Email update February 23rd:
friends! family! hello. you adorable things.
how are you? hope all’s well, and even if it’s not so well at the moment, that you’re feeling happy regardless.
in keeping with my goal of brevity, this travel update email will be, uh, brief.
on saturday i finished my 10-day vipassana meditation course at the dhamma neru center, north of barcelona. every day we sat and meditated a total of  hours. it was one of the hardest things i have ever done. one of the hardest, hardest things. also one of the best. i feel grateful, and very much changed for the better. continuing to change for the better.
the specific contents of the course, and its impacts on me, are something i’d rather not share in this mass email format. too preachy. but if you want to know more about it, just email me and of course i’d be delighted to talk with you. if you have specific questions, that would be especially helpful, since it’s hard to know where to begin, but if you just want to know What’s Up, i’ll do my best to take it on thataway. :->)
last night i stayed again with the same lovely couchsurfing couple in barcelona, courtney and jonathan, who have generously extended an open invitation to come crash with them anytime. we started out strangers, and have become good friends, continuing to open up and enjoy each other’s company. what a gift.
and today, after spending a few more hours in the city while they’re at work, i’ll take the train back up to the meditation center to serve as a volunteer for the next 10-day course, cooking and cleaning and maintaining the facilities so that others can enjoy the same valuable experience. exciting!!! i wasn’t sure until the very last day whether the center would need me as a server, so things were up in the air for a bit, but i wasn’t too worried (the no-plan side seems to be gaining ground, hehe), and everything seems to be working out fine. ideally, i’ll be able to stay for a few months, serving a few courses and then sitting one myself, then serving more and sitting more, and alternating like that. we’ll see. whatever happens, i’m very happy to have the chance to stay a bit longer, and see the course progress from a very different perspective. learn a little more spanish with the other servers. (i now know the word for “rag.”) chop some vegetables for the hungry students to eat. heaven. :->)
the mornings are frosty up in the foothills, with colorful sunrises. (one benefit of 4am wakeups, haha.) by midday the sun is warm and gives a perfect, steady pressure on your face.
loving you all tremendously, and wishing you all the important things,