Hello…

It’s been a little while… I’ve been doing some pretty intense changes in my life and moving towards happiness! It feels great! I feel wonderful, stable, and alive…

So in the past year or so I’ve been reading many many books including spiritual, religious, and self-help books and I’ve come to the realization that I am a practicing Catholic who seems to understand basic Buddhist ideas…
In one of the many books I’ve read by Thich Naht Nahn, Thay (as he is known) states that you shall not abandon your maternal church. He goes on to explain that Christians and Buddhists have many things in common and/or similar beliefs so why not incorporate some of the Buddhist teachings into our spirituality.

It sounded interesting and possible at the time… so then I chose to read “Living Buddha, Living Christ” to understand more about the similarities and differences between Christians and Buddhists.

I was very surprised to see the connection between Christianity and Buddhism.

It actually confirmed my suspicion that many religions have similar ideals or beliefs that are expressed in different ways.

Once again, I felt drawn to Buddhism and felt comfortable with the connections and/or different terminology expressed between Christianity and Buddhism.

In fact I prefer to think of negative energy rather than sin, evil, or the devil… I love the idea of positive energy, the Holy Spirit, enlightenment, Jesus…

After this, we took a family vacation to Thailand… where the majority of the population practice Buddhism. It was fascinating to see how much reverence and honor Buddhist Thais exhibited in their Temples.

I felt at awe and at peace when I encountered Buddhist monks and entered the Buddhist Temples.

It was as if a I felt a positive energy, a love, a newfound peace while paying my respects to Buddha at a Buddhist Temple.

The same positive energy, love, and newfound peace I felt 10 years ago when I visited the Vatican…

The same positive energy, love, and newfound peace I’ve always felt when I’ve entered any Catholic Church to pray for that matter…

I’ve even been able to find it during Savasana after I practice yoga…

So now I am reading a book called “The Art of Happiness” by the Dalai Lama himself… I love the book… I am only in Part 2 of the book and still have to finish reading… but as I finished reading Part 1 it occurred to me…

Can a practicing Catholic practice Buddhism at the same time?

Ever since I was little I remember thinking how I would live in Panama when I grew up instead of the United States.  Panama is where my family’s from and so naturally I just felt like I liked it there and I “fit in”.  

Then again that was when I had no idea what adult life was like…

Later in college, I had the opportunity to study abroad… I went to Italy…

ah… Italy… I loved it…

I hated that I felt restricted in the program but loved being in Italy… loved being abroad… it felt good… it was fun…

Since then I’ve always thought it would be amazing to work and live abroad…

After college, I went on to get my masters and married.  Therefore, I never got the chance to live and work abroad as a single adult…

Now I have Go Diego Go and my hubbie…

For some reason, the idea of living and working international is still appealing. 

My hubbie at one point had that same desire… but since Go Diego Go he can’t decide if we should risk it…

I think at times hubbie would still like to go international… but the sense of responsibility creeps in and he has to do what’s right… which means following the straight path because it’s secure…

It’s hard to up and leave… leave everything behind and start over… with a new language, culture, home, social life, and everything… My hubbie should know he came to the US from Latin America…

Every once in awhile he talks about going abroad… this time he mentioned Foreign Service Officer… working for the State Department in a consulate or embassy…

It sounds interesting to him… Managerial path or the Economic path…

It definitely sounds interesting to me… traveling to many countries, living abroad, learning and understanding the cultures through immersion…

I think it’s a great tool for teaching Go Diego Go diversity… 

I wish we knew someone who’d been around FSO or worked as an FSO per say…  That way we could pick their brain…

My hubbie worries that he’ll be posted in a country where Diego and I cannot go with him… but at the same time I assume the State Deparment is well aware that there are some FSO who need posts where their dependents can be relocated as well…

I wonder… where we will be in a few years?  will we still be here?  or will we take our friend’s, Lisa, advice and jump the gun…

Lisa and Jason have amazing things to say about their adventure abroad… They talk about pros and cons… but there are pros and cons to everything… they look at it as a chance of a lifetime which they thank God everyday for helping them take…

They are going on 3 years abroad and love it…They’ve seen the world and been to places they’ve never imagined they would venture to until now…

I want to see the world… I want to try new things… I want to see new places… and find a place that we’ll always go back to…

I want to give my son the opportunity to see the world and understand culture…  I want him to honor differences and focus on the similarities of life among different cultures.

So… I have been wondering about the future of holiday traditions in our family…

On the one hand it’s always nice to spend the holidays with your family and see everybody you haven’t seen in a while….

It’s important for Go Diego Go to spend time with his grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles… Clearly he enjoys himself everytime we go visit… It’s also important for him to make bonds with family… You never know when he’s going to need  them… Also… he needs to know that there are other family members who care about him and love him just as much as me and hubbie…

 

There’s also some nostalgia to not spending the holidays with your family since that’s what you’ve done since you can remember… It’s also what’s expected of you and there would be some really pist off people if you decided that you didn’t want to spend the holidays with them as is common every year…

 

On the other hand… wouldn’t it be so much fun to start your own traditions… I mean hubbie, Go Diego Go, and I are a family and we have the right to do things differently than what is expected of us… (It’s nice that the family asks if we’re are going to come into town… You never want to break their hearts though) 

 

It’s tough… so I received an email with pictures of Christmas trees from around the world… It’s fascinating to think about how Christmas is celebrated around the world… different or the same from how your accustomed… Christmas abroad… it’s sounds appealing…

 

What is customary in other cultures?  Learn to appreciate and understand how others relate to the holidays… I think it would give you a new taste for culture, family, relationships, love, and above else see how lucky we are to have what we have and be who we are…

 

Christmas abroad next year…. maybe… It would be fun to explore with my hubbie and Go Diego Go…

 

The family may not be so happy… they may not even understand the concept… Above else… Go Diego Go needs to develop relationships with the rest of the family… but then again we can always go visit at different times during the year…

 

Here’s a thought we could plan for Christmas abroad every third year… then everyone’s happy right?  well sort of…

See.. Go Diego GO would still get to see the rest of the family during the other Chrismas’s and then we still get to go abroad… Compromising….

 

Then there’s the argument we don’t need to think of anyone else except our family (hubbie, Go Diego Go, and me)… But many would say that was unfair…