Living away from home predisposes to new acquaintances and adventures. And even if in an unfamiliar place you decide to seek Solitude, it’s not a fact that it wants to be alone with you only. Most likely, it will come to meet you with its friends, at some point will leave you, but will definitely leave them in your head. Soon they will declare themselves by conducting a PR campaign. This will provide you with mental dissonance, and they will get to know you! These future friends will definitely change you, and you will cheat on yourself. But until the last moment there will be no understanding with what exactly.

I met solitude in Bali, and it accompanied me to Thailand. On the ferry that proceeded into Phangan, we were together too. While proceeding, many times it seemed to me that the ferryboat stopped as well as the time. Now I understand, so my Solitude was saying goodbye to me. The ferry has moored to the shore. Still shrouded in serenity of Ubud, I took a deep breath, smiled to myself, and stepped onto the island … of wild monkeys.

A minute later, in my head was a mess of the Thais and their unvaried propositions, which point could be placed in one phrase: “sex, drugs & rock-n-roll”. Having abandoned all of the above, I headed to a hotel on the seashore. Outwardly, it looked like a heavenly place, besides the hostess assured me that it is very quiet. The fact that it is the real hell, I learned at night, when found myself in its very epicenter. It seemed to me that the hotel was built exclusively for those who came to the Full Moon Party. And at night I was surrounded by them. They were everywhere: behind the wall, on the neighboring balconies, in the pool, in the sea, in the bar.

The next day, in this crazy place, I was billed for the amount of 20,000 baht for a scratch under a bike, which appeared due to the fact that the stone, as it should be, scratched the plastic under the bike. I thought it was meant for that. Now I know for sure Thais do not think so. Another couple of days about the same fuck-up, in the end: the people around are members of other social set, the Thais are not people at all, the place is wrong, beautiful, but not so much, now every day instead of: “Hello morning!” – “What the f … am I doing here?” About 5 years ago, when I was in Phangan, the level of comfort and happiness was exactly the same as what accompanied me to Bali. But this time my adaptation to Phangan was tardy, and its sluggishness awoke the first character in me – it was the Critic.

I learned myself in a new role, studying my new friend. First, under the microscope, giving him the opportunity to express itself just occasionally. Not quite understanding what its image gives to me, I made a schedule of its manifestations. Week is its, week is mine. The experiment lasted 2 months. The level of my activity, self-confidence and my actions became the criteria for evaluation. In the course of the experiment, it was found that all of the above aspects lay outside of my latent week.

Of course, I accepted his rules of the game and cheated on myself. Having smashed a well-ingrained theory of all kinds of acceptance, trying to understand how and when she got into my mind? Where did the roots of tacit agreement with friends, acquaintances, and in general with everyone around me grow from? The brain, it seems, was just waiting for this question and instantly issued two versions of the manifestation of excessive humility in me: my empty smiles, multiplied by numerous practices, were aimed at spiritual development. The speed of its feedback meant it was on my side.

My supercomputer showed very clearly how the meaning of my smile changed over the years. Once upon a time it came from the heart and really meant consent, but year after year the growing belief that the absence of a smile is Russian mouvais ton (bad manners) distorted the essence of one of the most important human emotions. Well, later, my already distorted understanding was fixed by the practices, that nurtured humility / agreement with everything over and over again. For many years, I had been false and artificial. But the clarity of the stated thoughts of my brain instantly sobered and gave me back.

All these reflections caught me in a new house, which was found with careful (I thought so) survey of the area for the presence of previous artifacts. My hasty escape in search of a better fate for my ears gave me a new neighbor; it turned out to be the Thai Karaoke Bar. For me it was a triple impact, unexpectedly inflicted from the nearest bushes, at the moment when I relaxed on the terrace on the first day of my move. I tried to persuade myself for two days that it was only at the weekend, but on Monday night I realized that there was no weekend at Thai karaoke.

After two unsuccessful moves, I approached this issue more closely, and it took me a while to find a cozy place, but after a week my brain, contused by the musical repertoire, began to give up, ready to move anywhere. My purely critical attitude began to be crowded out by growing emotions and the realization that the next link in this chemical chain would be stress. Not wanting to part with the critical thinking that had recently revived in me, I understood that this concentrate should be diluted, but what with?

The answer was found at the top of the psychological catharsis, when I and 12 others trusted the Thai driver, who was supposed to take us abroad to get a visa. On the road, he almost killed us and did not get to Malaysia – he freaked out on the road and threw everyone out of the car. While everyone was fallen into the stupor, my indignation, multiplied by the most critical attitude towards the Thais, turned into a constructive dialogue with the company, which nevertheless organized our delivery on the spot. Almost all the way, I was on the verge of collapse, from the realization that I had entrusted my life to a damned idiot ( or f…ing asshole) who was running all the way at a speed that was unacceptable neither for his car nor for his brains.

And only the way back home had affected me as a sedative. After crossing the ferry, I realized that it was safe. The momentary difference in sensations was reflected in my inner monologue, the essence of which was that: “if I was alive, it meant that Thais were not completely gone people”. Of course, it was an irrational chain of thought. But it made me laugh and put a second character in the game…



Before leaving, I had serious concerns that we would get stuck in Goa, as it was 7 years ago, when I lived there for half a year, and did not see India. It is full of those who come here every year, but never saw it. Goa sucks you with its unhurried life, rum and hashish…

Coming out of the airport, having been absorbed in  “Shantaram” in the flight, I felt that my soul had set off in search of a guide, one who would open the door to the wonderful world of the Indian soul. I was so imbued with the way the hero of the book describes the Indians that I really wanted to learn how to look at the world through their eyes. Because they do it through the prism of the soul, but not material objects. And whatever their financial position or status in society – these people know how to rejoice at what they have and what the European would most likely ignore. I noticed it in the first trip, but did not appreciate it…

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Recently, there was my husband’s birthday and I gave him something … Myself … This is such a lively and non-standard gift! He was supposed to get it not immediately, but after a while, during our journey. We went to Goa and since that I became a “living doll” for my husband. He said that
this is the most original and desired gift. “ You bet!,” I thought…

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A few weeks ago I would not even have thought that I would go to India, but now I am sitting at the airport and waiting for the plane. Languidly trailing time takes me into the past; I sink into memories without resistance…

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How to find one’s destination? How to stay in the zone of inner comfort, taking what seemed unacceptable yesterday. Is concentration really necessary in meditation? And Dmitry Shamenkov will give answers to many other questions that arise on the way of knowing oneself:
Dmitry is:
– Doctor, specialist in family medicine, biotherapy and prevention of aging, development and introduction of new technologies in medicine;
– Member of the Expert Board of the Skolkovo Foundation;
– Member of the Expert Council of the Foundation for Assistance to the Development of Small Enterprises in the Scientific and Technical Sphere (Bortnik Foundation);
– Creator of the social network
– Co-founder of the SUZretreat  in Thailand…

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