Coming home

Marinelle van Dongen

Although I’m 100% Dutch, raised by the most perfect parents you can find, I never felt at home. On my travels, I was always looking for job opportunities abroad hoping that that was the solution. But it was not. Ten years ago, I met Buddhism and realized that this was what I’ve been looking for all my life. I started studying and carefully selected a guru. My fellow Buddhists became my new family and together we travel in the footsteps of our forefathers.

More and more I realized that all these ‘strange’ habits I have just had to come from previous lives. There was no other explanation. Already as a child I just couldn’t understand why girls destroyed each others possessions out of envy and why adults were shouting at each other instead of just talking about it. I specifically remember girls catching spiders and pulling their legs out for fun. It was a horrifying experience for me. I can still hear these spiders crying.

Out of curiosity I went to India, Sri Lanka and Bhutan to see what Buddhism meant in everyday life. There I found whole cultures trying to help instead of harm. What a relief! I know the real goal in life is to tame your mind through study and practice, and that this can be done wherever you are. But being in an environment where Buddhism is grounded in almost everyone, makes it way easier!



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  1. Jennifer Fox says:

    Your experiences of finding that your character traits must have come from previous lives is something I have started – just recently – to suspect about myself. Thank you so much for sharing.