This hotel, Sarangkot Mountain Lodge, is fabulous. I woke to a sunrise from the balcony, softened with smog and what seems like a new mountain view with huge new hills in the distance (video) and eagles gliding on updrafts. Hotel halls are filled with wafting incense and, like everywhere in Nepal, you greet and are greeted with “Namaste” about 100 times a day. Even the police say namaste with a bow and prayer hands. It feels lovely. And humane. Can we all start doing this today?
In smaller, newer vans we had a smoother and happier ride back down the mountain then a nice flight back to Kathmandu on Buddha Air (how can you not love that name?)
Did you know there are no traffic lights or stop signs here in Nepal? In the time we’ve been here, I have yet to see a single one. Traffic is absolute chaos but it’s coordinated chaos, meaning drivers accommodate one another even while jockeying for their own needs. Every moment looks like a sure fender bender but it never seems to happen. There’s also little or no road rage. At the outset it seems like madness then once you begin to understand it you realize it’s humane madness.
Our retreat and meditation leader, David Gandelman, founded the Himalayan Children’s Future, a fundraising organization for the New Nepal Society Center children’s orphanage, which we visited and got to meet and play with the kids today. Despite having very little, these 43 kids ages 3-20 are happy, looking out for one another like siblings. They have aspirations of being doctors and musicians, mothers and soccer players. One girl’s eyes widened when she asked what I do and I replied that I was a writer and she proceeded with a stream of insightful questions filled with wonder and curiosity. Click here if you’d like to learn more or wish to donate to the orphanage. Also find them (and pictures of our day!) on Instagram.
Dinner followed a lovely meditation with David then we called it a night. David is such a gifted teacher. I honestly hadn’t heard of him before this retreat but I’m a total committed fan now (You may be wondering why I’m on a meditation retreat with a meditation teacher I’ve never heard of. Fair question. Friends invited me. And, while I am not new to meditation, it was a chance to try a fresh approach.) David’s guided meditations are easy to follow, he creates a safe container for participants and offers great thoughts when we share what’s coming up for us. And he’s funny, easy to be around, humble, genuine, and kind. Check him out on Facebook, Instagram, Insight Timer, his Meditation School website, his podcasts (Energy Matters and Grounded Sleep), or his book “The Seven Energies of the Soul”.
Did you know? Schools, government agencies, and some offices have a Sunday to Friday schedule, 10am-3pm in winter and 10am-4pm summer. The next time your kids complain about school, share this factoid with them for perspective. Haha
Thanks for sharing the love. If you want more photos for stories like these, find me on Instagram @adventureswithwen
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