Travel means so much more to me than simply seeing new destinations and learning about new cultures. Travel is a journey within myself- traveling around to all the places I have so far started as an inquisitive kid by nature. I ask questions because I want to feel things deeply. I have learned more about who I am and what my purpose is with time. I have also discovered certain natural laws and truths about life, people and their stories, the ebb and flow of cultures and how precious silence is and the depths of my soul within that silence. I never travel or experience things without an open heart and mind as it is the greatest gift for growth I can ever give to myself. I proceed that personal change is both an internal and external experience for me. In truth, I’m constantly moving toward some things, and away from others. That has always been my style. For example, I would always move my room around as a kid that gave me a sense of "travel" back than- I wanted depth, I wanted and craved new experiences, scenery and moments. But it clearly became evident that in order for noticeable change to occur, I must pass through a series of tipping points in succession. This does not mean that my personal growth can’t take place quickly, because it can. What it does mean is that all meaningful change, regardless of the time required, will follow a certain sequence. The more I experience this process the more natural it becomes. For those who embrace change, personal growth is a way of life, for me I crave it- I want to reach that temple level of self. There's a sense of excitement that I experience, this is where some people may not understand, however; this is something I desire and envelop deeply. I want to see things deeply from a 3-dimensional view. I never fool myself into thinking that resisting change is the easier course, it’s not, because it robs me of the happiness and sense of purpose that I deserve. When I embrace growth, I embrace life. I start this email with this understanding as I’m about to embark on an exciting journey. I carry with me a piece of each of you as a road map whether that has come from lessons you’ve taught me, wisdom tools in my tool box, an outpouring of faith, support and truth- Nonetheless, you’re on this email because you have impacted me in some influential way. I want to share my journey, where I will be each day. I care deeply for each and everyone of you for that reason. I’m sending this email to declare some of the things on my heart and mind and lessons I’ve learned along the way that have really stuck with me which will be on my heart and mind thus elevated and expand my journey: the Monks for a Month Experience.
It all started here (written message above)…before I left for India as was a sectioned part of an email I wrote to a select few to share my adventure with them. I find it interesting NOW as I read it again how it still has the same feeling of exploration but greater in the “feel” part. Meaning more depth, evolvement and fulfillment. I can taste the flavors of life more, speak with more joy, express emotions that were once surpassed and now have revealed themselves more clearer, transformed thoughts of wonder to a foundational truth, cleansed my thoughts of uncertainty with pleasurable pause of peace and have a more exotic palate to feel: mind, body and soul. Ergo, I would like to share my thoughts around my India/Spiti Valley/Himalayan experience and my biggest takeaway from my trip.
On July 15, 2018 life became NEW. More of an intrinsic felt experience with less to no words to articulate. On this day, I stepped off of a 26 hour Emirates flight from (India=Dubai=LAX) exhaling a new perceptive of life. This journey was such a mindful “life changing experience” involving listening, sitting, meditating, hearing my thoughts, breathing at a pace I have never before, learning, exploring, growing and changing with Buddhist Tibetan Monks for a month. In addition, a lifetime of friendship from 6 of the most special tribe that tell a story of this next phase of my life. Immediately when I got of the plane life felt different. Slower. Clearer. Calm. Happier. I had a 75lb red bag filled with Spiti Valley clothes that were so profoundly appreciated, memories of pictures on in my heart and mind that would intrinsically last vividly over my lifetime, memories of Godzilla shots, singing Karaoke, warm buckets that I used to shower with, toilet paper, authentic rhinestone slip ons, my beautiful salwar kameez, my GO-GIRL, a Calvin Klein white T-shirt, mosquito repellent, an open heart and so soooo much more. I was magnetically greeted by a powerful force.
Self-transformation comes through a truthful vulnerable self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnection and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. This is the sum of my trip. Experiencing 6 new friends ( Ita, Jade, Philip, Nick, Pedro, Faja) that were on the same spiritual path as myself- who were filled with questions, passion, live completely on the other side of the world and brought brand new perspectives and connected common ground. Something cool about being near these new friends was realizing how similar we are with love, challenges, pain, heart ache, passion, energy, truth, search to deepen of personal development and desire to see the many layers of the world. The interconnectedness couldn’t have been more clear than ever for me on this trip. I’m so grateful for the life I live, the people in my life- however living in a fast paced city filled with the need of social media, fancy things, and pressures of fulfilling a “life: to the standard” bull shit I was so relieved to experience peace, no social media, no baggage, no check-in, no rules, no routine and enjoy the new form of simplicity while in India/Spiti Valley/Himalayas.
As always when you get back from any trip the common question is “What was the best part of the trip?” ANNNND although it could seem expected to give a response, in this case I didn’t have ONE thing nor did I feel the NEED to respond with one particular answer. Just like “connect the dots” this trip served a very similar concept. I am finding even months later my trip is still connecting dots for me to keep growing and centering me in the present moments. My journey with “Monks for a Month” gave me a profound new appreciation for looking even deeper for 3-dimensional truth not only within myself but the quality of relationships and interactions I have.
My biggest takeaway from my trip was I see how I choose to prioritize and live life from these strong pillars. Loyalty, evolved kindness, true compassion, bright joy, simple living , a mindful space and being present in the moment, felt rooted love and forgiveness to those who don’t serve me well as the common ground in my life. Offering a blank canvas. I choose to wake up every morning with the intention to live my best life. Having the wisdom to see things through calmly and the compassion in each present moment. Vulnerability, a humble awakening and remove the EGO, accountability, an increased sense of my opportunities to be a better version of myself to lead me to the best possible self to have quality relationships and partnership. This is a practice. Since being back not everyday is great, good, okay or bad. It is how I decide and design how to feel.
It is as if compassion is like a very honest person and wisdom is like a very able person, joining these two the results are very effective. With increased inner strength it is possible to develop firm determination that life is a choice to how you decide to live. I found that on this India trip that the greater the force of my compassion, the greater my resilience in confronting hardships and my ability to transform them into positive or healthy conditions. Learning to quiet the mind, productively working in silence (which is a hefty practice that needs to implemented daily). My meditation practice isn’t about sitting in a position for hours at a time (even though I have and it can be amazing), or in a particular form, of with one-way-or the other. It is a unique space that is fulfilling to my being and allows me to be present and see through things in a 3-dimensional view. I have so much more I plan to share with you about my trip and pictures that have so many stories to tell. This is just a taste of what I invite you to come back to my site to experience my live changing spiritual path journey to enlightenment. Have you been to India before, if so please share your story below and how it changed your life?
"Play the role as a human being... human beings are three-dimensional." Michael Pena