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Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Dharma of Ojochal

It’s Friday morning. Within the beautiful landscape of Bali Rica, a local 5 acre property in Ojochal, ex-pats from all over the world gather every week at 10am to share in a discussion of Dharma or, as Buddhists will tell you, our life path.

Unbeknownst to me, Costa Rica is extremely well known for its large community of Buddhists throughout the country. This may be due to the peaceful zen-like nature of the flora and fauna or the sheer kindness and gratuity of the community that inhabits it, but whatever it was, I was amazed to find that this meeting of the minds was occurring right in my back yard.

For a small town guy like me who grew up attending an episcopal church every Sunday with my father, this discussion of spirituality and peace was revolutionary. The talks of strict rules and scripture were replaced with ideas of liberation and freedom. The singing of psalms and readings from the book of “insert biblical name here” were replaced with face to face discussions about personal issues that many of us were surprised to find we had in common.

I began to feel the sense of community and trust that so many Costa Ricans have raved about. While I came here to find myself through volunteer work, I soon realized that I was called here for something deeper: ton find my dharma. Over the next few weeks, I took time every day to dive deeper into my own personal discussion of what my dharma or “life path” is.

Was I meant to become a practicing Buddhist? Maybe! Was I meant to abandon everything I know about life in pursuit of something deeper? Possibly! Was I meant to use this training to become an uber successful and rich philosopher? Probably not! But this awakening of opportunities for me meant anything, including maybe even a little financial success, was possible for me.

For the first time in my life, I felt in control of my fate. I no longer felt like I had surrendered my power to those around me to decide how my life would end up. I was in the drivers seat.

While I’m still learning and evolving as a practicing believer of dharma, one thing is for certain: I believe we are all in control of our fates and futures. So maybe you found your way to this article because you too are looking for a sign to make a change in your life.

Whatever the reason may be, this is your sign! Your future, your destiny, your dharma, whatever you call it; it’s out there.vYou just have to be willing to seek it out.

by Bryce Baxter

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