I came to Nepal without any expectations, hopes or even knowing that I was looking for something. It is absolutely amazing to then find so much – so much that you did not even know you needed, wanted or have missed. All of that, to have it bestowed upon you, in your life – is such a true gift and I feel so blessed.
Every day for the past few months, I have tried to be present with every step I have set on the mountains when walking to the Monastery and I have tried to listen consciously to each breath I have taken. I have had the possibility and opportunity to come here and teach the older monks and the children, to play with the little monks and simply just been. I have been so lucky to have met so many amazing people – who have been here and enriched the children’s lives. And even though I have known that a “last day” would tap us on our shoulders soon enough – it was tough to say goodbye. I cried, the children cried and it was heartrending. I will miss them very much and I am so grateful for everything they have reminded me of, taught and given me. To have been a part of their lives, seeing them progress in learning, growing, having fun, being themselves and..to simply being a kid has been priceless. Every smile, giggle and laughter has literally filled my heart with so much light, love and joy.
Material things – undeniably, we do need certain things, for example, warm blankets when the cold climate gets cruel or paper and pencils so that notes can be taken during class. But love and joy – we need no things for that. All we need is for us to be ourselves and to open our hearts. Those moments that in turn become memories and such meetings are absolutely beautiful and completely priceless. We have received this and while my heart was floating in tears during the goodbyes, tears were also rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably. The realisation that we would not be coming back each day any longer, the void that came with it and in realising that distance makes it difficult to be able to live what we have experienced every day here. But I remind myself that nothing stays the same, that it is time to go and that love – it exists and just is.
Buddhists speak of “Impermanence” which simply means that noone and nothing stays the same – everything changes. In one way, I know this and if we really know this and are aware, we live in the presence. Yet, every time, for example, when seasons change it sort of surprises you. I do not realise until it has changed, that nature has undergone drastic changes. Or I do, because I see it happening in the moment but yet it is almost as if I forget that each year or season, an actual change will actually occur – no matter how prepared you are. This is how it is for me. Is this because of some kind of denial, inability or resistance toward accepting change or that one has actually been present?
Yesterday, we got on the plane, heading back to Kathmandu and as we flew over the mountains I realised once again that we were leaving the Himalayas, the Monastery, the children – this realisation went like a soft current through my body, touching every part of me and my tears salted my cheeks again – not only because I will miss them so much but from such deep gratitude for everything we have experienced and lived, everyone we have met and for all the love that we found here. Thank you all.