When I started my volunteering at Samma Karuna, I thought it would be just another yoga school where I would work in exchange for food and accomodation.
It was so much more. The awakening and healing program felt like a private therapy. I felt accepted and welcomed. So safe, that I even tried to overcome my fears and emotional barriers. Everybody there was like a family. They really understood the meaning of giving, receiving, and sharing love. I started to believe that maybe one day I could just be happy like them. Or even better, in my own way.
Staying at Samma Karuna helped me reflect on my life. For the first time, I began to understand why my university studies made me so miserable and unhappy. I had been resisting the information that was taught, yet struggling to accept it. Everybody around kept saying, “it’s normal!” So I did too. The facts I was forced to accept and the rules I had to follow were against what I believed was right.
I even convinced myself that becoming a veterinarian was my dream. I was so focused on passing exams, that I never had time to listen to myself. Over the course of my studies, I found myself doing things that my heart wasn’t into. In Poland, vets are required to be the inspectors of the livestock industry. I realised that treating a farm animal has nothing to do with saving it’s life,rather it’s just a part of big business. The owners of the places I visited seemed to care only for profit and not for the lives of the animals.
The voice inside me was weak because I tried to mute it. However, it was still screaming so loud when I watched cows being exploited for milk, pigs being slaughtered in front of my eyes, chicks being thrown into a grinder to a terrible death, and the deadly effects of experiments on sheep, frogs, and chicken embryos. This is perfectly normal, I thought at that time, holding the tears back.
Now I know that the world should be accepted as it is in order to attain happiness. However, some things should not be taken part in. Things so inhuman that they would kill all the love and happiness within.
I realise I don’t have to be like my peers in Poland. I don’t need to follow sombody elses dream about having a beautiful house, secure job, or the perfect wedding. These are not things that make me happy. These are just images that we see on TV, billboards, in magazines, and in schools. Images that are introduced to us as the ultimate key to happiness. But have we ever really thought about it? Is this truly what could make us happy?
Although I can still see a lot of injustice in the world, I know how to make good decisions for myself and not to be involved in anything I don’t agree with. There is still a long way ahead on the path to peace and harmony, but at least I have some insight on how to live happily. I will continue my journey of finding and accepting myself. I will be more grateful and judge less. i will be the change I want to see in the world.
I want to thank Samma Karuna and all the people I met there. Each of you gave me a lesson, and from your wisdom I could learn. What this school does is amazing and I really hope to come back one day.