Ode To Life by derek dodds


About Derek Dodds: In my youth, I felt a strong pull to the East and traveled to Asia to find myself (still looking). I studied Buddhism, Yoga, and Vedanta In India. I was drawn to the majestic peaks of the Himalayas and spent time as a part-time monk at the Kopan Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Kathmandu before venturing into the mountains for a solo journey through the Anapurnas. 

At Kopan Monastery, I picked up a book called The Awakening of Intelligence by Jiddu Krishnamurti that changed the direction of my life. Krishnamurt’s writing is so clear and precious. His teachings were exactly what I needed then, and I would eventually spend sixteen years of my life dedicated to his work.

Love is anonymous. I may love my wife and my children, but the quality of that love is anonymous. Like the sunset, love is neither yours nor mine.

~ J. Krishnmaurti

I spent six years living outside the USA, dipping in and out of India and Nepal while working in Spain. I eventually returned to California to help promote Krishnamurti’s teachings in 1999. I was invited to be a Trustee of the Krishnamurti Foundation of America by Mary Zimbalist (Krishnamurti’s righthand woman) and served the organization as publisher and rights manager of Krishnamurti’s writing and media for 16 years.

About Derek Dodds Mary Zimbalist & Krishnamurti

Mary Zimbalist & Krishnamurti (©

My mother died in 2015, and my entire world fell apart. I left the Krishnamurti Foundation the same week she died and spun recklessly toward an uncertain future and path. I eventually got into therapy and, for the first time in my life, started to understand my childhood traumas and the web of pain that had entangled my heart.

In 2009, I drank ayahuasca for the first time in a small village near Machu Pichu. However, I wasn’t ready to start my relationship with the ayahuasca plant just yet, and it would take me eleven years to prepare myself psychologically and spiritually for her magic. I had been working with Planet Medicine on and off since my first trip to Bali in the 1990s, but it was very haphazard and sporadic.

About Derek Dodds

Trip to the Amazon Rainforest with Noke Koi

This time around, the spirit of ayahuasca took me under her wing, and now I have a very close relationship with her. I wrote a book (2023) to help others overcome their fear of sitting with ayahuasca based on my more profound understanding of how she can help humanity. I also published a book on Hape Sacred Tabocco in (2024), another sacred medicine from the Amazon. I was fortunate enough to go to the Amazon in 2023 and deepen my connection to these medicines as part of my journey, which help catalyzed my two books.

I have a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration, specializing in Behavioral Development. Though I never really used it professionally. I also served as an adjunct professor at the European School of Management in Spain and Universidad del Noreste in Mexico. After my sixteen-year tour at the Krishnamurti Foundation of America, I co-founded a literary rights agency with my lovely partner. A few years later, I decided I wanted to dabble in product and brand development and have been doing that ever since. I am still looking for nobody self in this somebody world.

I live in Ojai, California, with my partner Mar and an adorable cat named Millie.

~ Derek

Ojai, California | 2/2024

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