An Adventure of a Lifetime

Europe and Beyond
By Joseph P. Lewandowski
  |  Gorp.com

Our trip started on a soulful note with a visit to a spiritual center in the tiny village of Dornburg north of Frankfurt, Germany. There we sat in meditation each evening over the course of eight days with about 100 people from all over the world.

During the day we made long walks in the idyllic countryside. The previous month had been a nerve-wracking scramble of preparation. The quiet time during the first two weeks helped us remember our true purpose.

After the quiet we were ready for our next stop: Paris. Certainly, there was no avoiding the art museums and the famous towers. Yet much more satisfying than moving with the tourist hordes was simply walking through the crazy labyrinth of streets.

In neighborhood markets we bought fruit, cheese, baguettes, and cheap wine, then consumed them in the elegant parks or while sitting on benches along the Seine.

Sampling Life over Liquor
The south of France is renowned for its rolling countryside and friendly farmers ready to sell jugs of their own red wine. But instead of visiting vineyards, we sampled life at the spartan Buddhist retreat of Plum Village.

During the earliest days of spring we sat in blooming plum orchards, and took instruction about how to revel in the present moment—the only time, Buddhists teach, that really matters.


Published: 30 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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