Whenever I begin a trip I have an anxiety attack. Starting a trip is like going on stage; I am overwhelmed with stage-fright! Even though I have made many trips, I still have an anxiety attack each time. I cannot avoid it in spite of my preparations and lists. I even keep my bags packed at all times. In fact, I could leave for anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Fortunately, the minute I get going my anxiety usually passes and I enter into a meditative state of wonder and introspection. This is my bliss. However, I recall my first trip to Europe: I made it all the way to London and still my anxiety had not abated; I worried my way across the Atlantic. How would my family live while I was gone? Would the bills get paid? What about the temple? Would the priests follow their schedules? Did my hotel in Paris have my reservation? Would the plane crash? By the time I arrived I had built a wall of anxiety around myself. Then while I was sitting in a coffee shop in Heathrow waiting for a connecting flight to Paris a man, out of the blue, came up to me and sensing my anxiety said, “Wow, whatever you have been doing, let it go. Take a deep breath and smile. Enjoy yourself. You’re on an adventure.” It was like a bolt of lightning had struck the ground in front of me. These words, “Enjoy yourself. You’re on an adventure” have never left my mind. In fact they have become the hallmark of my life. To this day I do not know who this man was; he simply appeared, uttered these words and then disappeared, yet the impact of his words have been long lasting. Now I love to travel and airports give me a rush. Even driving by an airport I feel this rush, and when I see a jet taking off a piece of me leaves with that plane.
You recently asked about my philosophical outlook. Of course, I have stated my theological outlook so you know that, but I am not a philosopher. I can only vaguely tell you about Plato, Descartes or Nietzsche, my philosophy however, is only based on my life experience. I see myself as a traveler and life is my adventure. For years I lived in under a shell until one day, like a chick, I pecked my way out of my shell and crawled into this adventure called life. Life has become a mystery and I am on a quest to see what I can learn about this mystery. Do I still chant mantras? Do I still pray and do meditation? These used to be my paramount things! Yes, I still perform them, only now they are only things of piety and cleansing.
Instead I am on an adventure for self-knowing and I search the outside to see the inside as well as I search the inside to find the outside. These days you will rarely find me using capital letters. I will not use the words Self, Truth, Absolute or even God. I prefer to stay within the realm of what I know and what can be known, the small letters of life. These big letters words have become too grandiose for me. I have spent almost a life time chasing big letter words without fruit, so now I prefer to invest in the little letters of life. I hope this tells you something about my philosophical outlook. I am not a very deep person.
Today day I am on this new adventure to Maui. I am told it is a heaven. Of course, this is a work assignment and I am here to perform a marriage. But mostly I am coming to see what this heaven looks like and to put my feet in the ocean of life to taste the waters of this heaven. I have been to Maui once before. On that trip I saw Maui when I was still living within my shell. Maui was the kingdom of maya and I had to be careful not to enjoy. There was no adventure, instead it was a test. This time my journey is an adventure. This time I am going to Maui instead of maya.