“Dear friends” is how the monks at Plum Village would address everyone before speaking. I came to hear those words as a reminder to still myself and offer my attention up to others.
Hearing this address would always place me in such a position of happiness, a form of happiness that I’ve never felt. I never knew that joy and excitement were such different feelings from happiness. I thought happiness is when the heart swells, but sure enough a swollen heart will break into rain and fill the well that holds joys, and is dug by sorrows. I came to realize that this heart swell was not happiness. Happiness, in my experience, is the feeling of contentment while facing the side of the fence that shines with a brilliant, warm sun. For the first time in life I feel like I can feel that wonderful radiance whenever I choose, simply by being present.
The quote, “not all wander are lost,” has come up three times today while traveling. It’s reminded me that while I am still without an affirmative direction, I am so confident in my way, I am so happy to be placed in my position. I have entrusted much of my faith in the world that I will arrive to where I need to be at just the right time.
And friends, if it weren’t for my trust in you and my distrust in you, I would never be here. I am so greatly appreciative of each and everyone of you, despite how much or how little attention you have to offer me or I to you. Despite how much time you have to offer me or I to you. Despite how much love you have to offer me or I to you. You are as much of me as I to you. For this, for everything, despite this and despite everything, may you find it in you to forgive me and I to you. Because I do not wish to hold my house empty with the fears of my past keeping my doors locked anymore. While this may not mean I invite you back in my life, it does mean I am home, always home.
and, dear friends,
If there is no news that you’ve heard from me, then don’t worry. What is news anyways but the presentation of repeated patterns? The only news worth mentioning is that for once in my life those patterns have changed. I am so happy to be back in the States. I’m so happy to be given the opportunity to begin a new life. I’m so happy to just be, just be, just be me. Don’t worry about the rest of the news, truly it doesn’t matter to you or me.
I am so happy. Thank you