Being a True Friend….

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Recently, I dedicated a week of my time for two individuals who live in the United States. One of them was my friend from university who I haven’t met since our graduation in 2003. The other was someone I’ve never met in person before (came to know him through my blog while I was studying for CCIEW). This post is about that unique experience.

After my 1st Vipassana retreat in 2015, I tried to convey the importance of it to all my friends and Janaka was the first one who followed my advice and went for a 10-day retreat within my friend’s circle. He came back from his first 10-day course in September 2016 and he convinced his mother, mother-in-law and another close friend to do the same in very short time. I wanted to inspire him further, so spent a few days at his place in Connecticut, USA.

We didn’t plan what to do with those days in advance, fortunately it worked really well and I do not think we could have planned it better than that. One day we visited the Vipassana meditation center in Massachusetts which is the same center my friend attended his first 10 day retreat. There was a scheduled 1 day Vipassana program on that day for old students and both of us were lucky enough to participate for 1 hr group sitting. I have to say it is a wonderful place (in fact that is the 1st Goenka’s Vipassana center in USA) and you can feel the positive energy at this place even if you haven’t done any meditation before.

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Janaka & me

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“Pagoda”

On the way, back to my friend’s place from meditation center, I have met one of my school mates after 20 years. Again, this was co-incidental, day before he saw some photos I posted on Facebook and after he got to know I am in the US, he contacted me. I got to know he lives near to this center (1 hr drive) & I met him on our way back. This makes me think why I met him after very long time, there might be a reason for that. I told him, Vipassana meditation practice is the one I most valued and probably he can try it if he is interested. He showed much interest during that quick catch up and I hope he will follow it up soon.

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Then I spent a few days in RTP – North Carolina to meet my other friend, Tuhin.  I have never met him before, but knew him since 2013. We were studying for the CCIEW around the same time and I got to know him through my blog. Even though we achieved our CCIEW goals in mid-2013, our friendship continued well beyond the CCIEW. He has interests in meditation (he still hasn’t tried Vipassana meditation) and lives close to the nature. I wanted to meet him and share some insight on Vipassana meditation which helps me a lot in my daily life.

He works for Cisco, so I had an opportunity to meet few of his colleagues and look around Cisco RTP campus as well.

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I was amazed how close he lives to the nature. There were so many nature trials close by his residence and he usually go for daily walks. It did not took that long for me to teach him, how he can practice mindfulness while walking. I spent quality time of practicing “walking meditation” in a very beautiful serenity. Here are some snapshots I have taken during that walk.

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A few interesting things happened during those 3 days as well.

On the very first day, he gave ma a link to a podcast which he received from one of his friend. It was a great podcast, if you listen first 20min of it you will understand why I liked it (* you should not miss this podcast  😯 *).

On the 2nd day, he took me to an Indian restaurant for lunch. When I looked around in that restaurant, they had some really interesting quotes written on the wall. This is what I was trying to explain to him (Living in the Present, Observe your breath). We do not know how we ended up in that place, but looks like it was well planned (by some force of nature).

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On the last day, He took me for plane ride with one of his friends for company. When I started a conversation with his friend, she had already heard about this 10 day Vipassana program through her friends and in fact wanted to attend. So I was able to provide some insight, how Vipassana helped me in my life and was able to encourage her to go as well. I can’t believe that I met these sorts of people during my short stay.

The Plane ride was a unique experience to me. It made my trip extra special since I haven’t flown a light plane before. In fact, it was another Cisco employee (Bob Hugel) who owns this plane and gave us a ride spending his personal time. I strongly believe there is a reason for meeting Bob during that trip. Who knows, if my friend Tuhin follows Vipassana meditation, it may influence Bob as well! 🙂

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I hope my presence was a good inspiration for these two friends and also for other people whom I have met during this short visit.

If you are one of my friends, I encourage you to think about what is the real reason you met me in this life (I believe there is a special reason for us to meet).

Sometimes you may not understand the real reason, it may be Vipassana, who knows. Think about it.. 🙂

*** I am really proud of you two and people around you. Both of you took care of me beyond my expectation. Hope we can meet again soon, keep practicing mindfulness ***

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