11 July, 2003

Here in Nepal, only in essence, only in the most fundamental way do I live within my "normal" lifestyle. I mean, day to day, everything that I do, the way I do it, is different, and only the essence of things remains the same. .I am being introduced to new arts, ancient and beautiful. They keep me rapt and content reading them each day, and I can't remember days that have ever passed so quickly. These studies go straight to my heart. They seem important and primary to who I am. This is the essential sense, the only continuity that I have maintained here. These new arts are rooted in the same truth I have spend so much of my life, my work, my play contemplating. They are the same and so they fascinate me and fit comfortably in whatever it is that is me.

Right now I am only dipping lightly into them, that seems always to be my habit. What is so fantastic about Eastern religions is that they are inseparable from eastern philosophy and medicine. Each claims the other. Ayurveda, yoga, tantra, Yin/Yang, many of the primordial gods, Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu; they cross all country lines, philosophic lines, and religious lines. The East is a great mosaic, no, a melting pot of cosmologies, ideologies, and mythologies. In fact, Ayurveda is influenced by China, through Tibet, Nepal, India; and through Persia all the way to Greece. The ancient silk trade was also a trade in medical knowledge. Doctors travelled and translated Sanskrit and Greek. I think this is quite amazing.

One reason it all is so captivating is because it is personal. At first, it is not about memorizing anything, but about learning your own constitution: who are you? Where Western medicine is distinctly prescriptive, Eastern medicine is much more preventative. It is living a healthy life that is sought, - more than a cure, a way of life. This is the tie to Buddhism. The Buddha is considered the first doctor. His dharma is meant to cure suffering. This is also Ayurveda's connection to Yoga. Yoga is a sort of vehicle to health. Yoga and meditation are considered nearly essential to health and happiness. Yoga is integrated more with the Indian Hindu tradition, not the Buddhist tradition so much.

I have spent more time writing and less time reading the last few days. I am trying, struggling to find, a structure for my thoughts, a form I can use will communicate something that I need to write. It is hard and I feel I may do it in the next six weeks or maybe the next ten to twenty years; it's a flip of a coin.

I still haven't cured my allergies, but Wendy sent me a fine email which has me quite cheerful and anxious for the fall. I am so blessed with all whom I share my life with. I feel so lucky, too lucky; how could a man get down or sad. It would be an insult to the memory of you all I think - and my Mom. Also I talked to Blon and my Dad yesterday - that is grand. Thinking about all these people almost makes me wonder how we can be so sad sometimes, when there is so much beauty. I really love you all an awful lot. I realize that I am being damn mushy and I am going to stop this now. I hope you read this today, because I will likely erase it tomorrow. (For now it stays).

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