I let writing here slip. Just as I let everything slip, eventually. It became too hard to read my journal entries and process the feelings and faces from the trip. I miss India. Somehow it feels tainted because Adam died. I don’t mean that in a bad way, but just the knowledge of his passing is reflected in every photograph, every word written. Our group was a mismatched group, abrasive and yet caring. Each locked into his or her own journey, sometimes oblivious to the things around them. No one has shared pictures. No one has written. Each encapsulated back into their own monotony. It’s strange how things happen. How even the best events can become soured with remembrance. I wanted this trip to be a new beginning, and in a way it was–yet it’s a mirror image of so many other open doors. I don’t know why Adam died. I learned many things from his death, just as I learned many things from him. I also learned from the group not to trust, not to share, and not to believe others words. I thought, in their Buddhist way, that they would be more real and more honest… but that wasn’t the case. One or two–like Adam–spoke only truth when they did speak, but others spoke constantly and veiled themselves only with deception and masks.

Jaded? Perhaps. Disappointed? Certainly.

I wonder how everyone is doing, but know there is no reason to mail any one of them. I know because the mails I sent have remained unanswered. Perhaps Adam’s death polarized the feelings that separated us all… or perhaps it reminded us all of our mortality. Either way, I still cry when I see his picture, or remember his kind words to me. Of all people. I wonder why it was him and not me–but I already know the answer. He was a great and gentle man. He was far more enlightened than I can ever hope to be in my remaining days here.

It’s the small things I remember. The children as they swarmed over him, clamouring for his attention. The garden filled with butterflies flitting around his meditating form. The kind words and gentlemanly actions. The peace. The wisdom in his being that shone through his eyes. I take these things from the trip. Not the harsh words and actions of others, not the unanswered emails, not the feeling of rejection and lies told by others. I have been silent here for too long. It’s eating away inside. My mala rests undisturbed for weeks now, because I am afraid to practice. I am afraid of the festering feelings knocking at the walls of my heart. I cannot face my Buddha with the internal conflict that tugs at me now. I can’t even face the pictures of His Holiness or the Karmapa that adorn my altar.

I remember what the Karmapa said to me–in order to forgive others, I must learn to forgive myself. It’s hard. I try but inevitably come full circle. I know some of my actions will have others feeling the same anger towards me, and I wish to eradicate that by removing the hatred I have of myself. Why can’t I be a better person? Why can’t I have people like me, genuinely, for me? I know I am confused and have one hell of a past to deal with–but does that invalidate me as a person? Sometimes I feel as though it does. As though I can’t be close to anyone because they are afraid of me.

Perhaps I’m even afraid of myself.