[ part I of II ]
Within Our Dreams
Into Ocean of Light
In Which we Row
Try as we Might
There is Nowhere to go
Well, Here I am.
It's been about 5-6 weeks since I have left California, and not in the wildest scope of my imagination could I have guessed what was waiting around the corner.
My first morning in Boulder Colorado, I remember waking up and feeling like I have never been anything but a traveller in this life. It was the same feeling as if waking from a nightmare and realizing that it was just a dream. Of course, California was far from a nightmare, yet nonetheless, towards the end I was overidentifying myself a bit with limiting patterns of thought, and was thankful to have the space so that I
may step out of them.
From Colorado I ventured to Michigan, visiting my brother in his Junior year at UMich. There was a wonderful vegeterian restaurant named 'Seva' in Ann Arbor which I would highly recommend.
Next I spent a week in New York with my family and then headed out for a 5 day adventure with my roommates of old, Eduardo & Leonard. We drove in heavy snowstorms to the town of Ithaca, walking through the beautiful campus, eventually trekking deep into the woods, deepening our bonds of friendship which were formed years back.
From Ithaca we drove to Boston, a beautiful town. Boston itself is really tiny, within a span of about 5 hours we managed to cover a major chunk of the city just walking.
In Boston we happened to stop by a rememberance for Dr. Martin Luther King. There was inspired quire singing, community speakers, and most noteably, one of Dr. King's close aids spoke - he told us of the last time he saw Martin Luther King. It was a stormy night, with lightning striking all around and rain downpouring seemingly endlessly. Dr. King had been travelling around, was weary, and wanted to cancel the talk, he did not think anyone would show in such weather. When he mentioned this he was told that 500 people had already gathered to hear him. According to the speaker, he said that night he had never seen Dr. King so charged, so dynamic. He said towards the end of the speach, Dr. King had tears streaming down his face, along with the hundreds of other who came to see him. He also mentioned that never before, in private or in public had he heard Dr. King speak so much about death. The next day Martin Luther King was assasinated. It was a blessing to join this gathering.
Back to NY I went, taking a little detour to visit my old elementary school. I had not been there in at least 12 years. This was a wonderful experience, I had the opportunity to pick the little bit of myself which I left behined in the trials & tribulations of grade school and puberty.
Next I flew down to Florida to visit my Aunt, Uncle and cousins. My uncle is a practicing medicinal doctor who is trying to start his own holisitic
practice center in Tampa. He is heavily interested in meditation and in incorporating Soul Medicine into traditional practice.
Nearly everywhere I went in the US I was able to catch one main theme in everyone's life - change. Change seemed to be occuring in a dramatic way everywhere, and nearly everyone I met was interested in trying to find a new perspective of living.
I joked with a friend that in my previous job my title was Director of MIS (Management Information Systems), and that now I was still Director of MIS - Meditation Information Service. Seeing so many people interested in turning within and figuring out how THEY can Be The Change was a constant source of refreshment and inspiration for me those first few weeks.
From the US, nearly two weeks ago I took off to Israel. I had not been back in nearly 4 years, and felt a strong calling to come here and be with my cousins before they enter into the army.
Up until I got to Israel, I was really enjoying the ordinariness in every moment. The zen like tranquility of sipping tea by the sunset, of the
moonlight glow in the late night, of seeing and living life to its fullest in the train stations, in the airports, in the passing smile of a child.
I have to admit though - the first week I was here was very tough. Somehow I allowed myself to get swept into a strong current - apparently my mom had phoned the whole country of Israel and told them I was coming, and thus every day was scheduled and penciled in for me to see 'obligatory' family friends and people. Though I definitely planned on doing this, I more so wanted to stay with my core family here, as
well as have the opportunity for silence and space to reflect on my childhood and release any blocks.
After a week of constant moving, I began to feel a little stale, and I was frankly a bit tired of the 'ordinariness' of my interactions with people. There is a lot of anxiety and fear in the country - and most
of the people that I saw the first week were more interested in making that a permanent shelter to hide in and leaving 'the change' to someone else, usually 'the enemy.'
I did not intend to come here and just socialize with people - I wanted to truly be able to give a part of myself to the peace movement - I wanted to take some ACTION!
I was beggining to wonder if I would ever find someone who was really putting themselves on the line for Peace ... Someone who I could sit with, work with, who was not limiting their options by blaming another, but who recognized that Peace must come from within ourselves first, and then through action, through pure service, it can spread into the hearts of others.
Well, well, well. Let's see, I had that thought about ... 6 or 7 days ago. Little did I know what was coming
Last summer I saw two speakers in San Francisco, an Israeli & a Palestinian. They spoke of amazing acts of brotherhood and cooperation between Israeli's and Palestinians, acts which we Never hear about in the news. Their message is that before we can have talks, before we can settle anything politically, we have to connect with our Souls, beyond the politics and seeming seperation of belief, we have to start by recognizing the soul in each and every person, and from that perspective cooperate in cultivating peace.
If you bring up Israel vs. Palestine in a conversation, there is tension and anger. If you say this is the Land of the Prophets - Christians, Muslims
and Jews all agree. There is no tension in this.
I planned on going to Jerusalem for an afternoon and to hopefully find some opportunity there to donate some materials, some time, and some of myself. My friend Jessica whom I met not too long before I left California sent me the e-mail of a friend of hers, Eliyahu, whom she mentioned was doing some good work in Israel.
I gave him a call and five minutes into our conversation I realized that I was speaking with the Exact same person I had seen speak in San Francisco. This overwhelmed me, as it was him that I wanted to meet.
You can read more about them here and here.