I heard the crack of thunder as it whipped across the sky and prepared myself for the downpour to come.
I was sitting cross-legged in a tiny wooden kuti that was nestled among the tall trees and rugged rocks on land that was part of a remote forest monastery in Northern Thailand.
As I sat on the floor of the kuti, I looked up at the framed photos of respected Thai ajahns who I had read about before.
In fact, the kuti that I had the honor of sitting in that day was the retired kuti of another respected ajahns still living today.
As I patiently waited for the rain to come down from the clouds, I was overcome by a sense of stillness that I hadn’t experienced before during my stay at the monastery.
Back at the relatively spacious and comfortable kuti that I was provided for my brief stay at the monastery, I found myself fighting to quiet my mind every time it stormed.
Yet when the torrential rains drenched the roof of that tiny kuti, I felt a serene freedom within that had eluded me until that point.
It was as if I was being shown that it was possible to find peace amid the storms of life.
There is no way to physically escape from thundering storms and the other dangers that come with living in the world.
You can’t run from the rain, especially in rainy Thailand.
But there are places that you can travel to in your mind — where you can find a mental shelter for the heart.
For a few fleeting moments, I had found one of those places.
If someone were to ask me what’s the most sacred place in the world, I know what my answer would be.
That tiny kuti in the forest.