A few weeks ago, I envisioned what the coming year would be like in a “Vision Board.” I got together with a small group and pasted magazine pictures and bold 48-point type letters to a cardboard placard showing what we would like to see enfold in 2016.
I placed the Vietnam War book at the top, adding lots of spiritual and meditative symbols along side of it. On the bottom line I pasted “Love to Travel” and displayed two large pictures of my son and I on a cruise to Alaska some two years ago.
Little did I know then that writing about the war would take a backseat while my traveling plans would enlarge and grow immensely!
You see, I am hoping to fly to Germany in March. I’m planning to take off for Korea during the end of April.
How the heck did these travel plans materialize in my life within a span of only a few weeks?
Well, I read a book by a psychologist Judith Miller who teaches at Columbia University. She introduced me to something called Transpersonal Breathwork, a therapy created and taught by internationally noted healers Stanislav Grof and his wife, Christina. My reading group, part of the Center for Contemporary Mysticism, chose that book to read, and I got so turned on by it, I got Ms. Miller’s other book and fell in love with the subject matter. I felt she was speaking directly to me, and calling me to learn more of the practice.
She contacted me after I wrote a Blog post about her books. We then became Facebook friends and, I found myself committed to not only visiting the European site where the teaching originated, but agreeing to a three-year teaching that will take me to not only Germany, but to Greece and a visit to Ithaca, the homeland of my favorite Greek — Odysseus of the Iliad and the Odyssey fame!
I plan to leave March 3rd for a symposium in the Black Forrest of Germany and then attend a 10-day retreat at Hollerbuehl, Germany. While there, I hope to visit Budapest, Hungary, where my grandmother was born and raised. I can’t wait for such a life-altering experiences.
Where did Korea come from?
I’ve been meditating at the WON Temple where Buddhist teachers from South Korea have formed a small community in Glenside, PA. We meditate in a former Presbyterian church facility while a speaker explains stories from the great masters and we ask questions and then commune with each other over tea and cakes.
The Minster, The Rev. Lee, asked me join her in a trip to Korea. She is heading up a group to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WON teachings. I hesitated at first, fearing I couldn’t raise the money, but she advised me it would be far less than I thought, and I agreed to join her.
We’ll spend about a week at the festivities, while meditating and making “joyful efforts” wherever we go and in whatever we do. I have come to understand that it is the Buddhist way.
Yes, I’m becoming a world-traveler now. My new year will be full of adventures I hope to write about and share with all. Stay tuned to Contoveros for dispatches from around the globe!