Throwing off the Bowlines

Tonight I fly to Delhi, continuing the adventure. A few years ago I began planning this voyage, which started as simply a longer trip to India. Over the years and in planning, it grew to the journey it has become. I added on the winter retreat at Abhayagiri, which then meant that I would start six months of India in April, staying through the hottest months of the year.

I wasn’t ready for that much adventure.

So I added a few stops in between, and other stops added themselves. The journey has grown, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each step so far. The ties that I have made and strengthened, and the lessons I’ve learned even now have made the trip worthwhile already.

So now the time has come to head much further east. I know some have concerns about my safety, and some can’t imagine why I’m going there in the first place. So I’ll offer a quote I found on my friend Tom’s blog:

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

So now at 50, I’m without a job, a home, a car, etc.. The safe harbor is doing what I’ve always done, and even when I return to the US, the adventure will continue but in a different way.

There have been so many people that have inspired this trip for me, and continue to do so. Friends that have given up their secure jobs and life to ordain, emigrate, travel, or even just change their approach to what life is for. Friends who instead of saying “I can’t”, said “well….why the heck not?”.

For example, I’ll include a link to one of my friend Tom’s posts here. It’s about traveling at any age. Of course, it’s not just about travel, but about living one’s life without regrets. As Thoreau aptly wrote:

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

I will continue to blog from India, and the adventure will continue. It may be a few days until my next post. In the meantime, dear readers, what, if anything, will you regret twenty years from now? I wish for you sweet dreams that come true.

Author: mettatsunami

In 2009 I was working full time in medicine, and living a life that was alienated from what I truly valued. While volunteering with a local hospice, I began to wonder: "What would I do differently if I had six months to live?". This began the impetus to change direction. While it has been a case of two steps forward, one step back in many ways, there has still been slow movement in the direction of a more authentic life. Since the pivotal decision to change direction, I have been a Buddhist nun, returned to lay life, changed Buddhist schools, returned to medicine part time, and then full time, quit again, traveled extensively, trained in yoga, spent time in several Buddhist monasteries, and am in the process of how to live according with Buddhist and yogic practice and values, and how to streamline this life into something worthwhile. In the Theravadan Buddhist practice, one of the daily reflections is "Has my practice born fruit with freedom or insight, so that at the end of my life, I need not feel ashamed when questioned by my spiritual companions?". That is my practice. My goal in this blog is to share the journey along the way.

6 thoughts on “Throwing off the Bowlines”

  1. Enjoyed reading your friend, Tom’s, blog. I wanted to comment about, also “after 70″……. but regardless, I’m in my planning stages. I wish you well in your travels, and when you’re ready to return, I hope to see you again. Til then, I’m a fan reading your blog. Thanks for sharing. gail

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sure your sea legs will keep you steady, as you sail through India’s often uncomfortable, frequently exasperating, and always uncertain waters. I’ll be sending you my good wishes and looking forward to your blog posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for making the effort to share your thoughts, post great photos and in general take us along on your adventure. I always enjoy seeing your posts in my inbox and I am excited to hear about your travels in India. Also thanks for mentioning me in a post that includes quotes from Mark Twain and Thoreau. Wow! Those guys are my heroes. Happy travels and many smiles. tom

    Liked by 1 person

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