Bringing our daily practice overseas with us is important because it’s a continuation of our practice in a foreign environment.
When we travel, we stay at hotels or others’ home. We pay for the lodging and in return, we receive services provided by the host to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
Being considerate is an act of loving kindness because we care for others. When we care for others, the positive effect on others bring us good karma.
Dealing with reception staff at a hotel can be frustrating at times. We have different language and culture. This is a time to practice respect and patience. It could be the absence of wi-fi in the hotel or it could be the way they process your check-in. Or some “silly” house rule that does not make sense to us. At the end of the day, we should be mindful that the counter staff is just an employee working hard to earn a living. Do not make their day unpleasant. In the worst situation, that person serving you could be having a bad day in their life too, if we can practice loving kindness, that is our good karma.
We pay for the services which include room cleaning. However, there is nothing stopping us from being tidy and clean. Being considerate for the housekeeper who is cleaning up after us is a form of loving kindness too.
Furthermore, being tidy also prevent us from leaving our belongings behind accidentally. It is especially helpful, to tidy the bath towels and bath robes and place them neatly in a corner. That way, the risk of our belongings being buried beneath untidy towels, bathrobes, or bed sheet is reduced.
I usually designate “areas” in the room where I place personal belongs and limit myself to using those self defined areas only. That way, it is easier to pack and check out too.
It is tempting to eat in bed and watch TV. That means we should be careful not to soil the bedsheet or the carpet. A time to practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness in our action helps us keep our room and toilet clean. That naturally help make the job of the housekeeper easier too.
I usually travel with a small buddha image when I travel. As a Buddhist, we may sometime carry our prayer text, rosary or Buddha images when we travel. It is important that we continue to treat our object of veneration with respect and place them on tables and try not to cluter that special space.
It rarely happen but sometimes it does. Sometimes people who are not prone to imagining things, experience unpleasant vibes in a hotel room in the most unexpected manner. A general good practice is to generate loving kindness in our mind and dedicate merits of our spiritual practice to all sentient beings.
Of course there is nothing stopping us from changing our room.
When we leave, we bring with us memories of our experience in that hotel. That memory can become a mental baggage if we start comparing one hotel with another.
Once we do that, we may feel disappointed with the next hotel that we stay in. Just like anything else in life, stay focus on the present and enjoy each new hotel as it is. That way, we start the tour of each destination without any negativity in our mind.
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