Thursday, February 16, 2006

February 14, 2006. 6:30 AM.

The walls are shaking. The ground is moving. Nothing seems in focus. Before I can even realize what's going on it all seems to drift away. Did that really just happen or was I dreaming? Was that an earthquake? Before I can even figure out what is going on a knock is at my door and Becca is standing there with wet hair and no shoes checking to see if I'm alright. I nod. I don't know if I do it because I'm so shocked I can't think of anything else to do, or if I'm really ok. I'm not bleeding. I'm not hurt. "It's all going to be alright..." I tell myself over and over again trying to sound convincing. Maybe if I say it with enough authority then I'll really believe that I'm not scared out of my mind. We make our way up the stairs to see who else is awake. Before we get up two flights we are joined by the rest of the gang and escorted outside to "safety". Well, I guess everything is relative. I figure outside is safe compared to the concrete structures built into the side of the mountain...but really thinking about it we are still standing under power cords draped accross tree tops on the edge of flat ground. Considering how typical landslides are just from rain I can't say that I'm too thrilled to be out here right after a major earthquake. I guess I don't really have a choice though. When in India...right?

It is funny--looking back-- how people deal with scary situations. First we check to make sure nobody is hurt... and then we laugh. I laughed at my fear as I stood on the roadside outside the Hotel Pomra. I laughed because it was the only thing that I could do to comfort myself. I laughed because I had no idea what was coming next. I just laughed. And then I waited...and waited... and waited...and then just continued on with my life.

The past month of my life I have spent learning about the Buddhist way of looking at things. I guess it is really seeping in. The first thing that I thought once I finally got my wits back was..."I wonder who just obtained enlightenment?" I couldn't help picturing Buddha sitting by his tree with Mara fluttering around him trying to break the concentration. "Why do you get to be the Buddha?" Mara asked in trickery. Instead of answering, he simply touched the ground...and the whole place shook. I lived history today. Nothing fell. Nobody was hurt. But someone, somewhere (I am convinced) realized truth.


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