Written by Manuel Vega
Before engaging ourselves into reading a blog, we all like first to check out the author… where he or she comes from, the background, qualifications, etc.
The truth is that, behind any résumé there is always an individual with mixed virtues and shortcomings, and I am not an exception. Let’s say that I have tried, at least for the last 14 years or so, to understand the purpose of life in a more serious way than earlier in my life. In the process, I have learned a few things that might help others also interested in this quest.
Here’s the (parabolic) trajectory of my life (so far):
- In 1967, I was born in Astorga, a little town in the northern mountains of Leon (Spain).
- In 1990, I graduated in Chemistry by the University of Alcalá de Henares in Madrid (Spain).
- In 1996, I got my Ph.D. also in Chemistry by the University of Oviedo in Asturias (Spain).
- In 1997, I jumped the ocean and moved to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (California, USA), where I did some research on biomaterials for about 3 years.
- In 1999, I jumped another even bigger ocean to end up in Japan, where I worked as an associate researcher at Nagoya University for 3 years, in the tiny field of nanomaterials.
- In Nov. 2002, I did what I always had dreamt to do (and suspect many of you too): I quit my job, gave away all my belongings (except a bicycle and a sleeping bag) and began to travel without fixed destination. I travelled by bicycle all over Japan (I even did the Shikoku pilgrimage of 88 temples). I also walked in India and the Himalaya (Sikkim).
- After one year of living as a moving homeless, I decided to settle down and joined a Buddhist monastery that belongs to the Mahayana Chinese tradition (City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in Ukiah, north of San Francisco).
- I remained as a trainee for one year and as a novice for another four, in CTTB but also in monasteries of Canada and Berkeley (Institute of the World Religions).
- In May 2008, I did not take the next step into full ordination, and returned to the lay life.
- For the past three years, I have written about my two passions: meditation and the mysteries of ancient civilizations.
Now, in March 2011, I feel the time has come back for me to reach out society again, so I thought the format of a blog could be a good vehicle. We’ll see.
Along the blog, I will share some of my little stories to illustrate the posts, many about what nobody should do, but also about some of the accomplishments I feel most proud and which are also the simplest, such as my unshakable resolution to respect nature and the animals. I love animals (too bad they do not go online… though some comments cause me wonder), from where becoming vegan was a natural resolution. That was the first step, back in 1998, which initiated a revolution that, in spite of continuous fails, still propels me to go forward.