Here Comes the Rain

14 Jul

It’s a Sunday morning here at the rainy English Village in Paju, South Korea.  I am slowly waking up preparing for a day of restoration before Monday arrives and a new work week begins.

It is rainy season here in South Korea.  As this is my first year here, it is also my first experience with rainy or monsoon season.  So far I have to say it is… rainy!  I am not sure how long rainy season will last, but the past few weeks we have been submerged in water with an occasional sunny day.  The upcoming weather reports show all rain this week and no sun in sight.  Sometimes it is a light misty rain and other times it is a serious downpour. The climate, while not that hot,  is crazy wet and humid.  I am running my air conditioner lately not because I am hot, but because the space needs a break from the humidity and dampness.

I continue on my recent mission of restoration after recently hitting a wall of  fatigue.  Wow…so tired.  This week I am feeling better.  I am still seeing my chiropractor in Itaewon who is assisting with lifting the tension and adjusting the tight spots in my body.  I spent the better portion of the day yesterday with my my Buddhist SGI group in Seoul.  So good for me!  We had our chapter meeting, always an inspiration.  Following I went with a few of the members to chant at one of the local SGI Community Centers.

We traveled to a center that was more on the outskirts of Seoul where I had never been.  When we arrived inside I felt my whole body heave a big sigh of relief.  There was something about the energy of the place that just felt like… home.  We took off our shoes  by the door and stored them in the provided cubby holes, standard behavior in Korea.  We then went to the second floor and headed for the chanting room.  The chanting room is a place where people come and chant for as long as they want whenever they want.  There are mats on the floor to sit on and chairs around the perimeter for those that don’t prefer the floor.  My fellow members where there for the long haul – 6 hours of chanting!  I stayed for two and left feeling more centered, restored, happy and energized.  What a relief it was to just take a break and chant… a time when I didn’t have to think about anything else or worry about whatever may be on my mind.

While chanting I was charmed by the graciousness and gentle hospitality of my fellow members…. making sure I was comfortable and at ease, bringing me a back rest to sit on, making sure I had water and knew where the bathroom was, offering a kind and gentle smile.  It is these things that truly make a difference for me and warm my heart after what sometimes feels like a rough and tumble kind of work week.

Today, I plan to continue to stoke the fires of gentle spirit, recovery and relaxation of the weekend before a new workweek begins.  I began my day with some chanting and yoga.  Later today I will take a swim at the English Village indoor swimming pool.  I have been swimming more lately and it feels so good to stretch my body and move and be submerged in water.

How about your life?  Any calling for restoration?  Any gentle offerings or practices to offer yourself as you prepare for a new week? Feel free to write, it’s always good to hear from you!

Image at top,  a soggy sunflower making its way in the persistent rains of the Korean monsoon season.