Good day my lacrosse friends; it is good to be back. For quite some time, as some of you know, I have been traveling on the other side of the globe in Nepal and India, with a small stop in Saudi Arabia on my way back home. If any of you have ever been to either Nepal or India, you know how different the culture is from the ground up. India is considered one of the oldest places on earth where people inhabited and is known as a free and spiritual place – just my vibe!
For the past 3 years or so, I have done some serious transformation in how I perceive the world around me, which has resulted in big changes in how I come across to people externally; the number one thing that I have learned through all the self-reflection, meditation, yoga, teaching and traveling is compassion for people being different, yet understanding how we are all essentially the same in our souls. Before going to India, I was on my way to realizing that we all had the same struggle, which is to try to find happiness, but I could not fully understand why or how people did the things that they did, when I very much disagreed with many of their words, thoughts and actions. India helped me take the final step and truly understand where many of the insecurities and failed attempts at happiness manifest in folks in our Western culture.
As a whole, the amount of media that we consume is exponentially more than in traditionally Eastern culture; this means that words and intentions are going into our mind without us even having a choice. Even in getting to this site, our minds must bypass advertisements and distractions in finding what we are looking for – what does this mean? This means that without us even knowing, we are consuming words and “call to actions” (as they call it in the ad business) asking us to do something: click on this, enter this, buy this, etc. India was just the place to get away from all of this, as I had no access to internet or phone unless I was in a cafe with wifi; if you’ve ever gone without access to the outside world for an extended period of time, and embraced it, then you know how liberating and refreshing it can be. Perhaps that’s why I only posted once while I was over there!
The freedom of thought which is allowed in India, by people have much less expectation of a way you’re supposed to act, was truly amazing. By being allowed to be as I am, crazy to some or the most sane person in the world to others, I was just able to relax my mind and body into a flow that allowed the world to come to me, instead of kicking and screaming through it. One of my favorite lines from my favorite book, Be Here Now, asks how you approach life: do you do it from a place of uugghhhhh or do you surf through it like riding a wave? Whenever I start to feel something adverse to just flowing, I wonder if I am just saying uuugghhhh for no reason, or if I am saying it because of some thought pattern where I am thinking about the past or the future; with less expectation put upon me from my surroundings, this type of reflection was easier, because I knew I was the only one doing it!
This is obviously an evolution of being that I have put some tremendous effort into, so it’s not like I could just go to India, walk on Buddha’s footprints and become instantly free from burden – this is not the case at all. This started about a year after I started Rose School of Stringing, and continues to this day. Mentioning Rose School of Stringing, which is my love, because I love teaching and helping people, is important because I was able to learn as much from those I taught as they learned from me. I have never been more ready to spread the knowledge of stringing and how you can learn so much more about yourself and game through the reflection needed to build a individually custom pocket; compassion, which has led to previously unfound patience in me, is the key to it all. I know many people struggle with many, many things in their lives, but finding the right pocket does not have to be one of them – the true key to this is individuality, which is becoming less and less prominent in our culture of overflowing media that tells us how to think and act.
Thank you India and Nepal for being open and free enough, in many opposite ways of how we live in the USA, that I was able to open up enough to know that we all have the ability to help each other with a little more compassion. I so look forward to helping as many people as possible and am thinking about instituting a donation based policy for all of my upcoming stringing workshops, so any demographic can join, regardless of if they have enough to pay for it, and those with more can help to make up the difference for them.
Here are a few images from the end of my trip and some of my new friends. More to come; either here, or on my Facebook page: facebook.com/zenlaxstring