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Tibet Cultural, Group "A", Summer 2008


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    [post_content] => Hi Guys. My name is Brieze Levy (like the wind...lol) and I live in the Florida Keys. I'm 18 and going to Bard College next year (maybe Wesleyan, should I get off the waitlist). I dance a lot, have no idea what I'll be majoring in, and love new experiences. I'm more than ready for a change in my life and just so excited to have this trip be the start. I can't wait to meet you all!!!! I'm so psyched...and also very nervous. Can't wait to hear from you all.
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Tibet Cultural, Group "A", Summer 2008

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Hey Everyone!

Brieze Levy,Tibet Cultural, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

Hi Guys. My name is Brieze Levy (like the wind…lol) and I live in the Florida Keys. I’m 18 and going to Bard College next year (maybe Wesleyan, should I get off the waitlist). I dance a lot, have no idea what I’ll be majoring in, and love new experiences. I’m more than ready for […]

Posted On

05/7/08

Author

Brieze Levy

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To the Tibet Cultural "A-Team":


This summer, we have an opportunity like no other. For some of you, your decision to travel to northern India was roundabout. As events of the late winter and spring unfolded in Tibet, we watched with minor trepidation and some amazement. In the eyes of the media, Tibet is once again on the map, a focal point in anticipation of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But for many of us, it has always been on the map; maybe someone turned a light onto it from a different angle, but that's about it. Now, perhaps by fate or more likely by a series of strategic decisions, we have fallen into place as a very real team of students and instructors. For some of us, the anticipated map of exploration has changed from a journey through the heartland of Tibet (within China's borders) to a journey through the vibrant outposts of Tibetan culture and its relatives in the vast Himalaya of northern India. There is little that excites me more.


For the sake of space, however, I will hold my thoughts on that and, instead, introduce myself. I consider myself an attached explorer; that is, I move around a lot, but get attached to places easily. As much as I would like to be rooted to one geographic space, I have always been somewhat nomadic. This year, I live in Texas. Next year, I will live in Colorado. In the two years before moving to Texas, I lived in Thailand, and before that I lived in various locales of eastern Asia, with occasional stints in Colorado and Mexico. One day, I will settle into a more relaxed living situation -- perhaps in my dream of running a non-profit educational ranch in New Mexico -- but for now, wanderlust will carry me to northern India with you, and then back to Colorado to begin graduate school in Psychology.


My interests vary greatly, and sometimes I wonder when I am going to stop being interested in new ideas, activities, and careers. Currently, I teach English Literature in a low-income high school on the Texas-Mexico border (fondly known as Tejico) where I enjoy working with horses, surfing (yes, the Gulf of Mexico has ridable swells), running, cycling, and strumming my guitar. When possible, I climb, participate in Triathlons and marathons, and take good, old-fashioned backpacking trips with my partner (who, a teacher herself, has her own plethora of interests and hobbies) and our puppy, Clover (the sweetest pup anyone could ask for).


In my teaching, Buddhism plays a strong role. I try to emphasize individual approaches and interpretations of worldly and literary events while understanding how universal themes tend to unite us as humans. This will be especially helpful as we explore the various communities of Tibetans in exile, listen to their stories, and begin accessing new ways of thinking. On that note, I spent some time as a novice monk in a forest monastery on the Thai-Burma border; this transformative experience has greatly influenced my perspective on the world, and continues to affect my decisions and motives. It has, for example, influenced me to move from direct teaching into psychology (hence the move to graduate school). I could go on about...say...the novel I started and never finished, the hot weather of south Texas, my interest in pine trees, and my love for sourdough breadmaking, but you will, of course, have plenty of time to get to know me, and I you.

Ourinstructor team -- Lindsay Gilmor, Debi Goldman, and me -- is one of the strongest I have seen in my six years of instructing with Dragons. Like each of you, we come from different geographic and educational places, and have different interests (for example, I am not sure if anyone else on this team surfs AND wears cowboy boots on a regular basis). Our myriad interests and skills are complimentary and are what will help make this a powerful program. Together, we have organized a program that will allow you to explore the phenomenal natural landscapes of the Himalayan regions bordering Tibet, the culture of Tibetan communities in exile and their neighbors (including groups of people with strong cultural, religious, and linguistic connections to Tibet), and the impact of varying economic, environmental, and political forces on these communities. The three of us, along with various contacts in northern India, will guide you in your explorations. We will rarely teach you directly, but rather use our intimate surroundings to facilitate a mind-blowing, and perhaps life-changing, experience.


And you will each bring your own interests to the program, helping to guide our trajectory and inquiry. In many cases, the questions you ask and enthusiasm you project will encourage us to make things happen for you. As you can imagine, such a group experience is cyclical and grows from within itself. The more we each contribute, the more we will each get out of this. So I encourage you: start sharing your ideas now.


Yak Yak is an awesome forum to get our initial ideas out onto the table. When posting to Yak Yak before the program, please tell us what you are interested in, both in the context of this program and in general. The more we get to know each other, the deeper we will be able to explore.


Warm regards to each of you, and I look forward to meeting you in Los Angeles in less than two months!


Max Woodfin

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Tibet Cultural, Group "A", Summer 2008

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We will soon be saying, “Tashi Delek!”

Max Woodfin,Tibet Cultural, Group "A", Summer 2008

Description

To the Tibet Cultural "A-Team": This summer, we have an opportunity like no other. For some of you, your decision to travel to northern India was roundabout. As events of the late winter and spring unfolded in Tibet, we watched with minor trepidation and some amazement. In the eyes of the media, Tibet is once […]

Posted On

05/6/08

Author

Max Woodfin

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