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Photo by Catherine Von Holt, Nepal Semester.

Boundless night

“…So everything that you do is like this. It is just a small, brief happening. So [to] surrender is to break this cycle of little happenings and to fall back into the vastness, into the boundlessness of what life is. It is not something that you do with this person or that person. It is something that you become. It is a quality.” – Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

The room was pitch black, not even a single bit of light found its way through the cracks in the wooden walls which surrounded my straw-mat bed. Scurrying to find my headlamp, I made my way into the Nepali night in an attempt to find the “charpi”. After climbing down a wooden ladder and trying not to hit my head against a wonderfully low door-frame, a breathtaking scene revealed itself to me. Scattered against a distant mountainside were glimmering lights of village houses, looking almost like a stellar constellation had descended into the hills. A warm, firm breeze tossed the leaves of banana trees and millet stalks, and a crescent moon illuminated the tops of three colossal Himalaya mountains. At that moment, I could not bring myself to do anything but stare in awe at this sight. Just looking at this stirred something within me, something deep; it made real so much of what I had been thinking and reading about for the past few months. I felt, this time as more than just an idea, that we, as humans, can only surrender to the power of nature, of life. We are just these small beings walking on this planet, struggling avidly to piece together a picture of this life, trying to make some sense of its immensity. But when you are confronted with nature in its most extreme forms all at once, it becomes clear that all you can do is throw yours hands up, fall to your knees, let it seep into your being. Nepal makes it clear to you that life is grand beyond anything you could imagine. It puts you in your place, but reminds you that you are not separate from it. If you allow it to, this place will teach you every lesson that there is to teach, it will reveal to you all that there is to be revealed.