“If one’s life is simple, contentment has to come.” ~ H.H. The Dalai Lama
These days I am happier than I’ve ever been. I am not rich or famous. I don’t have a pot to piss in as they say. I don’t even have a job. But I have a few dollars in the bank, enough to see me through the next seven months in Asia.
I also have four shirts, four pairs of pants and a pair of Crocs. I have an umbrella, which comes in handy when it rains for ten days in a row.
There’s two cartons of milk, a chocolate bar and some fresh vegetables in my fridge. I have some noodles and rice, too.
Oh, yes. And I have paper, pens, a computer and an internet connection. These are like gold.
My days are the same, one after another: an attempt at meditation, breakfast, some writing time then off to Tibetan language class.
These are the best. My teacher is wonderful. She’s dedicated, devoted and passionate. She pushes us hard, sometimes beyond our limits. She keeps us late after class because she’s so excited to show us a new word or sentence structure or tiny point of grammar.
Then it’s lunch at the Library cafeteria. Dal and rice everyday for 50 cents. It’s delicious.
It’s a grubby, dirty little place. Typical Indian style. Stray dogs beg at the folding tables covered in torn plastic table clothes. But there’s a big shrine to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at one end of the room, and his smile in the big photo that hangs there makes me smile, too. So I toss the dogs a piece of bread and leave happy.
Then it’s home and a short rest. I get up feeling fresh, ready to study. I do three or four hours of that, pacing around my room, chanting Tibetan vocabulary and phrases to imaginary friends until I don’t know what I’m saying.
But that’s how it’s done. Over and over until it starts to sink in, until I begin to hear the words out there in town and recognize their meaning, until I find that I actually have the courage to use them in the real world.
And that’s about it. Dinner then some more study before heading off to sleep.
But to me, this is the simplicity of happiness. This is precious. This is such a gift. I feel so grateful that I have the time and the means to do such thing, to really sink my teeth into the practice and the language.
So I just want to say thank you to all of you for being a part of this. So many of you have made this trip possible with all of your love and support. Without you, I would not be here.
I hope you are having a wonderful day. Thanks, as always, for reading and don’t forget: Live today. Don’t wait. There is no time for waiting.