrible father that my daughter won't even go to England with me. No last vacation together. Poor me. What have I done wrong? Why is this happening to me? I've been good and kind and now she hates me. Instead of blessed, I am cursed. What kind of cruel trick is this."
Laurie: “Get over it
After this period of self-depreciation, his Person fever broke. "Hey at least Miranda is going with us. And I would rather not have Serena go if she's going to be a moody miserable emotional Serena. Besides I'll save some money. We are going to Scotland after all. What a great adventure!"
Although disappointed Don let go of his 'last family vacation' idea rather than make himself miserable. And now four years later, after he had already long since given up going anywhere as a family, Serena was saying that she would go to Thailand with the family.
If we went. Was this trip affordable? Or was it just a dream that was outside of our reality - The last private school payment of $3000 - Miranda's wisdom teeth pulled - Another $1500 - The stock market keeps crashing in the Spring of 2001, - going to its lowest level in years. The weather is bad. Raining consistently on weekends - destroying both Don and Laurie's business. Savings are dropping like a rock. Business is bad. The overall economy is crashing. We must dip into cash reserves for living expenses.
Don: "I'm not sure that it's a wise time to take an expensive trip like this."
Laurie: "You might be right. But this is always our slow season. Things always pick up."
Don: "The whole economy is in bad shape. Not just us. I think it is important to hold on to what we have as insurance against an uncertain future."
Laurie: "Serena did say she would like to go with us, but she says we need to make up our minds soon or she'll make other plans."
Don, gulping: "Other plans?"
Miranda: "If Serena doesn't want to go, then neither do I."
Don: "Maybe we could go to New Orleans instead."
Laurie: "New Orleans?"
Don: "You don't sound that excited."
Laurie: "Well you have to admit, it is a bit of a come down after Thailand."
Don: "I think New Orleans would be fun."
Miranda, sarcastically: "Right Dad."
But the Universe hadn't given up on us yet. Collapsing economy. The National Reserve Board lowers interest rates to all time lows to stimulate the sagging economy. Don applies for a refinance on his house.
Don: "If it goes through we're going; if not we stay. If it goes through we'll take enuf money out to pay for the vacation plus it will lower our monthly mortgage payments substantially."
To make a long story a little shorter, the loan to refinance my Person's house went through. And Serena squeezed in a little time between her Spring and Summer terms at college (actually missing the first week of classes in Summer school) to make room for the ‘last family vacation' that my Person thought would never happen.
My Person let go of his attachment to 'the last family vacation' and it came back to him. - A universal pattern that happens frequently. Hold on tightly and it slips out your grasp. Let go and it is all yours.
Many times the Universe doesn’t fulfill the desires of those who are out of balance and yet loves to provide bonuses to those who are unattached.
Or as my wife Laurie said: “The Universe seems to provide bonuses for those who temper their expectations, while individuals whose desire seems out of balance often don’t have such good fortune.”
My Person Don was so attached to his first ‘last family vacation’ to Scotland that the gods decided that he shouldn’t have it.
“Let him suffer a little. He is too attached. He needs to chill.”
“He’s going to be awfully disappointed.”
“It’ll be good for him. Maybe he’ll detach a little rather than holding on so hard to his Mind’s projections.”
“Ouch! It hurts me to think about his mental suffering.”
“Trust me, he’ll thank us in the long run. It’s just our little way of guiding him to self-realization and enlightenment. If it wasn’t this, it would certainly be something else, which would break his Mental Chains.”
“Does this mean that he will never get to go on that ‘last family vacation’ that he wants so much.”
“We’ll let him go on one if he can totally let go of it as a desire. Only then.”
“Why is that?”
“If we fulfill his unbalanced desires it will unbalance the Universe, while if we fulfill his desire once he has let go of it, he will appreciate it much more completely. The action will be pure and will cleanse the world rather than polluting it.”
“Why is that?”
“His Person won’t drag down the experience with his Mind filter, boxing it in with these silly words, ‘last family vacation’ ‘closure’. How stupid. His Mind constructs imaginary futures and then is disappointed when his predictions are wrong.”
“Why is that?”
“The Mind wants to be right, rather than just help out. He is just a tool but keeps thinking that he is in charge.”
“Why provide him with this vacation after he has let go of it.”
“We love to provide rewards to those who don’t continually beg and moan but accept what we provide joyfully and willingly. This was they are happy with what comes rather than continually attempting to bend it their will.”
“Doomed to failure?”
“Of course. Human perception is so limited. How could a Person possibly know what he really wanted. It is like asking a two year old what he wants to be when he grows up.”
It was four years later that my Person sufficiently let go of his stupid mental projections for the gods to provide him with this marvelous expression of a family bonding - a foreign trip together. Let it be noted that this was not a quick mechanism; it took a full four years to work itself out. Some think that the rewards of letting go come much more quickly.
Read on to hear the story of our family trip to Southeast Asia with some of the truths that were revealed.