Thank you for choosing the winner of our “Enlightenment Contest”

Congratulations to Xuan-An Thai, an upwardly-mobile seeker from Texas who took a clandestine trip to Cuba — and stumbled upon a smokin’ (cigar, that is) smiling Buddha

enlightenment-contest-winner-for-wp-postFirst, we asked everyone in the world to send Soul’s Code an image of a person, place or thing that inspires or “enlightens” them.

Then, some in our Soul’s Code circle may have quietly imagined  . . . ‘Megan Fox meditating at Machu Picchu’?

Still others may have projected: modern-day shaman, Tony Samara, imagining satori in San Francisco?

But we suspect that you fell in love with the winning entry (left) because Xuan-An’s moment of Zen-lightenment in Havana, Cuba is such a pristine revelation of the  serendipitous, sublime, shit-happens quality of being that defies linear thought.

In her own words: “My life is about movement — meeting new people, changing jobs, up-rooting my life, and saying goodbye. I make it my business.”

I was wandering around, lost in the breezy streets of Central Havana, nose buried in my Lonely Planet Travel Guide, when I turned the corner . . . and there she was: this lovely, eccentric, old woman. I couldn’t help but smile with surprise.

She had the most wonderful raspy Spanish. We didn’t talk much, but she was so friendly! I gave her a hug, and I left with a profound feeling of warmth . . . Like finding family all over the world.

Sometimes traveling can harden you. Sometimes it invites you into  the beauty and fun surrounding you, wherever you are.

Congratulations to Xuan-An, for sharing a snapshot of her journey — and to all of you for your votes. Everyone actually is a guru.

Hey, if you clicked on a different favorite during the contest, check out our finalists and other entries in the newest Soul’s Code slideshow: 7 Images of Zen-lightenment

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2 Responses to “Thank you for choosing the winner of our “Enlightenment Contest””

  1. I don’t know what it is about this photo, but it really disturbs me.

    Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of young and old, or the fact that the old lady is shilling for tourists to make a living? Or..who knows? Maybe it’s because I’m afraid of growing old and don’t want to look like her? Anyway, it certainly has made me think, which I guess is one of the byproducts of all great art :)

    • Lee, many of us had the same reaction, which is why the image is so evocative. Well, Jung would call it “archetypal.”

      Hey, thanks for sharing your reaction, and helping us see how deeply spiritual and ego-eviscerating this image really is.

      That image may hit people as a bulletin-board for downside projections, or upside.