A flurry of mixed emotions and experiences

I am nine days into my trip to China and it has provided me with a diverse collection of experiences and emotions. Chongqing, the first portion of my trip, ended in an immensely powerful way. While the entire week I was overwhelmed with gratitude and feelings of over-privilege due to the quality of dorm life, I ended my time there with the single most powerful experience of my entire life! We visited a buddist Temple atop a mountain and I was graded with the presence of the head monk. He approached me and gave me a hug, told me multiple times that I was a man of great heart, expressed a deep connection he felt to me that went beyond language, and acknowledged blocks in my chi that are directly related to physical ailments in my life. At this point I was in tears once again hugging this beautiful man, but that was not everything; he then gave me a simple buddist pendent and asked me to stay at the temple with all the monks! The monk continued on to explain to my teacher who was translating, that the invitation is open and that I am always welcome to come and live there with the monks, religion aside, to heal myself. This was the most inspirational single moment of my life and I spent the next two days contemplating if I should abondon the trip all together to stay at the temple or continue on as planned.

Eventually, I made the decision that I have the power to heal myself and that an open invitation will grant me plenty of time to work out another journey directly focused on spirituality. Moving forward, the group left Chongqing via an overnight train and made our way to Xi’an. The journey was exhausting, littered with museum visits that were impossible to appreciate as they were simply biding time while all we all need was a shower and to brush our teeth. Finally the group arrived in our five star hotel (comparable to an American three star) with a huge sign of relief. With fresh showers, Western toilets, privacy and air conditioning it’s safe to say the overall mood was greatly lifted. The next day was followed by a lovely trip to Muslim street and a visit to a beautiful mosque. Later on, some of the group went our to a Chinese club to dance. While it is quite conflicting sitting an a bouncing club after coming so close to residing in a buddist Temple focusing on self healing, I suppose this is the plight of modern spirituality.

Overall thus far, I love the food and style that I am experiencing here like nothing before. The food is spicy and delicious, and the cloths are unique and inexpensive. However, my patience for the Chinese people’s ignorance and the pollution is waning. Countless men have grabbed me to take pictures, and I feel eyes all over me at all times. As for the pollution, i feel as though I haven’t really seen the stars, sky, moon, or sun clearly since I have been here.

As I move ahead I look forward to all the new experiences. Time to go, my schedule is so packed I struggle to get these entries completed in a timely manner, my apologies.



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