I got How to think like Leonardo da Vinci (my birthday twin) on my google page, and it reminded me of my 2004 trip to Thailand:
I decided to try a seven-day fast, and on the sixth day, a woman came, offering a free workshop on the Essence of Being. I had really savored lounging around, reading in a hammock on most afternoons, but this sounded interesting, so I gave it a shot. We went to her home, which was a beautiful open-aired deck of a tree house. It was all made of wood, beautiful golden slightly twisty wood (I am clearly no wood expert), and there was a handmade wooden railing that overlooked a palm tree forest, with the water glistening just beyond. It was amazing. Prior to that moment, I wouldn't even have conceived of living in such an incredible (and totally simple!) home. (There was only electricity during the day, and aside from the simple dwellings, the land and water felt untouched.)
A group of about twenty people gathered on her balcony, and she asked us, 'Who are you?' Some answered with their names or where they hailed from, and there were a few different ways people identified themselves, usually with something external: a country, a career, their role in a family structure, a fan of a sports team, etc. Whatever the answer was, she would tell us to strip that away. Then, she'd ask again, 'Who are you?' And then tell us to strip those next descriptions away also. So, after a few rounds of this, once all those labels fell away, and we were left naked, without an identity to cling to, she started talking about how we are all nothing and everything, no one and everyone, how insulting anyone else was insulting yourself, how putting yourself down was insulting humanity. Everyone was still, and we could hear the leaves blowing in the breeze.
I left feeling floaty and kind. I wanted to dive into the soft cloud that I felt was the world at that moment and throw marshmallows in the air in celebration. Even thinking of it now, I can't push the smile away.
For all of our idiosyncrasies, we are all beautiful vessels of possibility. And we're all part of this nebulous existence together, in for the crazy ride we call life. I love it.