At Home

28 Jul

It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon at English Village in Paju City, South Korea.  It’s one of those days that I am grateful for rain.  Somehow it gives me permission or sets a good mood for spending a day relaxing at home. It seems we are nearing the end of the rainy season.  After almost a month of mostly cloudy skies and rain, this week we’ve actually had a few moments of sunshine.  But not today.

I just finished chanting “Nam myoho renge kyo” for about two hours.  My SGI Buddhist group in Seoul meets today to chant together for five hours.  Those who want to join can stay for as little or as much of that as they like.  Today I opted to stay in Paju and chant “with them” from home.  I enjoy going to Seoul, but some days I just need a more relaxed day in my own “hood” without the travel to and busy-ness of Seoul.  Plus I am still in my “restoration” phase, so I continue making an extra effort during free time to take it easy.

Today while chanting I had a really interesting experience.  About half way through my two hours of chanting I got so tired I just couldn’t stay awake.  So I stopped for a few minutes and closed my eyes to take a little rest.  I quickly fell into a sort of “sleep” for about five or ten minutes.  When I woke up I had the feeling that I was at “home” (the home from when I was a child) just hanging out with my sister. The feeling was so relaxed and easy and I haven’t felt that good and at ease in a long time.  I woke myself up and continued chanting. When I was complete I had this very satisfying feeling like I just spent time with friends and loved ones.  Really great.

As I nurture my current mission of restoration, I continue to bring more exercise into my life.  I have either done yoga, taken a brisk walk, or gone swimming nearly every day this week.  Slowly, my body seems to be coming back to life.  It feels good to move… even when at first my body is balking otherwise.  This weekend I saw a glimmer in my eye that I haven’t seen in a long time… a look and a feeling of being more at “home” with myself. I think this is in part to the added exercise.  I re-watched the movie “American Beauty” this weekend.  I had to laugh as many years have passed since I last watched the movie and I am now the same age as the main character in the story, Lester, who is 42.  At the beginning of the story he looks old, depleted and defeated by life.  As the story unfolds, in addition to many other distractions and  eccentricities, he begins to exercise again.  As the movie continues, you see a new spark of life on his face and in his eyes. It was a good reminder really of the importance of exercise, especially as one “grows older”, and its power of rejuvenation.

I feel like perhaps I am in the “homestretch” here at English Village.  We are about to begin a month of special programming.  The month of August is school vacation time for Korean students.  And of course, with parents ever eager to educate their students in English, Korean students will be here at English Village attending a month-long intensive program during their break.  Simultaneously, there will also be a series of one-week programs with elementary and middle school students visiting from Japan, Russia and an international school in Korea. If that isn’t enough to keep you busy, there is also a two-week program the second half of the month called Global Leadership Program.  It is a program teaching basic ideas of leadership (teamwork, global awareness, exploration of self) to mostly middle school students.  The first two weeks I will be working with the international programs and the second two weeks I am one of the three teachers working with the Global Leadership Program.

Shortly after all of the excitement, we have a week of vacation in mid-September for the Korean holiday Chuseok.  After that we are told things will slow down a little bit.  We will see.

Ah, well the day has slipped into late afternoon.  As I am enjoying some lighthearted tunes on Pandora, a restful afternoon and evening are beckoning to me.  It is time to take my  leave and enjoy the rest of the day.

As you know, please write if you like.  I am always grateful to hear from you!

 

Photo of the view from my room of English Village on a rainy afternoon.

2 Responses to “At Home”

  1. bill biver (@BBiver) 07/28/2013 at 18:59 #

    Keep up the good work my dear! Love, Dad

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