I am friends with a beautiful (inside and out), blond haired, willowy, intelligent woman who I love dearly. It's hard to think of her as a woman though because she's more like the little sister that I never had and so in my mind she'll always be that way.
She and I recently got the opportunity to reconnect in person after about 11 years of not seeing or speaking with one another. It's one of those connections that never seems to diminish over time. Of course, we have lost out on a lot of information about the other over the years, but outside of the need to catch up it's still just us - like we've never missed a beat.
While we now keep in touch through Facebook, I've learned that she loves doing yoga and she's turned into quite the travel hound. She loves to go off and visit and learn about other places and cultures. Truth be told, her adventurous spirit makes me nervous for her because of her beautiful blond American looks. In so many ways, she is much braver than I am...if for no other reason than she is willing to eat things that I couldn't consciously put on my plate let alone into my mouth.
Anyway, her most recent trip was to China where she was able to visit and meet up with friends, as well as visit Tibet. She was there 2 weeks, and though China is probably a very unique place to visit, the sheer amount of people would probably force me back onto the plane.
I followed her blog daily, and was forced to think a little deeper than normal when it comes to living vicariously through her pictures. Here's a couple small excerpts of her blog with regard to part of her visit to Tibet (I hope she doesn't mind).
"This monastery is in Shigatse, the 2nd biggest city in Tibet with population of 300,000. It has 1000 active monks and nuns and was the first time I actually saw many monks actively working chanting in assembly halls. A few were in the big assembly hall (see picture below) counting money that devotees leave at different assembly halls with specific buddhas that they are praying to for wisdom, health, etc. I was very much reminded of the baskets they pass at Catholic mass...so needless to say I continue to feel alienated by organized religion of all sorts. So, I will continue my spiritual journey but coming to Tibet has only confirmed for me what doesn’t resonate with me in religion, not was does. I’m very surprised by this but I will continue asking questions and searching."
<<< snip >>>
"I’ve always thought that I would go to someplace like Tibet and feel some sort of spiritual belonging or understanding or have an aha moment. My friend, Bobbi, once pointed out to me that a personal awakening can happen in your backyard, not necessarily on a mountain top in Bhutan. Well now I know she is/was right (not that I ever doubted that). I can say for sure that I now know that the moments I have on my yoga mat at YogaView in Chicago are amazing spiritual moments and blessings!! I will no longer take them for granted just because they are in my backyard (Many thanks and love to my yoga teachers...Quinn, Claire, Erica, Erica, and Tom!!!) As I walked through these monasteries and temples seeing elderly people barely able to walk performing their religious traditions I reflected quite a bit about the Eastern versus Western perspective. We discussed this idea in yoga teacher training, the idea of the 3rd perspective. Not just believing something or in someone just because it is 1000’s of years old, but taking it in and making up your own mind. What feels right in your heart and soul. And the idea of devotion...I don’t have the audacity to question the devotion of anyone having never walked in their shoes...but what inspires devotion or what circumstances require devotion? Now that is a question worth spending a lifetime traveling the world to answer!"
How many times have I had some of these same thoughts over the years? All of this caused me to think about what I have learned and not learned as yet about religion, spirituality, and the path that we choose to take in life.
Part of my comment to her post was "Keep in mind though, your truth can only be found within you, not without!"
I don't know if that is something that I came up with on my own or if it was something that I read, or something that is a little bit of both. Yet it's something that I know to be true right now. Could it change? Will it change? I don't know...I imagine, like all things about myself, it will grow, develop, be discarded, be revised....
Religion, as an entity, frequently pisses me off. Spirituality seems so vague. Yet, we keep looking for that one thing - that thing that will make us complete, will validate us, will teach us something new and unequivocal about life and the life greater than ourselves.
It's a surprise that for all the words that all the languages in all the world have, put together they just don't seem to fill that void that keeps us searching...
Onward on my journey!
lustige bilder advent
4 months ago