Instant Kharma!

Trip Start Dec 22, 2009
Trip End Jun 22, 2010

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Flag of India  , Bihar,
Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The road to Bodh Gaya was a pretty straight shot down NH 2 (a semi paved highway that cuts through a small section of the rural north east of the Upper Pradesh Province. With our new found friends Gabe and Maria in tow, we soaked up the dry hot Spring breeze through the open windows of the hired Ambassador. With a ride of about 3.5 hours in front of us, all we could do was kick back and enjoy the mix of agricultural plains and small mud brick towns that dotted the landscape.

Flanked by ox carts, packed local buses and food stands we made our way into the birthplace of Buddhism. There was one scare though; when stopping for water, we were sold resealed bottles with what we believed to be well water (holy amoeba!) Luckily after a small swig, I spotted the reseal point on the side of all the bottles. After a couple Hail Marys and Our Fathers, we recapped the suspect bottles and secured them on the floor of the vehicle.

Upon arrival, we pulled up to an unassuming Hotel Taj Darbar. Though the place did not have the dazzle of some ritzy Marriott or Hyatt, it was a welcomed relief from what we had to deal with in Varanasi. After laying our packs down in a much MUCH cleaner and well appointed room, we met the crew in the lobby and made our way out to Mahabodhi Temple (the Bodhi Tree).

The walk to the temple is a down a small rural road that is flanked by temples (see the Thai temple photos below), small businesses, hotels and agricultural fields. Honestly the city was a lot smaller and rural than I thought it would be. As you make it closer to the temple, there is a lot more confusion and a lot more tourist mobojobo. All of that is canceled out when you see this mystical temple pointing straight to heaven.

The temple was breathtaking. I don't know how the experience was for Laura, Gabe and Maria, but for me it was without words. As I walked with monks on pilgrimage from all around the world, I was awestruck. It was one of those times on the trip when I closed my eyes and just reflected on the now.

Once we reached the spot where Gautama had sat, I planted myself down to reflect on my good fortune. At 30 years old, I had great family who cared for me, an amazing wife who decided to travel the world with me, I had my masters under my belt and good friends back at home and new friends by my side. I also reflected that all this was possible by not focusing on the mass of wealth that we could stockpile in the bank, but rather by focusing the wealth of experiences that were waiting for us out in the world. When was the last time you decided to invest in the common stock of some blue chip before investing in yourself?

After reading this, I hope you take a moment to reflect on what is going well for you in your life and what can be done to improve your future. When on the road, Laura encouraged me to pick up a book by Osho. Some people think he is a mainstream philosopher and an idiot. Personally I don't care what those people think. Though I am not a hard core Osho fan,nor do I agree with everything he says, something really got me thinking. Osho states in his Book on Knowledge: "I teach selfishness. I want you to be first, your own flowering. Yes, it will appear as selfishness; I have no objection to that appearance; it is okay with me. But is the rose selfish when it blossoms? Is the lotus selfish when it blossoms? Is the sun selfish when it shines? Why should you be worried about selfishness?"

Was I selfish for leaving my family and coworkers to take this trip? Was I selfish by not lending the money to someone who was in need? Is it wrong to put yourself first at times during your life? I don't know the answers to these questions, all I know is that by reflecting on our own well being, Laura and I were able to cross the globe and were sitting in the place where Gautama achieved his enlightenment. So I guess I am saying that it is important to support those you care about and those who care about you; but along the way, don't forget about yourself. Life is short so live it the best way you can.

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Laura Moody FOX 13 News on

Hi there! I heard about your trip-- and looked through your website!! I hear you are coming home soon and we'd love to do a story with you! What do you think? We're in Tampa-- but could come to you-- you're home the 20th, I understand?? Please send email to: Thx!

Laura S. on

How Cool! Laura & Adam, you're going to be famous! ;-)

Nat Frazier on

Adam, what an enlightening entry. Glad U have come to such a peaceful place of recognition. Enjoy & come home safe.

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