Nepal: Myth and Reality

IGS helped me land my dream internship with the International Buddhist Association in Kathmandu. It was simply incredible. I keep in touch with some of my friends there and talk to a few of the monks regularly. They not only help me stay connected to this summer’s amazing adventure, but they help guide me in my understanding of Buddhist philosophy. My monk friends help me when I start to confuse myself. Plus, I still enjoy helping them with their English skills 🙂.

Now that my apartment is decorated with paper lanterns and prayer flags, I feel as though something profound has changed in my heart. My adventure this summer has transformed me in ways I have yet to understand, but I think it is all for the better. My current plan is to return to Nepal next summer for one month and then travel to India. I haven’t started to pull together the resources I need for that journey, but I can feel my next adventure calling.

I’m back to my studies at the University of Arizona now, and I can really feel the difference.

Now that I have some basic understanding of Buddhism, I relate to my class material very differently. It’s hard to describe, but I feel like Buddhists have a lot of satisfying answers to many of the problems that western philosophers struggle with. I don’t feel justified in simply dismissing the trials and tribulations of these great thinkers, but I often find myself wondering what their responses would be if they ever found the time to learn a little eastern philosophy.

I’ve tried discussing this with at least one professor since my return, and I was saddened to realize just how little about Buddhist philosophy he knew. I shouldn’t be surprised, but it just seems like such a waste to never investigate all the potential answers to difficult questions. Buddhism has a lot of interesting answers, and for people who have dedicated themselves to the study of knowledge and wisdom, it seems like a waste that they have not explored these ideas.

At times I feel like I have joined some exclusive club. I connect with everything differently now and it feels pretty awesome.

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