My mom and I fly out to Oakland on the 20th and grab a shuttle over to Nyingma. For those of you who know your way around Berkeley, the Institute is located on Highland Place just north of the University of California at Berkeley campus (directly across the street).
Side Note: Did you know that Berkeley has the second largest library in the country, second only to Harvard? Way excited about that little nerdy tidbit!
Anyway, so my mom and I will be staying at the Institute for just $40 a night which includes a room and some award-winning vegetarian fare. Yay for Buddhist culinary masters :) For the next three days I expect I'll see as much of San Francisco as my little legs can handle and get a feel for the area. My schedule for the next 6 months is booked solid. I work 6 days a week from 8 to 5 with dinner and classes in the evenings. I have only Sunday off for exploring so I've got a lot to accomplish in the three days before my program begins.
Here's a link to the specific program I will be joining as part of the Nyingma Institute: http://www.tibetanaidproject.org
Now you can see for yourself! (Check out the video on the homepage)
Roselyn White, my new boss, said that the Tibetan Aid Project is a crew of seven women (myself included) who handles all marketing and fundraising for the Nyingma Institute's programs. Everyone calls them the "Party Girls" for the cocktail parties and coat-and-tie dinners they put together. I can't wait! Besides 9-hour work days I will also be taking 4 courses a quarter. They have everything from Tibetan Yogic Meditation to language courses and philosophy. I start work on the 25th and courses on the 1st. They have a month of specialty classes in September before the Fall Quarter begins in October. I'm going to be neck-deep in this thing and I can't think of anything more exciting. I get priceless work experience, amazing courses, some new spiritual study and free room and board in BERKELEY!
So in conclusion, I am the biggest nerd in the world and voluntarily elected to spend 6-months in a Tibetan Buddhist community because my religious education just wasn't diverse enough! Hopefully this will throw me headlong into some amazing grad school opportunities. This, in a nutshell, is the jaunt this Jamison is undertaking. More to come as the date gets closer and I start having packing meltdowns.
P.S. "drala" is the Tibetan word for the wisdom and spirit behind all things. I believe a little Tibetan-flavored wisdom gifted me along this path and I can't wait to see where it takes me. Come along for the ride :)