Blog from Liam K

I think the main thing that I learned from my time in India is what being happy really means.

Before going on this trip I felt lost and not sure what I wanted to do with my life. Although I didn’t find a dream career or a job I know I want to do for the rest of my life while traveling in India, I now have a direction.Through going to places like the Buddhist retreat center in Bodhgaya, the ashram in Rishikesh, and an institute for compassionate living called Dharmalaya, I learned that happiness is not always what society tells us it is. I learned that I don’t have to get a job that will make tons of money to be happy. The people that I met in these places had nothing when it comes to a capitalist society. The monks and nuns at the Root Institute had no income. The people from Dharmalaya were living in a secluded community in the Himalayas in a mud house. But what these people did have was happiness. The Buddhists were the most caring and compassionate people I’ve ever met. They were always so happy knowing that they were being this compassionate. Dharmalaya was combating climate change trying to create a zero waste community. The founder, Mark, was filled with so much joy with his hope for a cleaner tomorrow.

The most beautiful thing about this trip is that I can see and feel myself growing to be more like these mentors and as I do this I grow more happy and compassionate.