Volunteer job at Lha: Researcher and tutor
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhat is the purpose of my life? Why am I not happy even though I have a great education, a successful career, and an abundant income? These are the questions I asked myself six months ago, just before quitting my job, selling all of my belongings, and starting on a global journey of self-discovery.
India, with its ancient culture and traditions, incredible spirituality and religious diversity, seemed like a fitting destination for me to explore my deeper self. Inspired by a quote I had read from Mahatma Ghandi : “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, I decided to volunteer at Lha to support the Tibetan community in McLeod Ganj.
Initially, I tutored English, which allowed me to personally connect with Tibetans and gain insight into their way of life. Despite the many hardships that they faced, the Tibetans that I met exuded tremendous positivity, kindness, compassion and generosity. Much of it due to their Buddhist beliefs and practices. Their kindness inspired me to further contribute to their community, and I figured that I could provide the most value by making use of my PhD in neuroscience. Because the effects of Buddhist practices, particularly meditation, on the brain have become a popular focus among researchers, and the results are of great importance to improving the well-being of humans, I decided to review the most relevant research findings and make them easily accessible by integrating them into one of the Lha websites.
Emphasis was placed on studies pertaining to the impact of mindfulness meditation on aspects of mental wellness such as stress, anxiety, depression, and mood. Due to limited available resources, the project has proved to be quite challenging. However, even though the project is still in its initial stage, I have learned quite a bit not just about the benefits of meditation, but also about myself. I have come to realise that I find happiness and meaning in my life when I volunteer my services to others, without expecting anything in return.