This year’s lunar new year celebration was so nourishing and heartwarming, from the video conference with my cute parents and the giant 9-course Vietnamese dinner party, to the guided group meditation, photo-booth antics, and lunar new year themed team trivia (there was a very organized schedule, don’t worry).
so happy to be back in this place of refuge //
three special days in one of my favorite places on earth //
by far the most inner peaceful and grounding old and new year celebration I’ve ever had //
wishing all of our loved ones that same inner peace and grounding this year. <3
And then there are days in SE Asia when you have to create a last minute youth development photography workshop on the fly.
(Here are some of the photos I took during our workshop.)
A few things about my most recent trip to Angkor Wat:
1. My tuk tuk driver got the memo that I’d rather be alone in Angkor Wat as much as possible and took me on a different route that would avoid most of the foot-traffic. For example, he brought me to Phnom Bakheng for sunrise (there was noone there) and got me to the Bayon first, and the silent and solo bliss is 100% the best way to experience the beauty and magic of Angkor Wat.
[Rollin’ deep with] friendship in the desert for both golden hour and l’heure bleue. (In better light, everything changes.)
[Travel Diaries from Joshua Tree National Park, California | October 2018]
In early August, I traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a work trip. Here’s what I saw during the week.
[Travel Diaries from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia | August 2018]
“In the end, only three things matter how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”
I lost one of my best friends this week. I’ve cried more in the last week than I’ve cried in the past ten years. I’ve hugged loved ones longer and tighter than I ever have before. And yet, throughout this full-on grieving process with our close circle of friends, I’ve also experienced such a healing new depth of love.
I think I love this saying more than the average person. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent the majority of my life working with kids. Maybe it’s because I’ve had great students. Or maybe it’s because 50% of my community worldwide are kids. Or maybe it’s really because I know this sentence is so full of hard, beautiful truth.
“We always have a choice about how we react.”
I just got back from a Thanksgiving silent meditation retreat at the Bhavana Society Monastery in West Virginia. There’s still so much to process and I haven’t finished reflecting, but I did want to share this one story from a dhamma talk I heard this past weekend. It struck me as a useful and timely reminder that fighting hate with more hate or responding to unskillful thinking with more unskillful thinking doesn’t resolve much of anything.