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Life: adventures of a Buddhist in love and on the go

Life: adventures of a Buddhist in love and on the go August 25, 2007

What to say? I feel like so much of my life has been in fast-forward mode lately (in a good way).

First, love.

I recall reading a passage from Thich Nhat Hanh a couple years back where he describes two kinds of love. The first is love about. I love this about you, that about so-and-so, and so on. It’s the kind of love you can label, you can pin down and describe to people. For instance, I love that my mom has such a big heart, I love my father’s simple approach to life, I love that my friend Soorjya thinks I’m a “Casanova-monk,” and so on…

The other kind of love is one that cannot be pinned down or labeled. It’s a love that fills you, encompasses you, pulls you beyond yourself. This is the love that caught me entirely by surprise late in June. It’s instructive to read a post I wrote June 10, when life was re-opened to me as a question. The certainties I had taken for granted, relationships/studies, were beginning to unravel. In the place of certainty came opportunity (one can only speculate as to the arrows in the causal connection – did the opportunity erode the certainty, or did the waning certainty open me to new opportunity?).

Either way, change was in the air and into my life stepped an amazing woman: Kelly M. I had already been intrigued with her for some time, as we had offices just a few doors from one another and sometimes passed each other (hurriedly en route to classes or the main office) in the hallway. Yet, I was happy with Ana and overly busy with school/teaching, so I never so much as said “hello” to Kelly.

BUT, I was intrigued, no doubt, with Kelly, especially since I saw her article on the Socrates Café that she had established in Missoula (and previously at Princeton). Then, after a trip to London for what became the beginning of the end of things with Ana and six more weeks of academic drudgery I finally managed to get to one of the Socrates Cafés.

“oh… love… A crazy thing… My only advice, which I give to myself as well, is to keep improving yourself in every possible way. Develop, grow, let go of all that holds you back, and somewhere along the line, when you least expect it, someone wonderful will take notice.” (to Patia in the comments here)

How true. I had fully expected to be single in Montana and to return to England unattached. I figured, “how do you start a meaningful relationship knowing that you will be moving so far away so soon?”

Yet Kelly’s and my connection (even from across the room at that Socrates Cafés) was undeniable. I was in awe of her grace and beauty, the way she listened attentively and effortlessly guided the conversation. Afterward we met and exchanged promises to get together. It took us two weeks but when we did finally meet up for a sunset hike something unexpected happened. As we began spending more and more time together I found myself torn between not wanting to jeopardize the absolute bliss of our new-found spiritual friendship and the thickening romantic energy between us. We spent over two more weeks delighting in our platonic friendship unsure of whether or not to jump into romance, not only because was I leaving for London in the fall, but she was destined to leave even sooner: mid-July.

But, thanks to the wonderful advice [read ‘kick-in-the-butt’] (thank you thank you!) of some people very close to me I finally kissed her on July 5th at about 11pm and, wow(BIG smile). Fastforward a couple days and we were already deciding on names for our children, a couple weeks and (on my visit to DC and Ohio in late July) we were determining wedding dates, and now… filling in the gaps (choosing to do pre-cana with close friends here, working on finances and travels, etc.) and working to get family up to speed on all of this. So, you see why I say my life is on fast-forward (but in a good great way)!

If that weren’t enough, I’m finalizing plans to commit myself to three years of Ph.D. study, to begin in 4 weeks in London! More on that surely soon… And lastly, I do feel bad about neglecting my other posting interests: Buddhism, Philosophy, and the environment mainly, and do plan to return to those soon. I have indefinitely put off my MA in Philosophy studies, which was a difficult, somewhat sad, but liberating decision (I want to be fully present in London). But I am sure I will continue to ponder all things philosophical and environmental along the way. I have also been cooking up a post on Buddhism and Failure for some time, which promises to weave in elements of my life, discussions with friends (e.g. Ramadan), and Buddhist teachings (from Anam Thubten Rinpoche). So…please pardon my quietness in the blog-world of late -I’ve been busy!- and rest assured that I shall return to full force quite soon.

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