As the sun disappears behind these mountains in Ladakh that have nourished and protected us the past three weeks, we are trying desperately to make the final moments last: to remember to be present and not get caught up in what the next moments will be. We asked our students to take some to reflect on their first weeks on the program and their new experiences in the land of high passes. These were some of their answers.
How well do I listen to thoughts and feelings of others in different situations? How does my life relate to and influence the lives of others and the environment?
I always think in black and white…I need to practice coping with greys.
Every decision we make will have consequences and we have to be mindful of how our actions will affect other people and places.
My life relates to others through universal emotions like love and loss.
I feel people should spend more time focussing on the positive in the moment.
I enjoy hearing the feelings of others and understanding them to the best of my abilities.
My actions are part of what stimulates other people and the environment.
I try to ask thoughtful questions because I am aware that one person’s interpretation of words is different from others:
What is one thing that Ladakh has made me aware of that I can take with me not only as I move on to the next part of this course, but for the rest of my life?
The beauty in the small things in life…and how these things can be the sole reason to be happy.
Being happy doesn’t mean there is something wrong with me.
That compost toilets are dope.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt completely unafraid the way I do here.
It is strange living in such a man-made, landless place.
…Mindfulness of how much space I am taking up with both my body and my voice.
To take full advantage of what the earth can offer us.
The vibrancy and chaos of Varanasi await us in striking contrast to the stark and slow Ladakh that we as a group have come to love. Armed with what we have learned about Ladakh and ourselves, we hope to move into this new phase of the course with a renewed sense of awareness of the space we occupy in this constantly evolving world.