The wind, always chuckling with ironic turns, pulled me from my path of attending Naropa University in Boulder, CO this fall. I was planning to study Indo-Tibetan Buddhism- a philosophy forever close to my heart, but never closer than when I was in McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India, earlier this year. This beautiful Himalayan town is rich with history and enchantment, and ignited a deep interest in Buddhist thought, history, and religion.
That wind, a force sometimes sweet or forceful, but always steady, bumped me right into a man who would change the course of my life drastically. I was temping at a magnet middle school here in Alabama's "city by the bay" when I met G. G's daytime job is a traveling gifted educator, but his unofficial post remains as a recruiter for the Mobile Ichihara Sister City Association (MISCA). Every 3 years (now 2) Mobile, AL sends someone to Ichihara, Chiba, Japan, to act as a cultural representative of Mobile, AL and to assist teaching middle school students English. When asked if I'd like to take this wonderful opportunity, all my dreams of traveling the world and teaching abroad resurfaced, as if seeds planted and never watered could grow. This would forever be my one regret if I was scared enough to say no.
So I said yes, and in two weeks I'm leaping to LA, then Tokyo, and landing in Ichihara, an hour outside of Tokyo across the beautiful bay. For many years I've loathed Mobile, Alabama, and all they've stood for. It has not been until the past 2-3 years that I've grown to appreciate the beauty, culture, and history that this locale maintains, and all that I maintain within it. THIS is my home, for better or worse, and I see people everyday striving to make it a city they want to live in.
I remember my roots as I earn my wings, and fly around the world to someone else's city by the bay. A sister city, mind you, with shipping and refinery infrastructure, baydwelling sentient beings, and soon, a traveling yogi, eager to begin an adventerous chapter. Funny too, that my desire to dive deeper into Buddhist philosophy takes me to the Zen capital of the world.
It is my intention to become a soldier of peace. In teaching, practicing, and living, I will seek truth, knowledge, and wisdom. I want to experience, as yoga teaches us, that service is its own reward.
"Truth is like a vast tree, which yields more and more fruit, the more your nurture it. The deeper the search in the mine of truth, the richer the discovery of the gem burried there, in the shape of openings or an even greater variety of service." -Ghandi
In peace and service,