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A practiced hand paints a thanka. Photo by Cara Starnbach, North India Program.

Some Thoughts Before the Journey

Dear students,

The three of us have just wrapped up our orientation in the majestic mountains of California. Together with our program director and other admin team members, we have been building the foundation to a magical program for all of us to experience. We are eager to share, learn, and grow with you for the next three months through the beauty, diversity, and wisdom of India.

Here is some food for thought, a poem by John O’Donohue as you embark on this epic journey.

In out-of-the-way places of the heart,
Where your thoughts never think to wander,
This beginning has been quietly forming,
Waiting until you were ready to emerge.

For a long time it has watched your desire,
Feeling the emptiness growing inside you,
Noticing how you willed yourself on,
Still unable to leave what you had outgrown.

It watched you play with the seduction of safety
And the gray promises that sameness whispered,
Heard the waves of turmoil rise and relent,
Wondered would you always live like this.

Then the delight, when your courage kindled,
And out you stepped onto new ground,
Your eyes young again with energy and dream,
A path of plenitude opening before you.

Though your destination is not yet clear
You can trust the promise of this opening;
Unfurl yourself into the grace of beginning
That is at one with your life’s desire.

Awaken your spirit to adventure;
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk;
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm,
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

See you so very soon!

Namaste,

Your Instructors