11 In Cambodia/ Culture/ Religion + Spirituality/ Travel/ Travel Talk

With Our Thoughts We Make the World

In college I studied Cultural Anthropology and Eastern Religious Studies. I dealt all through college with the question of what I was going to do with that major. I had thought of getting a PhD & teaching or finding a government job or a million other things. All I knew for sure was that I had never felt more nourished as a person than when I was learning about life, culture, language, religion and people. I felt as though I learned something new every single day.

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I have been in Cambodia for eight days now, and in these eight days I have felt so alive. I have felt like I’m putting to practice the things I’ve learned. I’m witnessing & experiencing ceremonies, blessings and art that I’ve only read about in books or seen photos of in Art History classes. I have felt encouraged by the joy of people, fortunate from the poverty I’ve seen and awakened & renewed by the temples. 

WatPhnom

Today, we started our day by visiting Wat Phnom. This stunning temple atop the only hill in Phnom Pehn. We left our shoes by the opening of the temple and stepped in. Immediately I was overwhelmed by the beauty of the murals, the statues, the offerings, the music that was being played, the scent of incense and the people worshiping. I had never been in a temple that was such a treat for all the senses. We watched respectfully as women washed their faces in Holy Water, people received fortunes, laid offerings on the buddhas and bowed while burning their incense. It was a truly a feast for the senses. 

Temple Inside

WatPanorama offering Murals Holy Water

I don’t think that you have to be Buddhist or Cambodian to learn from these beautiful moments, experiences and the things that they believe in. So, I just want to leave you with some words that stuck with me today:

“With our thoughts we make the world.” – The Buddha

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Belle
    March 12, 2015 at 4:46 am

    Love this! The serenity of buddhism is beautiful even for those who don’t practice it themselves… what a wonderful experience for you 🙂 I can’t wait to visit places like this myself in my future travels!

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      March 26, 2015 at 5:53 am

      Thank you! I completely agree that you don’t have to practice a religion or believe in the dogma of it to take something away from an experience with it. I think it’s important to be able to find lessons in every experience you have- there’s always something to be learned. Thank you so much for reading and commenting and I know you’ll get to have all kinds of experiences like these in your near future! Cheers!

  • Reply
    http://theenglishprofessoratlarge.com
    March 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    Fascinating, inspiring, and gorgeous! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos.

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      March 26, 2015 at 5:57 am

      Thank you for reading them and taking the time to comment!

  • Reply
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    LaiAriel R. Samangka ( Thelittlelai: Beyond limits)
    April 27, 2017 at 1:14 am

    Wow, I think you really get to embrace more about what you’ve learned in school as you’re now doing the things you have long been dreaming to achieve. Cambodia is really a great country to explore, their rich culture is superb and you get to learn more about what they believe. I know that you really have enjoyed your trip as of today and for the coming days in Cambodia. I hope to read more of your travel stories about this trip. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

  • Reply
    thetravelpockets
    April 27, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    Growing up in Japan and my mother being Buddhist (my father a Christian), I have always appreciated all religions. I took a class in college “Women in Religion” which focused on the Middle East and it really opened up my eyes to so much. Learning about other cultures and religions are something we should all take part in 🙂 Love the photos you captured!

  • Reply
    Sandy N Vyjay
    April 27, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    You are so right, these beautiful moments are so enjoyable and blissful and they transcend the boundaries of religion or country or race. The temples of Cambodia are really ethereal and they fascinate me to the core. Loved your post and the perspective presented. Am totally in agreement of your sentiments here.

  • Reply
    Reshma
    April 27, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Such a deep and thought provoking post! I totally agree with you on the moments of travel being for everyone, irrespective of their origin. Beautifully written. I enjoyed the temples in Cambodia a lot as I’m very much into history and architecture.

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