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With the recently ended fall semester in the back and the new semester in front, I feel a fresh wind of motivation blowing through my entire body and mind. It seems that this opportunity of study, leads me and my fellow students along a journey of unpredictable and spontaneously unfolding landscapes. Outwardly, in my meetings with fellow student we seem to maintain the ritual of reassuring, we are following a university program, through inquiries about the ‘landmarks’ of our path: “what course are you in?”, “Did you read X?”, etc. In the meanwhile, inwardly, paradigm of values, beliefs and visions shift like the stars do every night, almost unseen, above our heads. Or like the lava of a volcano might pour out of the earth, creating new landscapes and new layers of potential. I felt throughout my time studying at RYI, how the flow of information showered over me and steadily transformed my mind and body.
How much I treasure this opportunity to let myself be newly formed, by every article I am reading and every essay I have to reach in. Sometimes I wish I could “chew” a little longer on the topic of interest. And then at the same time, “it is chewing itself.” The class material seems to interconnect in so many unforeseen ways that I keep finding myself back in it again, exactly at places that are relevant for further growth.
“How do you remember what you learned?”asked the lopon today. Effort and Interest are named as a few causes. I wonder how much language plays a role in the process. Studying in your second language seems to me an element that slows the mental process down. But it also opens doors of new interpretations and associations of the material. This latter experience helps me first year student, in my motivation to grabble with the strange sounds and vocabulary of Tibetan and Nepali. In addition, watching my senior students with ease engage these languages, after they learned them for years, is such a joy and inspiration! It makes it easier to be patient with the growing pain of having ones brain channels be changed in the persistent process of language classes.