To Think Like a Hindu

“You must learn to think like a Hindu,” my friend says when I tell him it feels like the ground has dropped out from under my feet. Again. “Everything that happens is always for the best outcome.” Ah. The proverbial closed door. Open window.

Yet, there’s some truth in it after all. So as I leave India, I hope, if I’ve learned anything at all, I hope it’s to think like a Hindu. To take things as they come and not overreact to the hurdles life puts in my path.

What else can I do? I suppose the path life lays in front of all of us moves us into the unknown, but sometimes I feel that mine has been more extreme than usual.

So I leave the unknown and move into the unknown.

The past few days I’ve spent walking around Shillong saying goodbye to new friends, places that have become familiar. Laban, my favorite market area and Jasper’s store–one of the first people I met in India who has one of the greatest smiles I’ve ever seen. . The college, of course. I’ll miss Sister Mary who always reminds me of a sparrow. Bansan in Cherapunjee. The burly Buddha in the post office. And, of course, Phrueba and others from Sikkim.

Rakhal and Debbie, it goes without saying. They’ve been amazing and have enriched my life so much.

I’ve developed a strong affection for Ganesh since I’ve been in India!

Even Emily the cat stopped by last night to say goodbye. What a considerate cat.

It’s hard winding things up. And in some ways I don’t want to leave. Keeping this blog going has been easy when everything has been new and unfamiliar. I plan to keep writing now that I have a rhythm going, but will have to see what direction it takes back in my own place. I have plans for a book, more articles, to make writing, rather than teaching, the central core of my life.

So in a few hours I’ll be disconnecting my internet, taking a final walk around town and packing my last few things–a book and notebook for the plane. I’ll be coming back with a dog, a collection of rocks, a tabla, and a new work plan in place. Life as usual.

But I’m not worried. I’m learning to think like a Hindu.

Benares Sadhu


4 thoughts on “To Think Like a Hindu

  1. This is the end of one chapter and the beginning of the next. I wish you a pleasant journey home, and a beautiful new period ahead, filled with adventure and learning. You saw India without many of the routines that you had established previously, in a familiar environment. You didn’t have all the automatic reactions that we have when we’ve lived in the same place for a long time. You didn’t take things for granted. All of that is possible in our home town too. It requires a change in state of mind… and perhaps that is one of the things you will be able to bring home from your last adventure.

    • Thanks, Shimon! You’re right–the trick is to keep that aware state of mind in familiar surroundings. I’m fortunate that I live in a beautiful, rural spot so there’s a lot of natural beauty to keep me on my toes!

  2. Jordan, I’ll probably never get a chance to visit, much less immerse in that part of the world & in that mindset, so I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing this amazing experience with us. I’ve seen the movie about it, can’t wait to read the book based on it too. Oh, and welcome home. Was wondering if India would let enough of you go so we’d get you back physically. Namaste.

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