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Late last week, I spent a little over twenty four hours in a boat house in the middle of Lan Ha Bay, surrounded by beautiful landscapes. It was just me and my friend, a couple from Germany, a couple from Australia and another woman from Australia, along with our Vietnamese host who didn't speak a word of English.

The boat house had a few kayaks that we could use to leave the house and return to it. We could use the kayaks to paddle our way to hidden beaches, and the nearby floating fishing villages (which were other boat houses, one every few hundred metres).

There was no Internet, and barely any electricity (just enough to have a light in the room and to pump water for our use). The only food we could eat was what our Vietnamese host cooked for us (it turned out he was an amazing cook). And the only things we could do with our time was to read books, have conversations, go kayaking, or just sit there with our thoughts.

With no sounds around but for the wind and the water beneath us, with no lighting except for the sun and the moon, and with complete disconnection from the rest of the world, this was a meditative experience. After all, meditation is simply achieving such a state of disassociation where all we do is sit quietly and observe our own thoughts (without judging them).

If you're interested in finding out the benefits of taking up meditation, such an exercise in isolation will give you first-hand experience.

When all we have are our thoughts, we tend to understand them much better than with all the distractions that we are bombarded with every second of our lives.

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