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I’m visiting who?… Who is the Karmapa?

Who are we seeing? I asked

The Karmapa.

My party of yogi friends chimed in.


The name didn’t stir recognition for me.

His gaze was intense for such a young-looking face.

Piercing. Penetrating, as if he could see right into you…

May 23, 2011 7
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Finding my Inner Buddha at Templestay (Day 2)

Musangsa Temple, Day #2, South Korea. It’s 3:10A, the wooden moktak is struck and it’s barely audible. Fortunately, someone had set their alarm. Monks must be light sleepers. We get dressed and go to the meditation room.

My eyes emerge from their crusted vision and recognize the cushion situated a few centimeters before my feet. The room is toasty and tinged with a faint incense. A two foot tall golden Buddha sitting in lotus position in the center of the room, mediates the sexes- men on one side, women on the other. The monks file in. Our teacher, the foreboding but jolly Lithuanian stood across them, keeping a guiding eye on us. The wooden moktak is struck again. Some sticks are clacked and in unison, we begin.

108 prostrations in silence.

April 19, 2011 4
korean buddhism, musangsa temple
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Finding my Inner Buddha at Musangsa Templestay, Daejeon (Day 1)

Day #1 at Templestay, Korea. The mind must be a clean slate, an empty cup.

Blank mind, empty cup. Yes, I could feel it…the Zen was sinking into me.

Listen to the sound of your breath.

I could hear it alright- deep, tranquil, low…

Lose attachment to all sound and body.

Definitely losing it. Walls were losing focus, limbs had gone beyond numb. Outside, the birds, wind, trees, the sound of my neighbors’ fidgeting,… it all passed through my ears, falling right through me.

April 16, 2011 2
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A Month in Dharamsala with a purpose | Yoga and Volunteering in Mcleodganj

Finally, rooted to a month of purpose!

I’ve been in Dharamsala for the past week, hiking, learning to cook Tibetan food, meeting people, exploring the Dalai Lama’s temple and my surroundings; but today, I got to drop my bags!

I have my own “apartment”. I like to call it that.

For the next month of my Yoga Teacher Training Certification program, I’ll have a room with a mini kitchen, a spacious bedroom with a TV and dressers, a lounge area and an outdoor balcony. It’s quite a swank pad!
Best of all, I finally get to root down!

April 7, 2011 22
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My Accidental Overnight Templestay at Haeinsa Temple

I was in the home stretch with only two hours to go. Each bent joint in my body wanted to scream with spasms.

What the hell was I thinking?

Staring at the wooden wall before me for the past seven hours, the knots and natural grain of the wood were beginning to form a cackling witch.

Who am I?

This was a good one. These past weeks I’ve wrestled with the rocking crests and uncertain footing of that question. Nearing 40 and still single, the world is mine to create and to accidentally slaughter. Stay in Korea and develop a career in education? Follow my passion for travel and yoga to India? Root down, find a husband and make babies? Everything felt like it should be the right answer.

December 22, 2010 6
muju, forest meditation, yoga retreat korea, ayurveda yoga retreat muju
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What is a Forest Walking Meditation in Muju?

What do you experience when you walk through the woods and must rely on the person in front of you and the vision presented before you in a tiny mirror, pointed up to the sky? What happens when you close your eyes and allow yourself to be guided by nature’s sounds?

The program on the Ayuveda Yoga Camp menu said Forest Walking Meditation. A walk through some woods in Muju, while observing nature in silence is all I could think of….

December 2, 2010 10
muju, forest meditation, yoga retreat korea
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Photo Essay: Nature walk in Muju

Muju, South Korea. Walking through a forest with the autumn leaves in fall and life transitions into hibernation, I walk in silence with my camera. Life is tinged with a quality of abandon and everywhere I look, I am reminded how man exerts boundaries on nature.

November 27, 2010 3
ayurveda yoga camp
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Ayurveda Yoga Camp Muju‎: Opening Mats, Minds & Hearts

Sometimes, finding your guru can feel like a curse. Gurus are dangerous. The inevitable is bound to happen. The moment you develop a passionate preference for something– a gym, a dance or step aerobics class, a psychologist, a personal trainer…– it becomes a “guru”, making it hard to find room in your heart to follow another… Ayurveda Yoga Camp in Muju.

November 26, 2010 3
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VIDEO: The Monkey Temple in Kathmandu

Swayambhunath Stupa (aka Monkey Temple) is claimed to be over 2,000 years old, is a famous pilgrimage site for many devout Hindus and Buddhists in Nepal.

January 10, 2010 2
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