Time flows, it never stops. While it runs, we can take some advantages from it, if we are fortunate enough to run with it. Whatever has passed will not be seen again, whatever that is yet to come is just a dream, and what we have in reality is this presence “now” to try to achieve that dream. When I am not to be seen again anymore, I want to remain as a memory, a memory that won’t be big enough like a giant mountain but at least like a light feather. For that now I am dreaming, I am dreaming to accomplish something in this year, something that I could do to fulfill those dreams of mine and others. A dream that leads me to be a new me, by passing through three phases: spring semester, summer break, and fall semester. This means to achieve my dreams; I will need to complete all these processes, and it will be a tough year for me.
Astronomy and Psychology are my main subjects this spring semester. I am very interested in these two subjects as these are very related to me since my childhood. There are two reasons I am interested in Astronomy; Firstly, at a young age, I used to sleep on the rooftop with my brother, and we would count stars and learn different patterns of stars before we fall asleep. As Ladakh is located in a very high-altitude place, it has very clear sky, and stars are clearly visible all year around. Secondly, after I moved to south India, I often used to stay up late on the rooftop while doing my daily prayer, and after I finished with my prayer, I would look at the moon and bring some ideas to write a poetry. Each day when I see the moon, I would see its different shape and that makes me curios about “how, why, and what exact things are going up there?”
Psychology, of course makes sense to me. As a Buddhist monk and having studied Buddhist philosophy for years, I have learned much about our mind and its stimulations on behavior morality. This dualism study has nourished my mind for years and my view on body & mind has anchored to the depth of it. So, I hope learning psychology would shine more light on my knowledge through the scientific perspective. Thus, by the end of this spring semester, I would be able (hopefully) to understand the phenomenon of vast galaxies and capable of building a bridge between modern science and Buddhist philosophical study on the science of mind and body.
Summer break will be another great opportunity for me. The vast nation is filled with diverse culture and rich traditions. This summer break will give me a chance to explore the American culture, a culture that is composed with varieties of cultures from different parts of the world. I believe learning and understanding different cultures broaden our minds. The more we become open the more we will open to others. We will become exposed to different ideas, and beliefs from different backgrounds. So, there will be less challenge when we face different ideas even in tough situation. Therefore, I am looking forward to spending my summer break on my personal growth.
Which subjects will I learn during fall semester will be based on my current studies and guidance from the program faculty leaders. Whatever subjects I will take in that semester will be another advance knowledge for me to take away to my monastery to share modern scientific knowledge with upcoming young generations of monks.
Finally, as I mentioned before, this year will be tough for me, but I will take it easily and happily as light as an ornament and not as a burden. As Emory University and H.H Dalai Lama have generously arranged this program, I am preparing myself to be well equipped with enough modern scientific knowledge to fulfill their far sight visions. Like those previous scholars’ groups from this program who are leading modern scientific education along with study of Buddhist philosophy in monasteries back in India, I would like to be a knowledgeable monk of modern science and ancient Buddhist studies. Not a half monk half scientist but like a bird possessing a pair of wings. This is the new version of me that I want to be for this new year.