I began typing this while on a plane to Jakarta, Indonesia from Hong Kong by way of JFK, NYC.   I will be attending a retreat with Thich Nhat Hahn (Thay) for 15 days and then going to Bali to hopefully put into practice more deeply what I have learned.  And also to relax, explore, enjoy, and write.

I hope to incorporate my daily adventures with also new lessons learned/remembered/practiced.  So I expect this to be sortof a spiritual, (hopefully humorous) travelogue.

If I’m going to be honest, and well, I AM going to be honest…. The last three years or so have been incredibly difficult for me.  Sickness, death, & loss have pervaded and surrounded my life.  I have said to my friends that I feel like I’m in the ocean, making my way back to shore and the waves keep crashing on my head and the undertow is pulling me under.  Of course, I don’t feel that way in every moment.  I have found graceful moments of deep love, friendship and joy  BUT what I mean is that no matter what I do to cultivate my peace, the universe seems to hit me with another loss, another circumstance to contend with – as if to say…. ‘yes, but can you be peaceful NOW???!!!’    It has been relentless.

And while I feel that I have been very diligent in my practice (in keeping my sanity), I cannot avoid the circumstances of my life.  But I can certainly take a break from the daily grind that perhaps keeps a deeper peace hidden from me.  I feel I can see the forest from the trees, but I’d like to glimpse the individual leaves that make up the forest.   Because no matter how devoted I am to my self and to my practice, if I don’t  take myself off the hamster wheel, there is an essential committment to self that is missing.

It is important to separate ourselves from our daily circumstances so that we can sturly stand back and contemplate our hidden (or not so hidden) values, habits and perceptions.  This is not to say that we can’t make that a part of our daily practice: prayer, meditation, attention, mindfullness, affirmation, but rather, that it is essential whether it is an hour, or a week at a time, that we take ourselves OUT of our routine.

It is imperative that every once in a while,  that we turn off the phone, the laptop, the tv, the radio, put down the paper, the book, the activity and just be still with the holy, the divine, the spiritual, the essence of ourselves.   There are many paths to this place, but I think the first one is to simply stop what we are doing.

And so this is where I find myself, outside of my world as I know it and willing to see it all differently, experience the world anew, to go deeper within myself  in order to spread more joy throughout.

I hope that you will join me for this journey.

Sending you blessings from afar.

Om man padme hum


ps – please excuse any typos. I’m writing on a computer that considers eveyr word of English a TYPO.  No spell check for me today!!