My five weeks at Kopan Monastery are over and what a time it has been. I’d like to report that it was all shanti in it’s various shades of nirvana, but in truth, when I peel back the layers and take a hard look at myself – the uncensored version- I don’t always like what I see.

I believe that it is essential to do this work so as  to live more authentically and enjoy real happiness, peace and harmony in my life. I am not unique in wanting this.

Nevertheless, we live in a world where many masks are worn in an attempt to convince others that we have, feel and are all that we need. Although we might fool others, we are not so easily convinced and yet I see people going to great lengths to avoid excavating their depths for fear of what they might find. There is no substitute for what stands to be gained by removing the masks and going beneath these seemingly fragile layers.

For me, I have come to appreciate the role of community in doing this work. Since we are not a castle- the support and mirror that our community provides us as we remove our masks- is a true gift.

I am so grateful for the dharma friends I made in Nepal who have reflected my truth, supported my journey, shared themselves and inspired me.


Given we all seek the same thing (happiness) it is important that we surround ourselves with people who share similar values and ways of being- so that our masks can be removed once and for all.

Look at the people you confide and share your life with. Are they courageous and walking a similar path to you and do you feel nourished and inspired by them?