In need of Dharma exposure
There's something missing from the experience: motivation, feedback. Photo: Isaac Stone Simonelli
Daily Updates are not edited and function more as daily journal entries – so if the plot seems to be all over the place or missing entirely and the tenses changes faster than a kaleidoscope, well, that's just the way it is.
BRUSHING my teeth hours after having properly wet the bed, an American guy with wavy brown hair and crazy eyes who lives down the hall rocks up next to me, foaming at the mouth.
“How long you here for,” he asks after spitting out a mouth full of toothpaste.
“Just ten days,” I say. “You're here for six months, right?”
He looks at me surprised. I overheard him talking to the tall Englishman who sounds a bit like a frog in the hallway earlier today.
“Yeah. Start with six months, then we'll see where it goes,” he says. “So how'd you hear about the place?”
I launch into a brief explanation of Dice Travels.
“It's my first time.”
“That's really impressive,” he says with the kind of friendly enthusiasm that Americans are so well known for. I can't help but feel a spark set the insides of my aglow at the complement.
“But you're doing six months that's intense.”
“Yeah, but this is a lot for your very first time. I've been doing this for a while now and this is my thing,” he says with a strong west coast emphasis on “thing”. “Have you had any Dharma exposure before?”
I don't even know what Dharma exposure is.
“No. I mean I've listened to the Dalai Lama speak before, but...” I say, grasping at straws.
“Yeah, they don't have it here, unless you speak Burmese. It can really help inspire though.”
Just his enthusiasm and praise of what I've done so far is inspiring. I knew I was being hard on myself, it's a habit I've picked up with the workload for this trip, but hearing that what I am doing isn't just some silly walk in the park, but an undertaking, leaves me with a warm buzz.
“It's like you're sweeping a room and there is a wind blowing sand in. You're racing the wind and maybe for thirty minutes you keep sweeping, then you're faster than the wind and the room is clean – that's the sweet spot. Maybe it lasts ten minutes and then the wind comes back again,” Aroon says when I return to the room.
“Sometimes, I think I could do this for six months, then two hours later, I can't wait to get back on the flight home.”
I think this is the Dharma inspiration that the San Francisco guy was talking about, just hearing about the process, seeing the happiness in Aroon's face when he talks about hitting the sweet spot gives me new drive