The Tropics: A sweaty playground with AC sporadically placed between. I had forgotten this while visiting the US. Sure we get hot, but we never walk around all day with beads of sweat pouring off of us.
My school has become more populated so in an effort to make way for students the leaders placed us 25 minutes away in a ‘remote’ location. Remote meaning it takes more than 5 minutes to walk to the nearest bus stop and eatery/convenience store. However this apartment is very appealing, not only is it brand new it’s right next to the South China Sea. They are slowly building a port 100 meters from me and one of these days i’m going to sweet-talk the guards in letting me wander muddy beaches..
Last night I refused to sleep anywhere but my new apartment. I bought princess bedding for my Queen bed. My AC doesn’t have a remote and I decided with a nice sea salty wind blowing through, ‘i needn’t’ use the air. I couldn’t be more wrong.
I had one of the most miserable nights of sleep I have ever experienced due to heat. When I wasn’t covered by my sheet my body was a mosquito’s banquet while they sang lullabies in my ears. At one point I resorted to intense meditation and trying to trick my body into thinking I was cold and not hot at all. Tiger balm saved me, I am so glad I invested long ago.
Needless to say, I woke up grumpy, groggy, out of sorts, and should still be jet-lagged but managing.
I will be teaching more classes this year as will all the other teachers, at first I was upset, when I realized everybody had to deal with this I was happy to realize, ‘we’re all in this together.’ Especially with these new apartments that have been haphazardly assembled for us foreigners.
Coupled with lack of sleep the pressure started to build, all this worry over nothing. My Master was having one of his evening gatherings where he reads sutras, chants, says mantras, bangs drums, blows horns, etc. I decided I had to go to clear my mind of sweat grog.
The party was great I felt rejuvenated and realized I need to keep my heart pure when dealing with such pressure. It was really nice. Now comes the romantic sweat bucket part:
Every night David prepares a bucket full of boiled water, boiled vinegar, boiled with fresh ginger. About 2 or 3 gallons full in a bucket. When I first flew in I laughed and thought it was just another one of his silly Chinese medicine practices. The Chinese believe the feet are the second heart. David has a friend who does acupuncture and taught David to do this.
Tonight David prepared one for me, and here’s the recipe: aged vinegar, a giant root of crushed up fresh ginger, some hot water from the tap, and then boiled water, in addition to boiled vinegar and ginger –about 2 cups of vinegar. [Just found out no need for ginger if you don’t want, just aged vinegar, ginger helps muscle aches]
We basically built our own sweat lodge just when I thought my sweating was over I had no idea what I was in store for. We sat across from eachother and slowly dunked our feet while listening to silly 80s music. It was bizarrely sensual. He also decided we should touch our thumbs to our ring and middle finger with the pointer and pinky straight out for at least fifteen minutes while letting our feet soak. Apparently if you hold your hands in this way your kidneys and liver will dance for you and by dance I mean love.
Meditative, eye opening, relaxing, beautiful, and extremely romantic are understatements. When we finished our foot bath I felt like I had melted and so did all of life.