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On my way back from Ladakh, on the plane, I had the good fortune to watch the movie “Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman – where Morgan Freeman’s character (who is reserved, family-oriented and modest) meets Jack’s character (who is entitled, wealthy and spoiled) in the hospital when the two of them are ill. What follows is a comical adventure as these aging characters realize life is short and you have to do what is on your dream list – which one of them calls their Bucket List. I have heard some people say they did not like this movie, but I feel that with the right perspective, one can glean something productive from many movies – even large budget Hollywood types. So I got to writing my own Bucket List. Keep in mind this was written in July 2008, so I will add some hindsight-oriented commentary to the list items. (By the way, I recommend this movie, at least slightly.)
1) Circumambulate Mount Kailash (Kang Rinpoche)
2) See and Tour and Make a Pilgrimage to the Potala Palace
3) Make a Pilgrimage to Drikung Til Monastery in Tibet (the Drikung lineage “Mother Ship”)
4) Visit and Pilgrimage to Dehra Duhn India to see His Holiness, Songtsen Library and Chang Chub Ling
5) Take Dance Lessons (Salsa / Ballroom)
6) Go to a World Cup Soccer Match
7) Have child(ren) and be as good a father / coach as possible
8) Take classes in Ayurvedic / Tibetan Medicine
9) Hike the Appalachian Trail
10) Enter a Co-creating, Dynamic, Growth-oriented Relationship (Marriage)
11) See the Amazon Rainforest
12) Take a nature retreat in Banff Canada
13) Visit Alaska, do some hiking
14) Practice the Buddhist Preliminaries Daily (Ngondro) until complete
15) Earn money so as to practice Generosity
16) Go traveling with Family
17) Explore France, Paris / Alps
18) Buy Land, Build a Green Home, Garden
19) Practice Giving (Dharma, loving-kindness) until my Heart “breaks Open”
20) Visit Mountains and spend time Listening
21) Rest my Body as Mountain
22) Breathe like the Ocean
23) Practice Quality Self Care, Alignment, Zapchen
24) Laugh Often!
25) Lighten Up!
26) Practice Yoga (Svaroopa, Deity, Guru, Breath, etc)
27) Rest Heart As the Sky
So that is my list, at least from 2 years ago. Just a tiny bit of commentary or reflections and therefore changes that I would make today. You can tell I was on a pilgrimage with the first few items. I’m no longer sure I need to do sassy / fast-paced dancing, but it might be fun to stretch myself. I think number 7 and number 10 go well together. I used to do a lot of hiking and outdoors activities. I still enjoy it but it is no longer so mandatory – I am finding peace within, so less need to seek urgently for it without. When I see pictures of Banff I am just blown away by its majesty, so I would like to visit there before I go on to new discoveries (transition in the Bardo realms).
Alaska is the only United State that I have not visited – and of course it is probably the state that is chock full of raw incredible natural sights and wilderness (more reasons to explore). My mother would love to go traveling to Europe with family members, so of course I need to take her up on that! For me, presently, being in a solid relationship is of higher priority than buying land, building home and growing my own food – however that is still in the back of my mind. In Zapchen, Julie Henderson, one of my heart teachers, says that we should rest our Body as Mountain, Breath like the Sea and Heart like the Sky. Yay!