as it is

(Sun setting on the clouds upon arrival in Guatemala.)

There is a mantra which was recently re-whispered into a valley of my subconscious and has now risen to an echo that daily booms and bounces off the mountains in my mind…

“anicha”

“anicha”

Right before I came again to Guatemala, I served and sat at a Vipassana (meditation) course where Goenka-ji reminded me of one of my most important lessons from Buddhism: That we humans tend to live in a never-ending cycle of suffering because we attach ourselves to two very dangerous emotions: craving and aversion. When we “don’t like” something we react with disgust, anger, disappointment and negative emotions that amount to the action of aversion. When we “like” something we react with longing, unchecked desire, mindless passion and an addictive “craving” for more of that same thing. The problem is that, despite all our wishes for life to be so, nothing is permanent; everything is transient and passing. And thus, in chase of the illusion of being able to attain some mythical state of stability, we spend our minutes, days, years and life hopping back and forth between these two, mild but constantly, painful states of being; aversion and craving. The key to leaping out of this cycle of suffering is to practice equanimity; to (first become aware of and then choose to) dismiss our initial inclinations to immediately define all people, places, events and things along our personal sliding scales of “good” to “bad” and instead, to accept each stimuli in life simply…”as it is.”

Or in Sanskrit,

“anicha”

(the rising and passing of a moment)

So when Dragons changed my fall assignment from the Himalaya to the Guatemala Semester, instead of pleading out my (devastating) desire to return to India, I simply shrugged and whispered to myself, “anicha”…

…as it is.

And now here I am; visions, memories, sights and smells of Guatemala deliriously swarming in and all around me, a vigor tingling at the tips of all my fingers and a energy stirring underneath every inch of my skin. An inner self is dancing, leaping with joy at being able to walk again in the land of magic and mystery that first inspired my entire quest as a perpetual pilgrim. Yes. Guatemala’s multitude and magnitude of majestic volcanoes have overshadowed the entire Himalayan range and left me bowing my gratitude and respect to the Divine Plan that always (always!) knows my place and path better than I. The only thing that grounds me is the absolute certainty that there is no place I should (or would rather) be, than right here, now.

And attesting to the universality of the (life) language I’m learning, I turned yesterday to an indigenous woman of Mayan decent with my ridiculous list of petty “why?” questions in regards to a bus schedule to which she replied, “Asi es. Porque asi es.”

“As it is. Because that’s as it is.”

*****

< A few new photos in the new Guatemala 05-06 Album

*****

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